Ljubljana related

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."

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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.

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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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29 Nov 2020, 11:52 AM

The covers and editorials from leading weeklies of the Left and Right for the work-week ending Friday, 27 November 2020. All our stories about coronavirus and Slovenia are here

Mladina: Govt botched crisis due to incompetence, lack of trust in people

STA, 27 November 2020 - The latest editorial by the left-wing weekly paper Mladina says that the government has botched the fight against the epidemic, identifying problems in the issuing of quarantine orders and the 80% instead of full coverage of pay for quarantined workers as the main mistakes.

Looking at infection trends per 100,000 people around the EU in the second wave, the paper says that Slovenia is the only country that has not only failed to reverse the growth but has even seen a deterioration even though major restrictions in different form have been in place for over five weeks and are among the strictest in the bloc.

Mladina says the system for quarantine orders failed in October, "which is why those who were sick and those who had had contact with those who tested positive were not staying home but continued to go to work. Why? If there is no order there is no pay compensation".

"After the start of the epidemic and until 1 October we had 6,104 confirmed infections in Slovenia and during this period the state issued 80,600 quarantine orders. Since 1 October and until this week no fewer than 60,976 infections were confirmed, but the state issued only 11,847 orders for pay compensation.

"Since we know that each infected individual comes into contact with at least one person, it is clear that a significantly larger number of quarantine orders should have been issued. This data shows that people in Slovenia are going to work even though they had contact with an infected person and spread the disease," Mladina says, adding a survey had indeed shown that the majority, over 25%, got infected at work.

The paper claims this is happening because the government's compensation system. "When an individual in Germany of Austria comes into contact with an infected person and needs to isolate they automatically get 100% pay compensation. In Slovenia, such a person is automatically punished, getting only 80% (and the same share is paid back by the state to the employer)."

Mladina argues such measures are pushing workers to continue working despite the circumstance and employers to force them to ignore dangerous contacts.

According to the paper, the government's approach is the result of the way the current decision makers are perceiving people - with disdain. The feel that providing full compensation would result in workers cheating.

"They were saying that they are simultaneously saving the economy and lives but in fact they deepened the crisis by dragging out a hard lockdown while completely losing control over the virus. There are waiting lines in morgues today," Mladina says in the commentary headlined Incompetent and Greedy.

Demokracija: Left  understood Janša's rule of law letter, EU didn’t

STA, 26 November 2020 – Demokracija, the right-wing weekly, writes about reactions to PM Janez Janša's letter to EU leaders in the latest editorial, asserting that the leftist opposition in the country failed to understand what German Chancellor Angela Merkel did as she described the letter as a call for compromise to resolve blockade by Hungary and Poland.

The right-wing weekly finds the left is prone to forgetfulness and double standards, recalling how "the leftist elite" - gathered at Stožice Arena in 2013 to celebrate the "soft coup and Alenka Bratušek's enthroning as the prime minister" - called the EU a "band of thieves" in what was a time that saw a culmination of "the ridiculing of the 'core' member states and the rule of law".

"You would think all of them went to special needs schools (...) It appeared to them again there was water in the pool. There may have been, it is only that German Chancellor Angela Merkel emptied the pool with her statement that Janša's letter is a call to a search for compromise to unblock funds for the post-pandemic recovery".

The paper says that it is clear politics cannot decide on the rule of law by an outvote, noting that in 2014 Janša's mandate was taken away by politics, an abuse later quashed by the Constitutional Court, without anyone being held accountable for that abuse.

The paper also uses the empty poll metaphor to describe the attempts by the centre-left opposition to form an alternative government under the economist Jože P. Damijan, saying they appear to be seeing the water as a mirage in the desert.

Damijan "can in no way explain his maths in enlisting support among MPs", he "appears to have serious problems himself as well as with others otherwise the far left Mladina magazine, which is unconditionally devoted to him, would not have called for prayer".

In conclusion, the piece says that while the right uses common sense, the capacity of candidates of the left is deteriorating, and appears to have reached a new low with Damijan: "You begin to wonder about the intellectual capacity of the deep state's master-chefs (...) wondering where the hell did they find such a substandard fellow".

