Ljubljana related

10 Apr 2021, 12:50 PM

The covers and editorials from leading weeklies of the Left and Right for the work-week ending Friday, 9 April 2021. All our stories about coronavirus and Slovenia are here

Mladina: Mantra about society being polarised is plain lie

STA, 9 April 2021 - Mladina says in its latest editorial that leading politicians talking about the nation being divided and society being polarised is a "plain lie" and that its purpose is to create a false narrative about the support for the current government coalition.

The left-leaning weekly adds that this is confirmed neither by election results nor public opinion polls conducted since 2008, saying that "Slovenia is not politically divided into two equal parts" as this is a "plain populist lie."

Appearances and statements by governing politicians clearly show how important it is for them to repeat the theory that society is divided and polarised - this way they show that the public support they receive themselves is much higher than the actual support for their parties and policies.

"In all elections since 2004 ... a majority has been won by parties that declared themselves as clear opponents of the Democrats (SDS)," Mladina adds under the headline A Simple, but Big Lie.

The same is being confirmed by public opinion polls: the SDS and its satellites never get more than a third of overall support, and parties that break their promise of not cooperating with the SDS practically always lose public support immediately.

As for government support, the situation is similar - at this point Slovenia is not polarised, but it could be said that it is almost united: a vast majority is against the government led by Janez Janša and his SDS party.

"What polarisation is President Borut Pahor, an open supporter of the SDS, talking about then when he says that society is divided and polarised?" Mladina wonders, adding that by doing that, Pahor is fictitiously inflating public support for Janša and his government.

Of course, Janša is the one who talks the most about society being divided and polarised, but this theory is also repeated by all members of the government and Janša's satellites, as well as analysts who make public appearances as allegedly unbiased observers.

This is simply a lie as the "public has not been as politically unified as today for quite a while - since 2014. It is united in the conviction that it does not support these arrogant and autocratic authorities or government."

Demokracija: Fact checking to defeat media lies

STA, 8 April 2021 - Demokracija says in its latest commentary that opinions about the state of freedom of the press in Slovenia should be based on checkable facts and adds that people are getting aware that what they used to consider as mainstream, credible and influential media are not that anymore.

The right-wing weekly notes that in the State Department report about the media in Slovenia, the "only opinion by the Americans of their own is that the [Janez] Janša government respects media freedom and that there are no political pressures."

It adds that truth is a very practical challenge: it is based on checkable facts, and facts are undoubtedly on the side of the government, with two things being encouraging.

The first is that the government does not want to be likeable to the mainstream media and be apologetic when it is criticised or accused of something. "Naive people who would let the media guide them like controlled idiots no longer sit in the government palace."

Demokracija adds that the illusion that the established (progressive) media have influence on political decision has been lost with the third government of Janez Janša, which is a huge blow for their egos, as they imagined that they would be running the country regardless of who is in power.

"The second thing that is encouraging is that people are getting gradually aware that those what they used to consider as 'mainstream', 'credible' and 'influential' media are not any of that anymore."

They used to power the "motor of the Slovenian version of the lying cultural Marxism" with hatred towards Janša, the weekly says, expressing the hope that such media subversion is ending.

"Facts can now be checked on the internet, and fact-checking is the best way for truth to defeat lies," concludes the commentary headlined What Gender the Martians Are?

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27 Mar 2021, 11:26 AM

The covers and editorials from leading weeklies of the Left and Right for the work-week ending Friday, 26 March 2021. All our stories about coronavirus and Slovenia are here

Mladina: Govt increasingly relying on repressive apparatus

STA, 26 March 2021 - Mladina says in its latest commentary that, as ever more people are losing trust in the government, the latter is increasingly relying on the repressive apparatus in exercising its power, adding that, in terms of repressiveness, Janez Janša has exceeded "his role model from Budapest" Viktor Orban.

"Life in Slovenia may become dangerous for many people in the coming months. And we are serious about the word 'dangerous'", the left-leaning weekly says in the commentary headlined Dangerous Times.

On behalf of the Democrats (SDS), Interior Minister Aleš Hojs continues to install political staff in all senior positions in the police, with one of the purposes being to intimidate police officers into shelving certain cases.

"The second reason is worse. It is a clear intention to use the police for political purposes," Mladina says, noting that the government adopted a decision last week that the police investigate Slovenian Press Agency (STA) director Bojan Veselinovič.

It has meanwhile been reported this week that criminal investigation has also been launched against Court of Audit president Tomaž Vesel, and the goal is the same - to make him nervous, to make him stop auditing their work, to step down, or at least withdraw from public.

