Ljubljana related

31 Jul 2021, 09:28 AM

The covers and editorials from leading weeklies of the Left and Right for the work-week ending Friday, 30 July 2021. All our stories about coronavirus and Slovenia are here

Mladina: New right-leaning party is being formed

STA, 30 July 2021 - The left-wing weekly Mladina says in its latest editorial that Prime Minister Janez Janša is working hard for a new right-leaning party that would present itself as centrist at the next general election. It says that the most likely candidate for leading such a party is Health Minister Janez Poklukar.

Despite the appearance that a new party is to emerge on the left, much more intensive work for a new party is under way on the right end of the political spectrum, says the paper, noting that Janša will need a third coalition partner besides New Slovenia if his Democrats (SDS) win the election.

Thus Janša is looking for a person that would seem different enough from him and acceptable to less engaged voters. Someone would give the impression he is willing to overcome the left-right divide.

"Increasingly many signs suggest Janša has already found such a person. Partly by chance, and partly it was planned: this is most probably the current health minister, Janez Poklukar, whom the previous Marjan Šarec-led coalition appointed the head of the Ljubljana UKC hospital."

He has experience in business, is a leader, a man who sees the public sector as a kind of company. His rhetoric significantly differs from the rudeness of other SDS politicians.

He has quickly climbed the popularity rankings and strikes people as a trustworthy person already because he is a doctor. He seems kind, moderate, acceptable.

He is not incompetent, as he has led UKC Ljubljana well, and is working hard as health minister.

However, Poklukar seems to have not even the slightest reservation towards Janša's actions in other fields. On the contrary, he faithfully serves Janša, and seems to have no problems with his interfering with the rule of law, harassing of certain groups of the population, Hungarisation, intolerance, attacks on the civil society and media.

The creation of a new party led by Poklukar has undoubtedly been backed by private insurers that are already leading the efforts for further privatisation of the Slovenian healthcare through his legislative proposals.

Creating Poklukar's party is thus a serious project that can succeed and that Janša is dependent on. If voters are fooled, the consequences will be very serious, warns Mladina in the commentary entitled New Party.

Demokracija: EU of overreach, betrayal of ideals

STA, 29 July 2021 - Looking at EU action against Hungary over its LGBT+ law, the right-wing weekly Demokracija argues in Thursday's commentary that this is about more than Hungary. "All EU countries will be punished if they resist," the magazine says in Bukovsky Was Right.

"The declaration of 'war' on Orban is merely a test for others who are in the cross-hairs just because of their conservative world view and because they dare to preserve the segment of their sovereignty that was never transferred to Brussels elites.

"This is why they face accusations of attacking minorities (sexual, racial), 'independent' media, divergence from the rule of law and other fabricated imputations," the commentator says.

Demokracija argues that fundamental EU documents clearly state that European culture is built on Christian foundations, whereas the new member states joined the bloc predominantly for economic reasons.

"What they are doing today at the Berlaymont is usurpation of power and a betrayal of the Europe of nations that is unprecedented in the history of the old continent.

"Core EU members (whatever that may mean) are far from the ideal of democracy and freedom as seen by countries that had spent decades suffering under Communist dictatorship."

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24 Jul 2021, 10:26 AM

The covers and editorials from leading weeklies of the Left and Right for the work-week ending Friday, 23 July 2021. All our stories about coronavirus and Slovenia are here

Mladina: Preparations in light of low vaccination rate

STAv, 23 July 2021 - In its latest editorial, Mladina looks at the situation in Slovenia regarding vaccination and suggests that the vaccinated and non-vaccinated will need to learn how to co-exist. Under the headline Us, the Vaccinated and Them, the Unvaccinated, the weekly calls for preparedness and suggests alternative measures to vaccination.

"The vaccination debate has become very personal, there are feuds between partners, families and friends. The debate is so fierce that some get vaccinated in secret, while others hide their intention not to be vaccinated," begins the commentary.

Mladina continues with criticizing Slovenia's unsuccessful collective effort to achieve herd immunity, adding that the whole society, including the government, needs to accept that some people are simply not going to get vaccinated.

"We need to react not by violence, arrogance and ridiculing those who oppose vaccination, but by introducing other ways of preventing infections and establishing rules of behaviour between the vaccinated and the unvaccinated."