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15 Nov 2020, 11:53 AM

The covers and editorials from leading weeklies of the Left and Right for the work-week ending Friday, 13 November 2020. All our stories about coronavirus and Slovenia are here

Mladina: Criminal liability of govt over Covid-19

STA, 13 November 2020 – Mladina, the left-wing weekly, says that the puzzle showing Slovenia as a country with one of the largest Covid-19 death tolls per million people is being slowly but surely put together, and calls for criminal liability of the decision-makers in the government who the magazine believes are responsible for the situation.

Under the headline Criminal Liability, the left-leaning weekly says that the government has "consciously failed to establish a system in which those who should stay in isolation are provided with compensation for the loss of income".

A system which would solve this problem was put into the fifth coronavirus legislative package, which entered into force only on 24 October, two weeks ago and two weeks after the government had imposed a lockdown because the epidemic had got out of hand.

The media were warning the government about this already during the first wave, but they were ignored, and "today, the price of this unbelievable ignorance of the actual social situation is being paid by the entire Slovenia".

In the coming weeks, this price will be paid in the most brutal way by residents of care homes, Mladina says, criticising Minister Janez Cigler Kralj, who is in charge of social affairs, for failure to introduce regular and systematic testing of care home staff.

"Why they haven't been tested? This is an utter defeat that no other country is experiencing", and Cigler Kralj has done nothing while being nothing but a "sweet talker".

This also holds true for Education Minister Simona Kustec, as the education system has entered the second Covid-19 wave totally unprepared. Ahead of the new school year, her ministry took ineffective and illogical measures, which could simply not be realised without additional funds and staff.

"People should start thinking about criminal liability of these people, who have failed to do their jobs. They are sitting in the government," concludes the commentary.

Demokracija: Education in the West undermines patriotism

STA, 12 November 2020 - The latest trend in the West is teaching children that the history of their countries is horrible, based on racism, Christianity, sexism, and homophobia so as to undermine patriotism and pave the way to multiculturalism, the right-wing weekly Demokracija says in its latest editorial.

The weekly says the "education system that is convincing children how great multiculturalism is" is even more destructive than the media that are distancing themselves from Slovenia's independence like the public broadcaster did in case of a show presenting independence efforts 30 years ago.

"The goal is to use the education system and other subsystems to undermine patriotism and create a society of some kind of artistic performance where there will be no restrictions and everyone will be equal."

This idea is appealing to young people whose personalities are not fully developed yet. They are attracted by the rule of the street, and this results in riots, hooliganism and deliberate causing of unrest, which could be seen in the capital not only last Thursday but ever since the centre-right government took over.

"Encouraged by months of incitement by the media mainstream and the left opposition, the brainwashed 'protesters' can no longer make logical conclusions themselves, which is only an introduction into something much sinister.

"This is how it all started in Europe, where now not just militant leftist groups are raging the streets but where migrants walk around killing the autochthonous population - exclusively because people such as [Slovenian SocDems leader] Tanja Fajon were on the covers and in prime time shows saying that the right response to violence and Islamic terrorism is 'solidarity and lighting of candles'.

"Such liberal and emphatic ideology is nothing but a suicide pill," Demokracija says under the headline Suicide Pill.

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07 Nov 2020, 12:00 PM

The covers and editorials from leading weeklies of the Left and Right for the work-week ending Friday, 5 November 2020. All our stories about coronavirus and Slovenia are here

Mladina: Janša a "serious problem" for Slovenia and Europe

STA, 6 November 2020 - The latest editorial of the left-leaning weekly Mladina says that the US election tweets by PM Janez Janša have put Slovenia on the international map, but not in the way that Foreign Minister Anže Logar meant when he said Slovenia was returning to the international arena.

"We are finally recognized as a country with a clearly emotionally unstable and politically unreasonable prime minister. From this week we no longer have to explain to anyone in international politics why we have a problem and that our problem is serious. But it is not only us who have a problem: Europe now knows that it has a problem as well," Mladina says on Friday under the headline Black Week.

It says Janša has demonstrated that he knows little about diplomacy or is not really interested in it and that he does not care about Slovenia's international reputation. It speaks of a selfish modus operandi similar to that of US President Donald Trump, driven by populism and the perception of politics primarily as a business opportunity.