"Against the disobedient and those who do not agree with it or are not willing to be subjugated to it, the government is using the repressive apparatus, i.e. the police," the weekly says, adding that this is not surprising at all.

Slovenia has arrived to a point where comparisons with Hungary are no longer appropriate, as "Janša has surpassed his role model from Budapest. There are realistic reasons for this: if Orban is convincing for the majority of Hungarians, for Slovenians Janša is not."

Actually, in selecting his methods, Janša is becoming increasingly similar to Vladimir Putin, Mladina says, concluding: "It is unbelievable what is happening in Slovenia. Reality has become worse than a nightmare."

Demokracija: Judiciary should be overhauled

STA, 25 March 2021 - You don't exactly have to be Einstein to see through the deep state's plan to undermine Janez Janša as legitimately and legally elected PM and harm him with a show trial when Slovenia presides the EU in the second half of 2021 and affect the outcome of the 2022 super-election year, Demokracija says in its editorial on Thursday.

The weekly affiliated with the ruling SDS comments on what is known as the Trenta case, which revolves around a piece of land in the Trenta Valley Janša bought in 1992 and sold in 2005 for nearly nine times the price he paid, and for which an indictment against him was filed last year over abuse of office.

The magazine recalls the Patria case, "a witch hunt which the deep state dragged over a period of three elections and thus indirectly influenced the election result, while nobody was held responsible for their base doings and Janša's unfair judgement, for which he spent 176 days in jail".

It says it the Patria case was an obvious fabrication and a political trial directed against SDS leader Janša, while those who are still able to think critically recognise the same pattern in the Trenta case, which Demokracija says could amount to another election fraud.

"If the indictment in the Patria case was absurd, the one in the Trenta case is also bizarre," the editorial runs, adding that in a free and democratic world buying a property and later selling it at a profit would be a normal transaction worthy of no attention, let alone of the prosecution getting interested in it.

"But if you are Janez Janša, enemy No.1 of the deep state, the case is dragging on only to end with an indictment - because you sold the property at a higher price than you bought it (true crime, right?) and you were prime minister when selling it. So you have automatically abused office."

Demokracija says that "suitable" judges have been engaged in Trenta proceedings to make sure that the unjustified criminal procedure continues, adding that "the deep state has woven a tapestry of abuse of power and fraud while its monstrous octopus is after all who dare oppose it".

"This is no conspiracy theory as the media mainstream would like to picture it. It is heavily materialised organised crime, the implementation of ideas of Antonio Gramsci and Saul Alinsky how to come to power and rule past democratic procedures and institutions."

The two-tier justice system where everything is safety packed as "independent" must be reformed, because it could grind anyone. "Just think how the deep state sent Janša, the leader of the largest political party and a public figure, to prison on the back of a judicial construct before your eyes."

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14 Mar 2021, 12:32 PM

The covers and editorials from leading weeklies of the Left and Right for the work-week ending Friday, 12 March 2021. All our stories about coronavirus and Slovenia are here

Mladina: Four liberal centrist parties should merge

STA, 12 March 2021 - Mladina says in its latest commentary that a new party would perhaps not be able to beat the ruling Democrats (SDS) in the next election and proposes instead that a party that would merge the existing four liberal centrist parties might be the answer. But this also opens up a series of questions.

The left-leaning weekly notes under the headline New Old Party that establishing a completely new party that would bet on its purity means recruitment of political novices who have never performed this complex profession.

This is what economist Jože P. Damijan, who initiated the informal Constitutional Arch Coalition (KUL), is aware of. He knows that a party that bears a person's name is able to "seriously dance for one election only."

Mladina also argues that voters have grown tired of the concept of new, "pure parties", and that, if someone other than the Social Democrats (SD) and Left wanted to seriously challenge the SDS, they would need to offer much more than 88 candidate names.

"Standing on the other side is the SDS party machine, which has a strong people and media network, and a lot of money. In 2022 (if the election is held on the scheduled date), this machine will be even stronger."

This calls for an attempt for a merger of the Marjan Šarec List (LMŠ), Alenka Bratušek Party (SAB), Pensioners' Party (DeSUS) and perhaps the Modern Centre Party (SMC), but this, of course, opens up many questions.

"Are Alenka Bratušek and Marjan Šarec ready to withdraw from party president posts and find a shared, powerful party leader? Is the SMC able to make a turnaround before the election and give up on the current leadership?