Mladina suggests that there should be more focus on schools and the preparations for the upcoming fourth wave of the epidemic, criticizing the government for "betting exclusively on vaccination."

The weekly says that Slovenia is ill-prepared for the next wave and the autumn, when people will return to the offices, classrooms and other indoor spaces, adding that the alternative solutions like ventilation technologies are being ignored.

"We need to be realistic and prepare in good time: we are only a month away from the start of the school year and more people staying in unventilated spaces. Two roughly equal groups of people with completely different views of the epidemic will be living in the same society, that is a fact to which all measures must be adapted," concludes the commentary.

Demokracija: Leftists getting more radical

STA, 22 July 2021 - The right-wing weekly Demokracija says in its latest editorial that last week's developments indicate the left bloc continues to realise their idea of transforming Slovenia back into a socialist country despite the centre-right government. Even leftists who are willing to cooperate are being radicalised, it adds.

The left-wing's control in the media, NGOs, institutions and even ministries provides a button that, when pushed, enables media attacks or violence, says the weekly, adding that "the left-wing is willing to burn to the ground everything it does not like".

Listing the centre-left opposition's responses to last week's political developments, Demokracija says that leftists think every rightist is a racist, Nazi, supremacist or harbouring a tendency towards autocracy.

"This is, of course, complete nonsense. Same goes for leftists: not all of them are inclined to Marxism, repression of freedom of speech or opening of gulags," says the commentary, headlined Let's Talk About the Left Wing Then, arguing there is a key difference between the two poles though.

Those that are not all-around leftists in Slovenia are overnight subjected to threats as dire as foreshadowing physical violence, so even the progressives who are willing to cooperate are being radicalised including with the enormous help of mainstream media, Demokracija writes.

"The leftists believe they have a right to eradicate ideological opponents and that only they may rule," says the weekly, highlighting that the right-wing has been silently observing this as well as underestimating "the rise of cultural Marxism".

"If we're only silently observing, I fear this will not end well for either of us. It is good if one prays for a good harvest, but then one has to grab a hoe, rake, scythe and garden fork as well," concludes the commentary.

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18 Jul 2021, 14:57 PM

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

Mladina: Opposition's options

STA, 16 July 2021 - The left-wing magazine Mladina speculates about the odds for the centre-left opposition to get Pensioners' Party (DeSUS) MPs to change their minds and support a vote of no confidence against the Janez Janša government, saying their only chance is to offer a candidate for new prime minister that DeSUS MPs will not be able to reject.

Under the headline What Can Opposition Really Do, the paper writes that the new DeSUS leader Ljubo Jasnič does not appear to be capable of pulling the party's three MPs who have individual arrangements with Janša from the ruling coalition, even though this would be the only chance for DeSUS not to be squeezed out of parliament in the next election.

"Where the opposition has got the idea that the three MPs could change their minds? Why would Jurša, Hršak and Simonovič do that now," the paper writes, wondering whether the result of the waters act referendum, where 90% of people in their electoral districts sent out the message that they no longer support their actions, is enough to change the MPs' minds.

"It is not possible to infer from all that at the moment that the three MPs could soon change their minds and support a vote of no confidence in Janša and the appointment of a new prime minister before the election.

"Only one option appears to be realistic: that the opposition offers a candidate for prime minister that they will simply not be able to reject. Such a candidate is not an opposition party leader or a new Karl Erjavec. The opposition will have to come up with a candidate [DeSUS MPs] will not be able to reject because they would thus reject the country's political stabilisation.

"They will simply not dare say no to that because after the referendum outcome they are no doubt aware of their responsibility and the voters' plebiscitarian opinion. The vote was too unanimous for the MPs not to be aware of."

Demokracija: Referendum result due to manipulation

STA, 15 July 2021 - The right-wing magazine Demokracija blames the outcome of Sunday's waters act referendum on "manipulation" supported by "mainstream media" as well as abstinence by right-leaning voters, writing in the latest editorial that the vote should serve as a "reminder to good people".

The commentary, headlined Body and Mind Thieves, says that the voters, who massively voted against the new law, were manipulated into believing the law was about clean water, when it was in fact aimed at securing much more financial funds for flood safety.

"The manipulation with the help of mainstream media (including the state RTV Slovenija and STA), who openly sided with the referendum proponents, succeeded. Even the obvious abstinence of the right-leaning voters has contributed to it.