"But we need to wonder about something else that is more important at this moment. How can this person occupy himself with the US election in a week where more than 20 people die every day, when the figures are as bad as they can get," says Mladina. "Does he really not have even a bit of empathy? Are we dealing with a sociopath?"

Mladina argues the US will suffer long lasting consequences after a single Trump term. "The same goes for Slovenia: every additional month under Janša is distorting this society further, deforming its values, the real picture."

Seeing hope in the centre-left coalition formed recently under the leadership of economist Jože P. Damijan, Mladina calls for a vote of no-confidence as soon as possible, saying "this is not only about international reputation or about staffing, it is about health and lives".

Demokracija: Opposition’s needless attacks on Janša

STA, 5 November 2020 - The government is not taking any measures that would actually require street protests, and perhaps this is precisely the reason why the left-leaning opposition wants to create a state of emergency in politics, the right-wing weekly Demokracija says in its latest commentary.

The right-leaning weekly says that the opposition would apparently rather let a hundred people more die than help the government of Janez Janša and admit that it is successfully managing the virus from Wuhan.

"The instigation of fear of Janša has revealed a deep, horrifying chasm between reality and what the media project as reality. And in this vortex of egotistic opposition, there comes the leftist foursome with the idea that the government should be taken down."

It could be said that the idea is surrealist if it was not floated by a "revolutionary coalition of the mainstream media and deep state", where candidates supported by the mafia are being presented as saviours", headlined by Jože P. Damijan (JPD).

Demokracija says that Damijan is a man who had walked the path of classical economic liberalism until he realised that being impressed with socialist ideas is much more profitable for him.

It was then that the media started presenting him as a "candidate for prime minister-designate", or as "possible prime minister-designate" who is starting talks with the leftist political parties, with which he is supposed to form a government.

"This is not funny, this is tragic: in the JPD case, the mainstream media behaves as if elections in Slovenia are just around the corner or as if the centre-right government has resigned. But neither of this happened, and JPD is currently nobody.

"He is not even a useful idiot who has warmed up to the idea of being prime minister-designate without realising why he came into the spotlight in the first place. It has turned out that JPD was an idiot even before he became useful," concludes the commentary People Who Were Idiots Before They Became Useful.

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31 Oct 2020, 11:36 AM

The covers and editorials from leading weeklies of the Left and Right for the work-week ending Friday, 30 October 2020. All our stories about coronavirus and Slovenia are here

Mladina: Incompetent populist authorities exploiting crisis

STA, 30 October 2020 - The latest editorial of the left-wing weekly paper Mladina speaks of populist authorities that are not really taking the situation seriously but exploiting it. It argues that the only way for people to resist is taking the protective measures even more seriously.

Mladina's editor chief Grega Repovž takes issue with the appearance of Archbishop of Ljubljana Stanislav Zore at Wednesday's coronavirus briefing of the government and his call to people that they should "donate for holy masses and for the maintenance of parishes" instead of buying flowers and candles for All Saint's Day this year.

An hour after Zore's appearance, the Bishops' Conference issued a statement as well, "with the bulk of the call consisting of a harsh attack on protesters, criticism of the public broadcaster and a disqualification of the opposition".

"On the same day the coalition led by Janez Janša submitted to parliament changes to the media act through which it will secure public funding for its Hungarian-owned TV Nova24. Are these people really taking the situation seriously?" Repovž wonders in the commentary headlined Multiplication Tables.

"But we need to be better than them, than the government and Church. The same behaviour is required towards them as was the case with the former Communist Party: in these circumstance and given their character one needs to primarily make sure not to give them a fresh reason to torment us."

Repovž argues that the measures are not working "because there is actually no real content behind them, because they are only about dramatic labels that are not backed by any real plan" or effective execution.

He says despots are thriving in chaos and argues that the worse that the crisis will get, the more citizens will be vulnerable and powerless in relation to the government.

Repovž says that the people, trying to honour the instructions of epidemiologists "even though these are ignored and violated by the authorities" are actually left to confront the crisis alone. The only way to resist is to abide by the protective measures even more diligently and hope that "the public system is robust enough to withstand even incompetent holders of power".

Demokracija: China needs to pay for its handling of outbreak

STA, 29 October 2020 - The latest editorial of the right-wing weekly paper Demokracija, headlined Six Crucial Days or China Needs to Pay, says it is clear that the Chinese Communist Party was withholding key information about the coronavirus pandemic in the critical early stage of the outbreak.