"Is DeSUS capable of realising that they may survive only with the merger? Are all of them together capable of finding a leader, a serious independent person?"

The four weak parties would become a strong force, and voters are actually looking for a liberal conservative political party. All these parties are advocating similar economic and political viewpoints anyway, Mladina says.

The SD and Left would also breathe more easily if liberals became what they actually are, and perhaps the moment is right. It seems that everybody in that part of the political spectrum started realising that there is not much time left.

Demokracija: EU should focus on vaccines, not Slovenian media

STA, 11 March 2021 - Demokracija says in its latest commentary that instead of dealing with vaccination, the field in which it has utterly failed, the European Commission is "saving democracy and freedom of the press" in Poland, Hungary and Slovenia. It adds that the final goal is elimination of the natural reality.

"The EU has failed an exam again. This is logical, as its priorities are elsewhere (well, the virus is not going anywhere): saving democracy and freedom of the press in Poland and Hungary and, as of recently, in Slovenia."

Under the headline Treasonous Elites, the right-wing weekly adds that displaying Slovenia as an "oasis of evil" is not a mirage, as the drive of the progressive MEPs (with help from media "experts") is a result of pure malice.

It argues that the purpose of this propaganda is to demonise the centre-right Slovenian government by means of manipulation and lies that have been circulated for years by the "independent" media.

According to Demokracija, the final objective is elimination of the natural reality, with the Slovenian, Hungarian and Polish prime ministers being the last ones who stand in the way.

"The Brussels elites want to replace it with a new world without roots. The price of globalisation is identity suicide, and elimination of sovereignty of individual countries is just a stage in the implementation of the sick objectives of the corrupt international bandits. This game is really dangerous."

The analysts who criticise the Slovenian government's attitude to the media are merely "useful idiots" who in the name of democracy, freedom and humanism participate in the destruction of everything that is traditional, the commentary concludes.

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06 Mar 2021, 12:08 PM

The covers and editorials from leading weeklies of the Left and Right for the work-week ending Friday, 5 March 2021. All our stories about coronavirus and Slovenia are here

Mladina: Slovenian media not leftist

STA, 5 March 2021 - The left-wing weekly Mladina rejects the allegation that Slovenian media have left bias, arguing in Friday's commentary that the opposite is in fact true: the majority of Slovenian media are conservative and promulgate economic liberalism.

In the commentary On Media Bias, Mladina takes the example of both leading TV stations, public broadcaster RTV Slovenija and private broadcaster POP TV, which it says are "economically not just liberal but mostly neo-liberal," rarely giving leftist ideas airtime.

"Both stations advocate low taxes, and businessmen are the principal interlocutors when it comes to assessing the effectiveness and quality of the state administration. Speaking against the capitalism order is near blasphemy."

The commentator argues that Slovenia in fact has just one properly leftist party in parliament, the Left, which is "despised and denigrated by the majority of Slovenian journalists and editors".

"The Slovenian media industry is far from leftist. If one compares them to German media, the majority of Slovenian media would place in the conservative camp - and even the magazine you are holding would be more centrist than leftist in Germany."

The commentator also says it is not true Slovenian media are friendlier to "so-called left parties" and their leaders, they are just as ruthless to them as they are to Prime Minister Janez Janša and his SDS, and not just when left parties are in government.

The SDS's fishy dealings and Janša's odd statements appear in media reports so often not because of alleged media bias, but because of the simple fact that "Janša and the SDS are connected to so many inadmissible actions, suspicious transactions and instances of questionable conduct that this is of course news for the majority of the media".

"It is possible to criticise Slovenian media for many things. But if Janša was treated as uncompromisingly as they treat the other politicians, the majority of present-day youngsters would only know the name Janez Janša from the history of independence because he would have been long gone from Slovenian politics."

Demokracija: Janša’s invitation to EU fact-finding mission

STA, 3 March 2021 - The right-wing magazine Demokracija welcomes Prime Minister Janez Janša's invitation for the European Commission to send a fact-finding mission to Slovenia in the latest editorial, expecting it will put the record straight and show how biased Slovenian media are.

The weekly says Janša's letter to European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen for Brussels representatives to come to Slovenia to see the state of the rule of law, democracy and media freedom themselves brought an expression of concern on the faces of the left wing.

"The media mainstream reported that the Commission president rejected the possibility of a visit by a special group. In their view this is her brush-off to the Slovenian PM. Well, it is a poor consolation. It was merely a clear message that in writing reports about Slovenia the Brussels bureaucracy will take into account not just what it is being sold by the prevailing media, NGOs, 'academics' and left political parties (including at the EU level), but will also listen carefully to right-wing government structures.