"Let this referendum be a reminder to all good people unless Slovenians want to end up in socialism (again) next year. There was no shortage of the deadly ideology's cliches in the referendum campaign; what causes concern is that younger generations follow it so blindly."

The weekly goes on to say that the biggest mistake now would be for the government to dramatise the result of the referendum, which it does not think can be used to judge on the voter sentiment on the ruling coalition and does not mean a defeat of conservatism.

"People will show which ideology they favour more and which will be in rule in the parliamentary election, which as it now appears will be held next year," the paper writes, adding there is no reason for the government to resign over the referendum result.

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10 Jul 2021, 09:30 AM

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

Mladina: Govt engaged in voter suppression

STA, 9 July 2021 - In its latest commentary, Mladina questions the current government's law-making practices and mentions failures in the fight against the epidemic, the intensifying repression and obstruction of political participation, adding that events surrounding the latest referendum on the new water law suggest this can't be just a coincidence.

"The repressive content of the law on infectious diseases and the referendum on the new waters act suggest that there are too many coincidences to believe that this is not a deliberate obstruction of the electorate," says the commentary headlined Are These Really Just Coincidences?

"Were we naive to think that the institution of elections would not be touched?" asks Mladina and continues with listing suspicious administrative occurrences surrounding the referendum on the new water law.

The left-leaning weekly also criticized the government's handling of the Covid-19 epidemic: "They have known since March that they have big problems here, that people do not trust them, but they continued with the very same incompetent team that brought us into this situation. No reflection, no consideration, all the same nonsense and mistakes as last summer."

"Do these people really understand nothing? Or do they understand and continue doing these things deliberately because this situation suits them, because they want the country in a new lockdown, so they can continue their cultural and social revolution during this period?"

Mladina says that "nevertheless, it is worth believing that these are just coincidences or incompetence, and to behave politically." They say that voters' political behaviour was also proven by the early voting turnout in the referendum.

"If the new waters act is defeated in the referendum despite all the 'coincidences', this will send a loud and clear message to the government and the coalition."

"So far, they have been able to declare the polls unreliable and downplay the importance of protests. But if you don't allow people to have early elections, even when they made their wish clear, they will find other ways of political engagement. Underestimating people has a high price," concludes the commentary.

Reporter: Janša's problems with communication growing

STA, 5 July 2021 - The right-leaning weekly Reporter says in its latest editorial that Prime Minister Janez Janša's problems in communication with politicians and media are becoming ever bigger. Not many people can turn a routine event such as the start of the EU presidency into a scandal, says the paper.

The start of the EU presidency is usually a boring, routine event full of predictable statements and cliches. The country taking over the presidency boasts its achievements and presents its ambitious agenda for the next six months.

But in the case of Slovenia, the country's priorities and all the positive messages, which an army of clerks and PR experts has been working on, were overshadowed by the statements and actions of top Slovenian officials.

Even on 1 July, the EU's recovery after the pandemic, Conference on the Future of Europe, strengthening of security, preserving the European way of life and respect for the rule of law were not the main topics of media reports on Slovenia.

Instead, media have been writing for a few days about photographs and swines and ice-cold relations between Janša and the European Commission president, Ursula von der Leyen.

The most credit for this goes to Janša himself, who again made his domestic resentments towards media and judiciary international as the delegation from Brussels paid a visit.

It was almost inevitable that he will do it sometime in the next six months, but it was expected he will pick better timing and do it more successfully.

A photo of judges at a picnic hosted by the SocDems is not something that would shock von der Leyen and European commissioners. She made it clear that judges can be members or sympathisers of political parties.

Moreover, not long ago court proceedings involving Janša were cancelled because of jurors who were members of his Democrats (SDS).

And by attacking the SocDems, Janša offered Frans Timmermans, the European Commission vice-president from the ranks of the Socialists and Democrats (S&D), a chance to make a scandal b

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20 Jun 2021, 15:43 PM

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

Mladina: Government Undignified

STA, 18 June - Mladina says in its latest editorial that the appointment of the new Justice Minister represents another example of the undignified and indecent practices of the current government, which have become a constant feature.

