What Mladina & Reporter Are Saying This Week: Balkan Borders vs DeSUS

By , 17 Apr 2021, 15:13 PM Politics
What Mladina & Reporter Are Saying This Week: Balkan Borders vs DeSUS Covers from the weeklies' social media

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The covers and editorials from leading weeklies of the Left and Right for the work-week ending Friday, 16 April 2021. All our stories about coronavirus and Slovenia are here

Mladina: Creation of instability in Balkans trap for EU

STA, 16 April 2021 - The left-wing weekly Mladina says in its editorial on Friday that the Balkan border redrawing idea is a trap for the EU set by a coalition of countries trying to gain more power. The weekly hopes that this time, Brussels and EU member states will respond correctly, unlike in the past when they continued to give in to the likes of Hungarian PM Orban.

"Even though it seems that the non-paper about Slovenia's view of the future of Bosnia-Herzegovina still has not been found... everything is clear. Foreign Minister Anže Logar admitted an alliance had emerged between Zagreb, Belgrade and Ljubljana," writes Mladina's editor-in-chief Grega Repovž.

Leaders of the three countries are clearly talking about the future of Bosnia, but without representatives of the country itself, the weekly says, illustrating Croatia's and Serbia's interests in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

"But the bigger picture is more important." Bulgaria, Cyprus and Greece, all Orthodox countries, have also joined the initiative. "And above all Hungary. So what is Ljubljana doing in this company?"

There is a clear plan behind all of this: a way to set up an illiberal European alliance. Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban and the circle he built around himself are laying a trap for the EU by creating the threat of instability in the Balkans.

Mladina speculates under the headline Trap that Russian President Vladimir Putin is likely behind this. "This is an alliance of interests, not of political love." But the interests are not geo-strategic, Putin wants power to put pressure on and destabilise Europe, just like Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been doing, using Syria.

However, the EU has not yet come to realise truly how dangerous a politician Slovenia's Prime Minister Janez Janša is. Nobody is truly worried about Slovenia's upcoming EU presidency, they still believe that he can be reckoned with, that he can be controlled. "How willingly do European politicians repeat this mistake!"

But Janša is no longer a lone rider from a small country, he is a part of a bigger game now. Owing to his political debt toward Orban, he will likely be the one through whom the game will be played out in the coming months, a game that can end poorly for the EU.

In the past, the EU has bought peace from such problems and politicians with money, only allowing them to grow stronger. Now, they are using Bosnia-Herzegovina to lay a trap for the EU, not to destroy it but to benefit from it - to get money and have peace while they undermine democracy in their countries. Bosnia is only a victim in this game.

The weekly hopes that this creation of instability in the Balkans will be a wake-up call for Europe.

"They should think back to what Erdogan did to European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen when she visited last week. He did it because he could. Next time such a demonstration of power can happen to her in Europe," the paper says in reference to a situation when von der Leyen was left without a chair in a meeting.

Reporter: DeSUS Has Nothing to Offer Rebel MPs

STA, 12 April - The right-wing magazine Reporter reflects on the latest row between the leadership of the Pensioners' Party (DeSUS) and its rebel MPs, finding the party has nothing left to offer to the MPs.

Under the headline Fight, the weekly says Franc Jurša, the head of the DeSUS deputy faction, is right in a way when he says he does not deserve to be spanked with a stick after interim party leader Brigita Čokl raised her voice against misbehaving MPs.

"His and the conduct of other DeSUS MPs [...] is not mischievous. The mature men know well what they are doing and are not ignoring the party or making it problems out of mischief [...].

"The party has got nothing left to offer to the trio who are determined to survive the remaining year and a few months in parliament and then leave active politics. Voting along the opposition's lines could lead to a snap election, something DeSUS MPs are not ready for as they are not planning to retire before 2022."

The paper goes on to say that the ruling coalition too is trying to discipline DeSUS MPs, noting that Jurša has been accused of 'betraying' the coalition in its attempt to replace Igor Zorčič with Jožef Horvat as the National Assembly speaker, allegedly because Jurša and Horvat dislike each other.

"Consequently there appeared a bizarre allegation that Igor Zorčič would come to put DeSUS in order and take over the party. Why would a politician who quit one dying party, defect to another is not clear to anyone, not least to Zorčič."

The paper does not know how seriously Jurša took the story about Zorčič's arrival, but does know that Jožef Horvat did take the rumour of the dislike between him and Jurša seriously enough to tell several media last week that him and Jurša are not at odds. "And I also get along well with Hungarian MP Ferenc Horvath, Horvat underscored although he was not even asked about that."

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