Ljubljana related

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."

All our posts in this series are here

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.

More stories on the media in Slovenia

24 Apr 2021, 11:15 AM

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

Mladina: SMC to end its agony in coalition

STA, 23 April 2021 - Mladina says in its latest commentary that the Modern Centre Party (SMC) is on its last legs, including its leader and Economy Minister Zdravko Počivalšek. The party is in agony as it is missing on the opportunity to leave the coalition of Janez Janša on time and save at least some of its credibility.

"Are they aware at all how humiliating is that they publicly mull Počivalšek resigning as minister and returning for a few days to parliament so that a new speaker gets elected, and then he would let himself be appointed minister again - which he himself would vote for?" the left-leaning weekly says under the headline It's Time, SMC.

What is more, the coalition does not want to give the group of unaffiliated former MPs of the SMC and Pensioners' Party (DeSUS) seats in parliamentary working bodies, although it is there where actual debates on bills take place.

"The fundamental question is: do they really think that the public does not see this agony? Such a position is unbearable for a normal person. The agony can be seen on the faces of all DeSUS deputies and ministers and the remaining SMC deputies."

According to Mladina, the things have gone too far and the SMC, or what has remained of the party that in 2014 achieved the greatest result in the history of Slovenian parliamentary democracy, will need to think whether it is better to end things at some point.

"Will they go on and play independent deputies for the SDS and Janša? What about parliamentary procedures?" the weekly wonders, noting that public opinion polls also show that the things have gone too far and they should not be relativised.

"The SMC, its president and leadership still have an actual opportunity to stop things, exit the coalition and trigger an early election. By doing so, they would gain at least some moral capital so that they will be able to live normally."

Demokracija: France overrun by Islam

STA, 22 April 2021 - The right-wing magazine Demokracija opines in Thursday's editorial that France is a bellwether for Europe in the sense that Islam is replacing Christianity, arguing that "the great replacement" is under way accompanied by "the forced destruction of traditional European values".

"What's happening to the heirs of Joan of Arc and Charles Martel happens in a few years (more or less) elsewhere," the paper says in the commentary Cathedral Basilica of Saint Cecilia in Albi.

"France was the first country in Western Europe to officially open to the Arab world and Islamic culture, it was the first where Muslims [...] violently occupied streets during prayers, the first where Arabs started the 'culture' of torching cars."

The paper says these scenes are now seen in core EU countries such as Germany, Netherlands, Belgium and Sweden, whereas the resistance of countries such as Poland, Hungary and Slovenia, "who do not want imported violence and barbarian cultures on their streets", is designated as a departure from democracy, a curtailing of freedom.

"This is one reason why these countries are being served numerous scandals and fabricated stories - all with the intention to take them down and install Play-Doh dummies pliable to progressive and multicultural kneading.

"It is in this light that one should interpret the famous and fabricated 'non-paper' about alleged redrawing of borders in Bosnia-Herzegovina, which domestic and foreign leftist activists, politicians and journalists [...] have tried schemingly to plant on Janez Janša."

All our posts in this series are here

17 Apr 2021, 15:13 PM

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

Mladina: Creation of instability in Balkans trap for EU

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Reporter: DeSUS Has Nothing to Offer Rebel MPs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

All our posts in this series are here

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?

All our posts in this series are here

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."

All our posts in this series are here

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.

All our posts in this series are here

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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