"This is definitely not the first time that a candidate for a ministerial post was revealed to be unsuitable, but until now, prime ministers have usually acknowledged that a new minister really can't come into office with that kind of baggage", the left-leaning weekly says under the headline So Undignified.

Referring to the newly appointed Justice Minister Marjan Dikaučič, Mladina says that "the candidate's past suggests that he should not be appointed to an important public office," as some media reported on his alleged involvement in suspicious insolvency proceedings and tax evasion through shell companies.

Mladina adds that "this last example is just one of many indecencies; they have become a permanent feature of this government, which is why it is so insensitive to this behaviour, and why the citizens have become slightly numb too."

"But this is a typical feature of the cronyism we are witnessing, so characteristic of contemporary Eastern and South-Eastern Europe. Cronies, friends and colleagues hold power, working within and around political parties, which are actually just a cover for business, profits and the spilling over of money and power into private hands."

Mladina says the current coalition was formed on the basis of the same indecency, shown by certain political parties that distinctly claimed they would not support this type of regime before the last election.

The weekly adds that MPs are perfectly aware of what they are doing by enabling and supporting the current government, and that the voters know that as well.

"Slovenians have experienced the ugly side of socialism and these types of authority figures, who are frustrated by nothing more than decency, politeness, consistency and pride."

"That's how it is today, and that is why they are behaving that way, starting with the prime minister. They are arrogant and aggressive, because they cannot pull us into their world," concludes the commentary.

Demokracija: One-sided "quasi-liberal" morality

STA, 17 June 2021 - The right-wing weekly Demokracija says in its latest editorial that there is but a few of moral authorities left whom one could trust as traditional values are being undermined and destroyed. Any deviation from quasi-liberal norms is considered a totalitarian move, says the weekly on Thursday.

"Nowadays, everything is upside down. An invasion of progressivism has caused moral disintegration and views by individuals, whom activist media with an agenda describe as esteemed and nearly infallible, fit perfectly a quasi-liberal perspective of the world.

"Literally every departure from this linear party line is labelled a departure towards totalitarianism. What follows is intimidation and media mob attacks," writes editor-in-chief Jože Biščak.

He decries Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights Dunja Mijatović's memorandum on the situation of Slovenian media, regretful that he participated in talks that served as the basis for the report as he thinks the document is biased and has left out the side of the story presented by him and his conservative peers.

In the world of this quasi-liberalism, "two plus two is never (again) four, but an arbitrary result that fits their views", says the commentary under the headline What is Actually 2 + 2?

Biščak also comments on a recent statement by four oversight institutions calling for respect for independent state bodies, saying that these four institutions "have become a smelly swamp precisely because of the people that lead them".

The signatories of the statement "belong among viruses that under the cover of appeals for respect for democratic rules spread a pandemic of a new ideologically-motivated morality that is against the current centre-right government and paves the way for [Court of Audit president Tomaž] Vesel into politics".

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06 Jun 2021, 12:31 PM

The covers and editorials from leading weeklies of the Left and Right for the work-week ending Friday, 4 June 2021. All our stories about coronavirus and Slovenia are here

Mladina: Govt abused epidemic for political, economic goals

STA, 4 June 2021 – Mladina, the left-wing weekly, says in its latest editorial that the excessive number of Covid-19 deaths in Slovenia is the responsibility of the government as it has acted as if it knows everything, while taking advantage of the epidemic as a state of emergency in order to achieve its political and economic goals.

"It was quickly clear to residents of this country that, despite the high-flying words and a lot of talk, it was not about as few people as possible getting infected and dying," the weekly says under the headline 4,265 Slovenian Flags.

The title refers to the small flags set up by the youth wing of the opposition Social Democrats (SD) in Tivoli Park in Ljubljana to commemorate as many victims of Covid-19 in Slovenia.

All this is the reason why the current government is so unpopular, and its latest great defeat is vaccination, and young people are now getting vaccinated because the "government's conduct and authoritarian governance has deterred many people from getting vaccinated."

Vaccination is a matter of trust and by expanding the age groups for vaccination, the government is trying to conceal the poor results when it comes to vaccination rates by all age groups, Mladina says.

"The government has not implemented any serious vaccination campaign, and the current campaign is carried out by friends of the leaderships of the coalition Democrats (SDS) and New Slovenia (NSi)."