Editor-in-chief Jože Biščak says that the top brass of the Party already knew on 14 January that a health crisis of global proportions was in the making, but kept silent until 20 January, allowing mass celebrations to continue at the centre of the outbreak and not suspending travel around the world that started ahead of the Lunar New Year.

Throughout this period China had the support of the World Health Organisation (WHO), which thus shares part of the blame for everything that followed in the months after and is yet to come.

"And it is perverted that the Asian superpower is selling medicine and medical equipment for the fight against Covid-19 to the entire world now, making a good profit and being on course to recording (unlike the rest of the world) 5% GDP growth at the end of the year."

China is rejecting any responsibility, but in a very unconvincing fashion, since all facts show that this health crisis could have been avoided to a large extent had China been fair and transparent.

"But of course it is an illusion to expect this from the Communists, who have lies inscribed into their genetic code. Instead, they first rounded up, locked down and silenced the scientists who were warning the world of the disaster through different channels.

"Only then did they close Wuhan Airport, which provides flights to destinations around the world, including to London, Rome and Paris. The door to the world was opened wide for the virus. Despite all the evidence, China, in a typical Communist agitprop fashion, accused the US army of bringing the virus to Wuhan. This was of course debunked quickly.

"The withholding of data, the half-truths and lies coming from Beijing and above all the unbelievable negligence in dealing with the virus brought hell to the world. China needs to pay!"

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25 Oct 2020, 10:46 AM

The covers and editorials from leading weeklies of the Left and Right for the work-week ending Friday, 23 October 2020. All our stories about coronavirus and Slovenia are here

Mladina: Calls for solidarity with social victims of the crisis

STA, 23 October 2020 – The left-wing weekly Mladina says in its latest commentary that the numbers showing the social crisis brought by coronavirus are as horrifying and painful as the numbers of the infected, hospitalised and deceased. It adds that one must not express solidarity to patients without expressing solidarity to people who have been impacted in other ways.

"We cannot build the fight against the epidemic on the daily count of the infected, hospitalised and deceased. Of course, these numbers are important...but betting on these numbers distorts the picture. Other numbers hidden behind these numbers."

Under the headline In the Name of the Coming Weeks, Grega Repovž, the editor-in-chief of the left-leaning weekly, adds that the entire industry of socialisation, entertainment and recreation was halted last week in order to reduce the number of persons affected by coronavirus.

"The number of people without income, without means of subsistence drastically increased this week. These numbers are as horrifying and painful," Repovž says, adding that solidarity should also be expressed to these people.

The government has failed to prepare itself for this form of crisis in the past months, and now this problem may be solved only with humaneness and love. "This sounds cheesy and cheap, but it is not. If we want to solve what is coming, we badly need sentient people at all levels."

Repovž wonders whether Slovenians are aware at all how terrifying a social bomb is ticking as the "state has failed, and municipalities are pretending they have nothing to do with it," as there are no funds to finance rents and there is no additional welfare.

He also notes that it was politics which has taken the decisions which now reflect in all these numbers, and that society only followed it by default as it has limited power in the relation with politics.

"Politics is now telling us that it is best for us to point fingers at each other. Let's not fall for this trick. They are doing this in order to mask their own responsibility," concludes the commentary.

Demokracija: Mainstream media promoting resistance against government

STA, 22 October 2020 – The right-wing weekly Demokracija says in Thursday's commentary that Slovenian mainstream media encourage opponents of restrictive measures while promoting resistance against the government.

"The epidemiological situation in Slovenia is progressively worse while the media mainstream promotes the conduct of [rapper Zlatan] Čordić and company who encourage boycotting masks and the application for tracing infected persons, and promote resistance to the centre-right government in these difficult times," says the editorial Born (and Raised) for Violence.

"It seems (and it is probably not far from the truth) that they genuinely want the virus to murder as many Slovenians as possible so that they can point their fingers at the faces at Gregorčičeva Street."

"And when someone from the government reacts, condemns their behaviour, they scream about attacks on media freedom and stories about the establishment of totalitarianism on the sunny side of the Alps are flying around the world, travelling to all possible and impossible addresses of (ideologically kidnapped) international progressive (media) associations."