"And it was a word of caution to European Commission Vice-President Vera Jourova (who has been leading an outright campaign against the government over alleged violation of media freedom), to take that into consideration. This is one of the reasons we were able to read dramatic writings at the weekend about 'Brussels' interference as a double-edged sword' [...]"

The weekly finds that Janša's letter has achieved its purpose. "The parasites have come out in the open at last. It is clear they do not want a disclosure (when talking about the media) of the dirty details, incestuous links and ideologically coordinated attacks that have led to a completely distorted media landscape that has been teaching the audience what to think rather that give it an opportunity to think based on unbiased and credible information.

"More than 80% of the media structure in Slovenia is of the left world view, the ideological competition is being under attack all the time and the prevailing concept in the media is political correctness and liberal democracy as the only redeeming and allowed ideology," writes the weekly under the headline Parmenides' Chariot.

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27 Feb 2021, 08:57 AM

The covers and editorials from leading weeklies of the Left and Right for the work-week ending Friday, 26 February 2021. All our stories about coronavirus and Slovenia are here

Mladina: Good Reasons for an Independence Museum

STA, 26 February 2021 - The left-leaning Mladina magazine says in its latest editorial that the idea of the Janez Janša government to establish a museum of Slovenian independence should be supported simply because it should be clearly explained that persons who later became alleged great democrats had used to try their luck first in the Communist Party.

"But this is only the first reason why the establishment of the new museum needs to be supported. The main reasons are hiding in the present time," the left-leaning weekly adds under the headline For Museum of Independence.

It argues that if Janša and his political supporters so persistently build on their actual and also alleged credits for independence and democratisation of Slovenia, it is time indeed to get the space where everything would be explained in detail.

Construction should start during their time in power, and the "next, normal authorities need to make the commitment that they will conclude this project, only that it will hand it over to actual and true historians."

Mladina argues that the timeline in the museum should end in the present time, with the departure of the last communist from power, noting that there were currently two such persons - President Borut Pahor and Prime Minister Janez Janša.

The weekly says that both have remained Communist Party members in their soul and that it is thus right for them to get their place in the museum.

"They have a common episode that should get a special, dark corridor in the museum," it says in reference to the erased, the thousands of nationals of the former Yugoslavia who were unlawfully deleted from the country's permanent resident registry.

Mladina adds that children should also learn about all the other stories, "from the one about Janša sending [dissident] Jože Pučnik to history to arms trade ... yes, this is the history of Slovenia's independence efforts".

This circle that Slovenia has completed in the 30 years deserves a museum. "And Janša is right: he deserves a special place in it. As a warning to the future generations," concludes the commentary.

Demokracija: The Left that Instigates Hatred

STA, 25 February 2021 - A journalist from Politico reproached Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Janša for waging a war on and expressing hatred towards the media, but the truth is diametrically opposite - it is the media inclined to the left that instigate hatred and war against the centre-right government, the right-leaning Demokracija says in its latest commentary.

The right-leaning weekly says that when Janša fired back at the journalist, a well-organised globalist journalist group that "lives in a world of hatred towards everything that does not correspond to their beliefs" immediately responded.

The wrath expressed against Janša, who "dared respond to the lies and manipulations written by Lili Bayer" is the latest textbook example, Demokracija adds under the headline Coachmen of Fake Justice.

"Those who follow what is going on beyond borders at least a little bit have noticed that the agenda of the leftist avant-garde is the same everywhere. What is not on their side of the value system is fascism, racism, xenophobia and hatred."

It was naive to expect that generation X, which had been brainwashed by the baby boom generation and which today holds major positions in the media, education, public administration and governments, will be tolerant to those who think differently.

"Instead, a generation has grown of terrifying people who lean towards totalitarianism, and who have established the foundation of the system with the wish to replace the ancient, traditional ideas and and laws."

Demokracija cannot believe that the competitive battle of viewpoints is dying out and how easily some people accept the religion of single-mindedness as the latest trend, as the only legitimate direction.

"How quickly completely ordinary people joined the madness and become snitches who help repress different opinions, only to suck up to the fake icons of justice. The latter, believe me, are taking the coach and the horse into the abyss."

