STA, 7 October 2021 - The centre-left opposition boycotted Thursday's parliamentary plenary session where MPs were presented budget documents for the next two years, protesting against the government and calling on Prime Minister Janez Janša to step down. Janša said the reasons for the boycott were unconvincing.
The walk-out is one of the ways in a democratic society to protest against the government and the prime minister, "who is violating the rule of law and tarnishing Slovenia's reputation abroad", said Brane Golubović, the head of the deputy group of the Marjan Šarec List (LMŠ).
He highlighted that the opposition would boycott the address by Janša, who, he said, had been flouting the law for a year and a half and using the epidemic to undermine democratic norms. "We will not be at the session; we will use a democratic tool to show our disagreement with the destruction of our country," Golubović said.
The Social Democrats (SD) agree that the current situation in the country is unprecedented, which raises concerns and is also very dangerous as seen in recent days.
There is a sense of fear and great disappointment among the people "behind the barricades", said SD deputy group head Matjaž Han, adding that the responsibility for this lied largely with the Janša government and the calculating individuals and parties that support it.
The Left also believes that the government no longer has any legitimacy and should resign. Left's Matej T. Vatovec accused the government of being able to govern only by force and violence.
This, he said, was also evident during the Tuesday rally, which coincided with the EU-Western Balkans summit, when the government "hosted foreign guests and fumigated its own people". Vatovec pointed out that the government was taking it out on various institutions and media, highlighting the case of the Slovenian Press Agency (STA).
The Alenka Bratušek Party's (SAB) Maša Kociper also warned about the financial draining of the STA, noting that the agency has been providing public service without payment for 280 days even though the government was required to fund the agency as stated by the law and the Supreme Court's opinion.
Janša, she said, does not want to hear what the opposition has been telling him for a very long time, nor does he listen to people "who are not satisfied with the direction our country and our democracy are taking".
Janša said a boycott was one of the instruments at the opposition's disposal, but added the reasons for the boycott were "unconvincing" and occurred "before you even hear the frameworks against which you are protesting".
As for the call that he should step down, Janša said he was being called upon to resign "because we have good macroeconomic data".