The paper notes that these media are, however, not reporting on last week's attack on the Nova24 cameraman. "This would not be in line with political correctness and the maimed ideology of liberal democracy. It is allowed to beat the conservative-oriented (rightist, if you will), until exhaustion, is it not?"

According to the commentator, it is perhaps time that "good and peace-loving people no longer (just) pass olive branches. And that the principle Vim vi expellere licet [it is permitted to expel force with force] is not just dead ink on paper."

All our posts in this series are here

11 Oct 2020, 12:07 PM

The covers and editorials from leading weeklies of the Left and Right for the work-week ending Friday, 9 October 2020. All our stories about coronavirus and Slovenia are here

Mladina: Janša dividing and not uniting people amid epidemic

STA, 9 October 2020 - Mladina's latest editorial says that PM Janez Janša stayed true to himself and launched an attack on Wednesday on the media and opposition as it became clear that his government failed to contain the epidemic. However, Slovenia's ongoing defeat against the epidemic is the result of a poor and incompetent leader, the left-leaning weekly paper asserts.

While Janša accused the media of encouraging violations of protective measures, this is a "dirty lie", Mladina's editor-in-chief Grega Repovž says, arguing there is not a single serious media outlet in Slovenia that would not be calling for respect of measures and spreading knowledge about the epidemic.

Even more, the media, despite being hammered by Janša constantly, have been rather gentle with regard to some major government blunders and the same holds true of the opposition, which never once sank to the level of Janša who threw insults at the previous government as the epidemic began and threatened with lawsuits even though this instilled even more fear in the already frightened public.

"Thus it needs to be stated before his lie spreads: Janez Janša is the one incapable of handling crises, he does not understand what a crisis situation is, which is something that he already showed in 2012 and this merely got confirmed now. It again showed that Janša is without leadership abilities, without organisational abilities and above all completely incapable of uniting the nation in distress," Repovž says under Back to 2020.

"Instead of working, he puts out 30 tweets a day or more and constantly follows developments on this social platform," adds Repovž, who draws hope from the initiative to form a centre-left government as an alternative to Janša, from the discourse accompanying this effort as well as from the demands of the protest movement.

"The stakes are very high. We are in the middle of the epidemic. But in the middle of such a situation, the current government finds it more important to replace the directors of all oversight institutions than to unite the people in the fight against the epidemic. While everybody is taking the epidemic seriously, Janša is only using it."

Reporter: Search for Janša's replacement speeds up

STA, 5 October 2020 - The right-wing weekly magazine Reporter says in its latest commentary that the opposition's search for a new prime minister is gaining steam, with several scenarios being in play behind the scenes on how to get the required 46 votes for a constructive vote of no confidence in Janez Janša.

Janša is pushing his agenda in an uncompromising fashion and is triggering the left-leaning opposition and its political backing to make plans for how to bring down the current government as soon as possible.

Under the headline to the Last Breath and Further, editor-in-chief Silvester Šurla says that a six-month transitional government until a snap election is out of the question, and that only a new political government until the regular 2022 election is an alternative.

But in the latest plans of the "uncles behind the scenes", some of the current parliamentary party leaders taking over at the government is not an option, either, and the path to the 46 votes is gradual.

With the ousting of Aleksandra Pivec as the head of the Pensioners' Party (DeSUS), the DeSUS takeover operation is half-way through, and intensive talks are being conducted with its former leader Karl Erjavec, who is willing to return only under certain conditions.

This would be followed by a merger of DeSUS with the Alenka Bratušek Party (SAB) and Modern Centre Party (SMC), which would together with the MPs of the Marjan Šarec List (LMŠ), Social Democrats (SD) and Left then vote Janša out of office.

The problem is that they still do not have a name for prime minister-designate, who would be a supra-party candidate. Two names have been circulated in the media lately - the former European Commissioner Janez Potočnik and Court of Audit president Tomaž Vesel.

But it is expected that the prime minister, while the opposition is digging him a political grave, will not be idle and that he will do everything he can to keep the current coalition together as long as possible, preparing the grounds for the next election.

"In the tense game of political poker, Janez Janša has better cards in his sleeve compared to the political plotters from the left, but the game nevertheless remains unpredictable," the commentary concludes.

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