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20 Feb 2021, 11:34 AM

The covers and editorials from leading weeklies of the Left and Right for the work-week ending Friday, 18 February 2021. All our stories about coronavirus and Slovenia are here

Mladina: SMC and DeSUS MPs like Nazi collaborators

STA, 19 February 2021 - The left-wing magazine Mladina compares the Modern Centre Party (SMC) and DeSUS MPs following their decision not to vote out the Janez Janša government to Nazi collaborators in the editorial headlined We're All Lili Bayer.

Noting the vote and Janša's attack on the author of a Politico article about Janša's campaign against Slovenian media, the weekly writes that by supporting the government in Monday's vote the SMC assumed full responsibility for his and the government's actions.

It accuses the party of being "involved in the demolition of the rule of law, of putting up with political blockade of prosecutor appointments and actively supporting the government's interference in the media" through its representative who was appointed to head RTV Slovenija.

"Janša's attack on the journalist Lili Bayer has not gone unnoticed. Janša has now got their support and he feels strong [...] The SMC has thus assumed full responsibility for demolition of the Slovenian cultural space, Janša's attacks on media and the rule of law, for violence against citizens on the streets [...]. After Janša's attack on Lili Bayer no one in Europe no longer needs to be explained this government's attitude to the media."

The weekly asserts that like collaborators throughout Europe hoped ardently until the very last that the Nazi Germany would not lose the war, so are the SMC and DeSUS hoping that the economy would do well and people would forget and the government would not lose the election.

However, Mladina does not expect this will happen asserting that "the candies" they are distributing are ineffective.

It repeats that Slovenia's coronavirus record is one of the poorest in Europe, which it says is also because unlike elsewhere in Europe, Slovenia does not have border checks to prevent the import of coronavirus, while people are being fined for expressing their political views in front of the parliament building.

"It would be hard to find a more obvious proof that a large part of the ostensibly anti-epidemic measures is but an abuse of the epidemic for political purposes," something the paper says is also subject of questions from representatives of EU countries and institutions, who it says are worried that a man who attacked Bayer in such a crude way should represent the EU in the second half of the year.

Demokracija: Left's actions taking Slovenia to dark place

STA, 18 February 2021 - Monday's vote of no-confidence was yet another hallucination of the leftist parties, proving that they only know how to create the unnecessary, the right-wing Demokacija magazine says on Thursday. The proposal to oust the Janez Janša government was "completely superfluous" and a result of the left's obsession with and hate of Janša.

The left has not been successful at anything even if leftist activists and the entire mainstream media have provided it with more fuel than a Boeing 747 could take.

"That's why it ended as it did: with their 'ace' Karl Erjavec and a destructive parliamentary farce, Marjan Šarec, Luka Mesec, Tanja Fajon and Alenka Bratušek have turned into an exhibition item of a failed show," the right-wing weekly says under the headline Exhibition Item of Failed Show.

Although nobody denies the leftist opposition the right to file one no-confidence motion after another, it is hard to persuade it it is wrong.

Infatuated with its own truth, it does not acknowledge reality, including that the KUL coalition was never even close to the magic 46 votes needed to topple the centre-right government.

Demokracija believes Monday's vote was just one in a series of destructive acts that are to follow, including street violence by self-styled civil society activists.

"Dear leaders of the left opposition, you are full of talk about democracy and freedom, constantly stressing dialogue, often saying you want to talk. But do you?"

The leader of the centre-right government coalition has invited you to cooperation on a number of occasions, but you have turned him down with a policy of exclusion."

The weekly wonders with whom the left would be willing to talk. It says having two ideologically different sides is good, or else we would have closed-mindedness.

It accuses the left of demonising conservativism because it is bothered by views different than its own.

"Your demonisation of everything that might smell of conservativism shamefully assumes that some are less human, that they do not have the right to be different, that they must never come to power even if they have won the election."

It thus blames the left for death calls appearing in the streets and on social media, and on the facades of churches and of the homes of "wrong" MPs, as well as for "peaceful" protesters going wild and for the spread of the coronavirus.

The magazine says it is high time for the left opposition to stop being mean. "Continuing what you do can take Slovenia to a very dark place."

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13 Feb 2021, 14:15 PM

The covers and editorials from leading weeklies of the Left and Right for the work-week ending Friday, 12 February 2021. All our stories about coronavirus and Slovenia are here

Mladina: No-confidence vote last chance for opposition

STA, 12 February 2021 - Monday's vote of no confidence in the government of Janez Janša is the last chance to unseat the government, the left-wing weekly Mladina argues in Friday's editorial, noting that the motion is likely to fail but would determine who is on the right side of history.