They do not understand that this is not a campaign for Twitter, but hard work in which people who are away from the information flow need to be addressed, the weekly adds.

There is also some more bad news, as Slovenia should be gearing up for the autumn, when a new outbreak of the epidemic is expected. Hospital capacities should start to be expanded right away and new stimulus packages should be in the making.

"Last summer the virus disappeared, so to say. The government did practically nothing over the summer, it behaved arrogantly and rejected good-willed warnings - even at the end of August, when it was completely clear what was coming."

This "nothing" could be seen this week in the form of Slovenian flags in Tivoli Park, concludes the commentary.

Demokracija: Centre-left turning into narcissistic exhibitionists

STA, 3 June 2021 - It is bizarre that trade unions have joined leftist activists and organisations in the streets while the centre-right government is adopting a tax reform that will bring higher pay for all workers, the right-wing weekly Demokracija says in Thursday's editorial in reference to Friday's anti-government rally in Ljubljana.

"It has once again become obvious that Slovenian trade union associations are a political appendix of leftist political parties and that socialist ideas thrive only where workers are kept at the brink of survival."

But if various leftist activists and their rioting in the streets can somehow be understood, the leftist parties' exaggerated insistence on toppling the government defies common sense, says the weekly.

While noting that every political group aims to come to power to implement its political agenda, "the problem" is that the four centre-left political parties think that only they can be in power and that only their view of the world is legitimate and "normal".

Demokracija advises them that in order to push for their political agenda, they should first win an election, adding they had a chance to be in power but Prime Minister Marjan Šarec "chickened out" and the centre-left coalition collapsed more than a year ago.

The weekly says they should take a deep breath and wait for the election to get a new opportunity, adding that all their attempts to undermine the government and the prime minister with interpellation and impeachment motions have failed.

"If you can count, the Janez Janša government has quite enough votes in parliament. And your 'sniper' search for opponents is childish, your invention of bad things and manipulation is a sign of hopelessness and sick malice," Demokracija adds, saying they are turning into "narcissistic exhibitionists".

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30 May 2021, 08:00 AM

The covers and editorials from leading weeklies of the Left and Right for the work-week ending Friday, 28 May 2021. All our stories about coronavirus and Slovenia are here

Mladina: MPs must listen to the people's protests

STA, 28 May 2021 - The left-wing weekly Mladina says in its latest editorial that Slovenia has never had such prolonged and massive protests against the government, and that it is the members of parliament who should acknowledge the increasing discontent among the people.

Under the headline People in Front of the Parliament, Mladina says that the prolonged anti-government protests in the last year have been the largest in Slovenia's history.

"Protests are no joke - when major protests start, authorities have to respond very wisely and proportionately. But Janez Janša is enraged by the protests because the protesters are telling him what he finds so hard to accept: that he is not a good leader, but a divisive and poor prime minister. You cannot run a country like that, it is not acceptable in modern democracies," reads the editorial.

Mladina adds that "Janša is trying to demotivate protesters with fines. In order to crush protests, he has turned the Slovenian police into a violent force over the past year, to the detriment of their reputation."

The weekly also notes that "the level of violence demonstrated by the police in the last year in the name of the Janša government has never been seen in Slovenia under communism or in the past thirty years."

The protests first started at the end of April 2020 and another rally is scheduled for this Friday, with five of the largest trade unions associations endorsing the protests this week.

At the very time when the protests are scheduled on Friday, the National Assembly will hold an extraordinary sitting as the MPs are to vote on the dismissal of the speaker, Igor Zorčič.

According to Mladina, the goal of the protesters is clear: "rallying in Republic Square in front of the National Assembly and conveying a clear message to the MPs sitting inside."

"We wish to say that the members of parliament have a duty to listen to the people. And if the people are making it so clear that they want early elections, it is the duty of the MPs to face up to that and realise that [...] they must act in the interest of respecting the foundations of this country - so as not to damage them with their actions," concludes the editorial.

Demokracija: Growing number of potential terrorists

STA, 27 May 2021 - Demokracija says in its latest commentary about last Friday's anti-government protest that "the usual criminals were now joined by potential terrorists in their fight against the government". And by potential terrorists it means the supporters of Islam.

"It is unbelievable how many Palestinians are suddenly in Slovenia," adds the right-leaning weekly in the editorial headlined Don't Fear Bad Words from Bad People.