The paper says this is the only chance for the opposition to risk failure - but it will be the moral winner in the eyes of the public regardless of the outcome.

"Every MP who votes in favour will automatically be on the right side of history. Yes, Monday will bring a tally of those in favour of democracy, and those in favour of Slovenia's Organisation," the leftist weekly says in The Illusion that the Next Attempt Is Possible.

According to Mladina, it will be a bitter moment when deputies of the coalition SMC and opposition DeSUS vote in favour of the government. "It will be bitter for them: the moment the vote is over, they will have taken upon themselves historical responsibility for Janša's past and, even more importantly, future actions."

"The very next day Janša will leverage this 'trust' to strengthen his grip on power and assault society even more brutally. And the votes for all these actions, a blank check, will have come from MPs of two parties which he has manipulated all along."

The opposition, however, cannot lose on Monday because the vote is simple: it is about what kind of country the people want to live in.

"If the motion is unsuccessful, the opposition will have a single goal: getting ready for the election. Just like Janša. DeSUS and SMC, however, will immediately remain without the trump cards that they are currently using in their game with Janša. The very next day, he will not even give the two parties a second thought."

Reporter: Janša wrong to silence experts

STA, 9 February 2021 - The right-wing magazine Reporter writes about the harsh but apparently ineffective coronavirus restrictions in Slovenia in the latest editorial headlined Five Minutes of Truth, saying the truth was delivered last week by the country's chief epidemiologist, Mario Fafangel.

The weekly notes that Croatia has almost defeated the epidemic without the harsh coronavirus restrictions and fines seen in Slovenia, where it took three months before coronavirus began to decline.

Fafangel said epidemiologists had proposed several times the reopening of primary schools up to year 5, they also proposed lifting the ban on movement outside municipality and region of residence. He also opined there was no need for a curfew.

"His comments must have upset Prime Minister Janez Janša, who has emphasised that Dr Fafangel is the acting head of the Centre for Communicable Diseases at the National Institute of Public Health (is this a threat that he won't be much longer?) and added that there are other experts in the advisory group and that opinions differ.

"Which experts have different opinions he did not say, and they have not themselves because the government or its communication office banned them from giving statements to the media," writes the weekly.

"It is unbelievable indeed, the prime minister disregards the experts' opinion and is silencing them, citizens are under a curfew and shut in their municipalities, while the parents who are protesting with their children against school closures, are getting police knocking on their door to be handed EUR 800 fine notices."

The paper remembers protesters who in 2014 rallied in front of the Ljubljana court house in protest against Janša's imprisonment in the Patria case. "The rallies were equally unlawful but none of the protesters received a fine. Today, under his power, people are punished for protesting against (unlawful) school closures."

All our posts in this series are here

07 Feb 2021, 11:44 AM

The covers and editorials from leading weeklies of the Left and Right for the work-week ending Friday, 5 February 2021. All our stories about coronavirus and Slovenia are here

Mladina: Janša getting ready for snap election

STA, 5 February 2021 - The left-wing weekly Mladina says in its latest editorial that Prime Minister Janez Janša has been gearing up for a snap election for a while by deliberately weakening the Pensioners' Party (DeSUS) and the Modern Centre Party (SMC) so that he can hold them in his grip.

According to unofficial information, Janša threatened the SMC at Wednesday's coalition meeting with election. Allegedly, he said that if SMC MPs did not vote for a government proposal on public agencies he would initiate a snap election.

Janša has made it clear in many ways that he is prepared for an election: he has initiated the coalition Unite Slovenia, he has amendments to the election law ready, and the Democrats (SDS) have their lists of local candidates almost ready according to local sources, Mladina says.

"And what is the craziest of it all? That the SMC do not get that at some point Janša will indeed trigger an election. And not only that: that Janša knows that at that point they will be left all alone and without support."

Janša has been making sure all along that the SMC and DeSUS will not be able to recover after their political U-turn.

"We all remember how he and [former government Covid-19 spokesman Jelko] Kacin used to humiliate DeSUS minister Tomaž Gantar day after day. Just as it seemed the public trusts him, he got at least one political slap in the face every week.

"And what is Janša doing to the education minister, Simona Kustec, an SMC member? He humiliates her every week. Honestly, every week. He annuls her every move thus making a fool of her."

But just as DeSUS MPs do not understand that the arrows flying towards Gantar were intended for them because Janša wants them to be as weak as possible, the SMC does not understand that by humiliating Kustec, Janša is humiliating the entire SMC.

SMC president Zdravko Počivalšek does not see how cleverly he is being manipulated by Janša only to be left high and dry in the end. "That's simply what Janša does to 'friends'. After all it's what he also did to [former SDS leader] Jože Pučnik," says Mladina under the headline Violent Rule.

Demokracija: Criticism of university enrolment approval delay unreasonable

STA, 4 February 2021 - The right-wing weekly Demokracija comments on Thursday on the criticism with which the delay in approving university enrolment figures for the next academic year was met. "The toxic arrows" aimed at the government are completely unreasonable, it says.

The reaction by privileged sub-systems in the swamp of cultural Marxism to the government's action was fierce, with the main argument being that the government was now interfering in matters that were a mere formality so far.

"Yes, my dears, this is the problem, this mere 'formality' of approving something nobody in the country needs, approving something that only serves an ideological course created by the consecrated: creating a mass of humanities majors to lecture about social fairness. But nobody comes to think that sooner or later we will run out of those earning money with their hands."

The magazine says that "intellectual and academic terrorism" had been controlling the education system for far too long.

The current state of affairs with humanities offering 39% of new study places, while there are 2 percentage points fewer places to study technology, IT and natural sciences, does not reflect reality, the weekly says under the headline Planes Don't Land Here Anymore.

This only causes the need to create new jobs for the unemployables, mostly in the public sector, while the country needs to lure in engineers and doctors from abroad.

All our posts in this series are here

23 Jan 2021, 14:10 PM

The covers and editorials from leading weeklies of the Left and Right for the work-week ending Friday, 22 January 2021. All our stories about coronavirus and Slovenia are here

Mladina: Most interest groups find govt to their liking

STA, 22 January 2021 - The left-wing weekly Mladina says in its latest editorial that political scandals in Slovenia no longer have an epilogue in the form of political consequences. It is naive to expect a smooth path towards bringing down the Janez Janša government as capital and private interest groups thrive under it.

Mladina recalls what was the main reason for the fall of the previous coalition - a bill to abolish top-up health insurance, the first serious attempt in years to cut off an inflow of public funds for insurers.

What followed was like "a bad film about corruption". One by one, senior officials opposed the proposal as well as half of the then coalition parties. "Lobbying action by health insurance companies was (again) successful."

That is why it took so long for the current opposition parties to mend their relations, says Mladina, highlighting the role ties between parties and capital interest groups play in political developments.

Those groups also paved the way for the Janša government. Since it assumed office a number of scandals have revealed that persons or companies close to the government have benefited from public funds.

"We don't claim that such incidents were not part of previous governments. On the contrary, of course they were, however revelations were followed by political consequences. Today politicians don't even care anymore that they have been caught doing such things."

Mladina says that the public has not been desensitised to such conduct with extremely low government ratings and support for coalition parties reflecting that. All this will affect the future course of Slovenian politics since even fewer people with at least basic ethical principles will enter politics due to its bad reputation.

Voter turnout will be affected as well and interest groups will be even stronger. "By the way, just to mention something - last year, insurers charged the same top up insurance premiums for all the months, even though the insured had access to considerably fewer services due to the epidemic than they would in a typical year."

Most of these interest groups find it much easier to find common ground with the current government when it comes to channelling public funds. The ruling Democrats (SDS) is a party that behaves as a company in the political arena, says Mladina, noting that all the interest groups are aware of that.

Regarding the motion of no confidence in the government, the weekly thinks a chance it succeeds is slim, however the editorial, headlined End of Halftime, concludes that only a month ago, the opposition had 39 votes and now it numbers 42.

Demokracija: The Left, freedom and the state

STA, 21 January 2021 - The right-wing magazine Demokracija berates the left in discussing its view of the role of the state in society in the latest editorial, asserting that the same people that would repress freedom under normal circumstances demand absolute freedom in a state of emergency.

The piece headlined Living (Through) Leviathan notes that in the book with the same title Thomas Hobbes argued for a rule by an absolute sovereign with the argument that human nature was bad and weak, while states in the Christian civilisation were limited, following the belief that man is in principle a good and rational being who can take decisions and is personally responsible for them.

"Social experiments turned the situation upside down. The basic premise became that man was in fact bad so he had to have limits set and every individual should be taken as a potential criminal. Under such conditions human nature changed too. People suddenly started giving up to the state care for their health, old age [...]

"The left is the loudest in its demands that the state should take care of everything. Every step the incumbent centre-right government makes back to what is natural is labelled as sabotage of democracy."