"It is now clear that Hamas is no Palestinian resistance movement, but a killing machine that wants complete domination of Islam, which is being quickly exported also into Europe."

The commentary expresses concern that one day, "the terrorist organisations will order these people to pull out their AK-47s and start shooting in our homeland."

It also points a finger to activists, such as artist Jaša Jenull, rapper Zlatko, youth trade union president Tea Jarc and Branimir Štrukelj of the KSJS public sector trade union confederation, who would call this "eradication of fascism, which is like a phantom that they see ever too often."

The paper concludes that those whose opinion is even slightly different from theirs is then publicly condemned and blemished with the help of the mainstream media.

Demokracija thus calls out to the like-minded people not to be afraid and to stand strong in their beliefs.

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15 May 2021, 12:00 PM

The covers and editorials from leading weeklies of the Left and Right for the work-week ending Friday, 14 May 2021. All our stories about coronavirus and Slovenia are here

Mladina: Bitter EU presidency for Janša

STA, 14 May 2021 - The left-wing weekly Mladina says in Friday's editorial that Slovenia's EU presidency later this year could prove a bitter experience for PM Janez Janša, as it anticipates that senior EU officials might not be willing to come to Slovenia because Janša's actions are not in line with EU values.

EU presidency has been reduced to a show of protocol, except if a powerful member state, such as Germany, is at its helm.

When a weak member state is presiding, the presidency is relatively unnoticeable, which also goes for Slovenia, no matter who would be in power at that moment.

Nevertheless, the eyes of all politicians start glowing when they think of all the photo sessions they will get during visits by foreign officials.

And while "Janša wants to pin the EU presidency on his wrinkled coat", he has started realising the EU could punish him by depriving him of the much-desired photo sessions.

"Today it is already clear that European politicians find our prime minister repulsive, to use this harsh word that can be heard in Berlaymont's corridors, at the seat of the European Commission."

Whatever he does is base and disgusting for Europe, which is based on the Enlightenment. EU institutions see the story about the STA as a Putin-styled political concept which represents everything Europe is not and does not want to be.

If this regime does not collapse before, Janša will preside the EU, Mladina says. But it seems it will be a bitter experience for him, because senior representatives of EU institutions and statesmen could be cancelling their participation.

The weekly says that every meeting will be marked by counting who has come to Ljubljana, and who has instead sent a lower-ranking official with a kind letter explaining that urgent matters have kept them in their own country.

Reporter: Coalition's move on Zorčič a bluff

STA, 10 May 2021 -The right-wing weekly Reporter says in its latest commentary that parliamentary Speaker Igor Zorčič would not let himself be bluffed by the coalition into resigning. His current reputation as a person who stubbornly resists Prime Minister Janez Janša is of key importance for his current recognisability and greater popularity in the public.

The coalition had called on Zorčič to resign honourably as it claimed it had enough votes to dismiss him, but the alleged 47 votes dwindled to only 38 in only two days.

"It is not clear what had prompted the coalition parties to go after Zorčič with such an apparent bluff," the weekly adds under the headline Bluffers.

The clumsy move by the coalition that is difficult to understand had been doomed in advance, and even without the fiasco with MP signatures, the stunt was unnecessary, because Zorčič had no reason whatsoever to resign himself.

"Because this is hygienic, as his predecessors Dejan Židan and Matej Tonin resigned themselves? But the two knew that they have no chance of remaining at the post, while Zorčič made a calculation that says that they cannot replace him."

Zorčič has realised that standing up to the coalition brings him points, as those who had criticised him for not supporting the KUL coalition in its attempt to overthrow Janša are now applauding him.

Reporter wonders whether Economy Minister Zdravko Počivalšek, because of the lack of votes in parliament, will be "really forced to swallow the humiliation and return to parliament for the sake of the majority in the National Assembly."

Although Počivalšek likes to brag that the economy badly needs him, Janša would quickly find a replacement for him at the ministry. "At this moment the prime minister needs deputy Počivalšek more than Minister Počivalšek."

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09 May 2021, 10:44 AM

The covers and editorials from leading weeklies of the Left and Right for the work-week ending Friday, 7 May 2021. All our stories about coronavirus and Slovenia are here

Mladina: Government to blame for vaccination failures

STA, 7 May 2021 - Mladina says in its latest commentary that the government's attitude and communication issues are to blame for significant mistrust and unwillingness to get vaccinated among the general public.