As two examples the weekly offers the proposal that people should decide themselves which NGO they want to allocate part of their income tax to, and the freedom of speech and the tech giant's decision to close down social network profiles.

"It is interesting how the left started to invoke private property. The same property they had despised until yesterday. Or movement restrictions at the time of the Chinese virus. All of a sudden, the left demands absolute freedom of movement, every measure of the Janša government is termed as a new stone paving the way to totalitarianism. This from people who forced citizens for decades to be dependent on the state, stole their freedom [...].

"During the time of the Spanish flu, stringent restrictions and the wearing of masks proved the most efficient measures. Even though people were much more free than today (and consequently more responsible) they stuck to the measures.

"Today, the very people who would suppress freedom in normal circumstances, want absolute freedom in a state of emergency. Without assuming responsibility for their harmful conduct, they have been trying to bring down a legitimate government for months and want to put in the executive people who did not even stand in the latest election or failed to make it through the election sieve."

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16 Jan 2021, 13:30 PM

The covers and editorials from leading weeklies of the Left and Right for the work-week ending Friday, 15 January 2021. All our stories about coronavirus and Slovenia are here

Mladina: Slovenia's future in hands of SMC MPs

STA, 15 January 2021 - The left-wing magazine Mladina appears to be appealing to the conscience of the Modern Centre Party's (SMC) MPs ahead of a potential vote of confidence in the government in the latest editorial. The weekly also finds the release of police pay data is an act of revenge and anger.

Under the headline Decision Week, Mladina writes that Interior Minister Aleš Hojs released the names and pay data of Interior Ministry employees in revenge for part of the police going on strike. However, it also says that the data released make it obvious why the minister was so angry.

"The salaries are irregularly high indeed. Police officers are indeed getting highs bonuses from this government - not based on collective bargaining but based on the government's or the minister's arbitrary decision.

"To put it bluntly: the government has been buying their loyalty with bonuses. That is why Hojs was so angry, because it was his firm belief he has the police on his side, that he has got them on his side with all the bonuses given to them by the government."

The paper says it all goes to show how this government is operating, that the solutions are political and follow the logic that those who are on our side will be rewarded, and those who are against will be punished, a pattern that can be found elsewhere, including in the case of the STA.

Ahead of a potential vote of no confidence in the government next week, the weekly says the decision of Slovenia's future is in the hands of SMC MPs.

"When the SMC joined the Janez Janša government, they pledged to act as a corrective to prevent Slovenia from straying from its democratic path. They did not succeed in that, on the contrary, all gloomy premonitions have come true.

"The police force is beheaded, culture mangled, media that those in power could not reach are under continuous pressure, criticism is not allowed [...], public institutions are witnessing ideological purges, the battle against the epidemic has failed [...]," writes Mladina.

Demokracija: Upbringing benefited by remote schooling

Ljubljana, 14 January 2021 - The right-wing magazine Demokracija writes about the historical trend of political correctness or a "new normal" in the latest editorial, asserting that the spread of this "ideological poison" in Slovenia has been hampered due to the centre-right government and the "Chinese virus", offering distance learning as an example.

Under the headline New Normal, the weekly quotes Archbishop of Krakow Marek Jedraszewski in warning against the rainbow plague, born in the same spirit as the Bolshevist and Marxist plague, and against a new normal, the historial trend of political correctness.

However, the magazine says that as the flow of transmission of that "ideological virus" in Slovenia has been hampered, those disseminating the 'new normal' are "nervous knowing well things are getting out of hand".

"Remote schooling is one such example. If you listen to them well you will notice they will mention the impact on the transfer of knowledge of natural sciences from teachers to pupils only in passing, they are concerned the most about peer socialising and upbringing that is now left to the children themselves and their parents [...]

"If in school the children were forced to spend half a day in the company they did not choose themselves they are now socialising with the peers they pick themselves. Those are usually the kids their parents favour too. It means they are no longer being raised into sheep where the wolfs of the 'new normal' decide what they serve for dinner."

As the second example the magazine offers the government, saying the 'new normal' "does not foresee anything conservative in power, hence the protests (including violent protests), the search for a new PM-designate among people who in normal circumstances would not get even close to politics".

The magazine also notes the announcement by Luka Mesec, the leader of the Left, that if the vote of no confidence in the government is not successful, they will continue filing ouster motions.

In conclusion, the weekly hopes that post-coronavirus "the 'new normal' painted by political correctness will not continue its devastating march, which it is stepping up now by abolishing free internet platforms and profiles of conservative users".

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