"This week, it became definitively clear that the Janez Janša government has botched the vaccination strategy," the left-wing weekly says in the commentary Time for a New Prime Minister.

It points out the disparities between the vaccination strategy and reality, which the government mainly attributes to the absence of a national information system.

Mladina, on the other hand, says that the explanation is that "people do not want to get vaccinated, and in the past year this government has failed to convince the public that vaccination is both beneficial and safe."

The reason is the government's fixation on "cultural issues, replacing senior management staff and confronting the media, instead of working towards social peace and building trust."

The weekly says that because many people refuse to be vaccinated, Slovenia now faces a serious situation, for which it blames the government and its representatives in charge of the vaccination strategy, who are "professionally and politically incompetent and indecent". "Prime Minister Janez Janša is to blame for all of this."

The commentator urges the opposition to take action, to "restart the talks with parties and MPs who are aware of the gravity of the situation, and to try again with a vote of no confidence in the prime minister." "Of course this sounds radical, but the situation is serious."

Demokracija: The dangers of cancel culture

STA, 6 May 2021 - Demokracija says in its latest commentary that the constant attacks on the centre-right government of Janez Janša and undermining of every anti-epidemic measure are part of the strategy under which tradition, the "old order", should be rooted out, and every revolt against the "new order" mercilessly nipped in the bud.

"There is no space for conservatism in the new world," the right-leaning weekly says under the headline Cancel Culture, adding that people apparently want to be led by elites that will decide what is right and what is wrong.

"Elections and political parties and, consequently, different views of the world will be completely unnecessary. They are remnants of backwardness, bourgeoisie, reactionary ideologies, aren't they?"

The utopia that is being painted these days by the left is taking over the masses and its plan could not be clearer, and in order for this to happen, any government that is not oriented towards the left should be opposed.

"All authorities that have a different world view, although being completely legitimately elected, are a threat to the 'new'. This is why it should be shown to people, by instigating unrest and rebellion, that the future is near."

Demokracija says that it is worrying how many people fall for this and are willing to "realise the delusions of their prophets" not with elections and acceptable mechanisms of democratic state, but with threats and violence.

It adds that the mainstream media and revolutionary indoctrination in the education system have done its part, and today a majority of young people are not familiar with traditional social and cultural norms that help people rein in their anger.

"Cancel culture and hypersensitivity to everything that is right from the centre ... are blurring the line between the acceptable and unacceptable. We are in the middle of a war. This is how far the leftists have gone. Unfortunately."

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08 May 2021, 11:44 AM

STA, 7 May 2021 - The weekly Mladina has been asked by police to provide information on how it got hold of classified documents revealing the content of the draft National Recovery and Resilience Plan which the magazine published in February in what Mladina sees as an act of intimidation.

According to Mladina, the Government Office for Development and European Cohesion Policy has assessed that the magazine divulged classified information.

When Mladina published the draft plan on its website in February, the document had still been labelled internal.

An official letter from the Ljubljana Bežigrad police station published by Mladina shows the query for the magazine to provide information about the author of the article, the editor-in-chief and when, how and from whom they obtained documents labelled as internal was made at the request of the Ljubljana District State Prosecution.

Mladina says the article in which the documents were published was signed by the author with a name and surname and the information on who is the editor-in-chief is publicly available, which is why they see police questions as an attempt to intimidate them more than inquiring about relevant facts in trying to prove criminal offences.

The government decided to declassify the document soon after Mladina published the draft, although the opposition had been demanding before that it should be subject to a broad public debate.

Minister for Development, Strategic Projects and Cohesion Zvonko Černač said at the time he had declassified it after its contents had been leaked to a weekly. "The harm has been done and it cannot be repaired," he said in parliament at the end of February.

The Association of Slovenian Journalists (DNS) responded to today's news by saying it was worried about the investigation, especially since the draft document was declassified two weeks after being published, which it said "proved the public was fully entitled to get insight into it".

It pointed to the changes to the penal code adopted on its initiative in 2015 which decriminalised obtaining and publishing confidential data to reveal them to the public if the release is in public interest and if it does not pose a risk to life.

The association thus expects the prosecution of Mladina to immediately stop.

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