Ljubljana related

05 Mar 2022, 10:15 AM

The covers and editorials from leading weeklies of the Left and Right for the work-week ending Friday, 4 March 2022.

Mladina: SDS Abused Ukraine rally

STA, 4 March 2022 - After five rallies in support of Ukraine were organised in Slovenia after Russia attacked its neighbour, there was a sixth such rally on Wednesday that was organised by PM Janez Janša, who was also one of the key-note speakers, Mladina magazine says on Friday, adding that his SDS abused the hardships of Ukrainians for election gain.

After inviting everyone to the rally, Janša realised it was a bit odd that the prime minister, who has the power to express his views or protest in the political arena, would organise a civil society rally.

Janša, who thinks he is both an opposition leader and PM, and a national TV editor and its guest, then did what he knows best - he resorted to cheap political mimicry.

He found what was until then an unknown Ljubljana-Kyiv Culture Society to formally organise his protest, while everything - from the stage and PA system to the moderator - was taken care of by his Democratic Party (SDS).

Together with its coalition partners, the SDS abused the hardships of Ukrainians, from common people to their ambassador to Slovenia, to have an election rally, Mladina says, adding that Slovenia has not witnessed something so base for a while.

Protests against Russia's invasion of Ukraine are held across Europe and across the world, "but nowhere are they organised by prime ministers. Protests are a matter of the civil society. Well, there is one country where only protests organised by authorities are allowed. Its name is Russia."

Demokracija: Putin an alienated madman who cannot win

STA, 3 March 2022 - Commenting on the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Demokracija says that it seems that the "madman from the end of the conference table" has raised the stakes and started to play a game which he cannot withdraw from any longer.

After this reference to Russian President Vladimir Putin, the weekly says that "Putin is using Bolshevist methods to try to become the new Russian tzar."

This needs to be obvious, as advisors and guests must feel and be aware of his untouchability, and Putin seems to have already reached the level of a tyrant when his physical contact with other people becomes impossible.

"He is using proper spatial distancing because he is afraid of a Brutus from his own ranks," Demokracija adds under the headline Madman from the End of the Conference Table.

It adds that Putin is not a blessing for Russia, and that he could become a curse, just like all former officials of socialist secret services who climbed to the posts of country leaders.

Thirty years ago, Ukraine deliberately renounced nuclear weapons because it was counting on EU and NATO memberships, but its accession has been blocked mainly by Germany, which made concessions to Putin over the Nord Stream 1 and 2 gas pipelines.

Demokracija notes that Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Janša was right when he said that "if the EU does not expand, something else will", and adds that the world is now on the brink of global conflict.

Putin is by no means a great statesman and leader, he is only a "lunatic who is flying high on the wings of the lukewarm warnings from the West."

So far, he has only managed to alienate himself from most of the world and show that the Russian army is not so powerful, as not even an overwhelming number of 5th-generation fighter jets cannot ensure full air supremacy, concludes the commentary.

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12 Dec 2021, 12:02 PM

The covers and editorials from leading weeklies of the Left and Right for the work-week ending Friday, 10 December 2021. All our stories about coronavirus and Slovenia are here

Mladina: Doctors in Slovenia

STA, 10 December 2021 - Under the headline Doctors, Mladina's latest commentary looks at the lack of respect in Slovenia's society, especially of doctors, analysing their calls for changes to the payment system in healthcare and suggesting that they are being exploited by power-hungry elites who want more privatisation.

Mladina's commentary begins by noting the lack of respect and understanding in Slovenia's society, which is being felt by all people, not only doctors, who recently complained about that and about being overworked, while they advocated for better salaries.

"Doctors are finding it difficult to convince the public of the legitimacy of their claims. Their incomes are simply so high that it is hard for citizens to understand these demands. Why can they no longer convince us?" Mladina asks.

"The first problem is the excess income of individual doctors," says the weekly and points to the doctors who exploit the public healthcare system to supplement their incomes with private-sector practices.

"Of course, this impression is largely unfair to the majority of doctors: most have not usurped the public system in order to shamelessly exploit it, the vast majority are actually working hard."

But although it might seem like it, these doctors are not fighting for the public healthcare payment system, Mladina says, adding that their hardships will actually be exploited to justify further privatisation of healthcare and raising the highest salaries.

"All of this is obscene in the eyes of citizens - but that does not make the frustrations and hardships of doctors any less real, while this situation only suits those holding power in the medical ranks, as they slowly grab hold of the system piece by piece."

"The public has so far always shown that it wants to take the doctors' side, but they can no longer look the other way if they want public support. The battles against these anomalies are also their battles, which they have been avoiding thus far," concludes the commentary.

Demokracija: Inclusive language guidelines

STA, 9 December 2021 - Demokracija says in its latest editorial that it is completely irrelevant whether the European Commission has pulled the internal guidelines on inclusive language temporarily or fully, as the fact is that something like that should have never been proposed in the first place.

"Europe has not seen such an attack on Christianity since 1991, when the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe adopted the disgraceful recommendation - Contribution of the Islamic civilisation to European culture," the weekly says.

Pointing to the document presented by Commissioner for Equality Helena Dalli, Demokracija says that "these are no guidelines, but a pamphlet of a political agenda aimed at forcibly suppressing and destroying all the traditional and fundamental values of Europe".

Labelling Europe as the "most wonderful civilisation of all time", the weekly says that making interventions "in this reality and trying to erase history can only be the work of evil people".

Demokracija believes that the withdrawal of the guidelines is really only temporary and strategic, as "sooner or later they will push them through somewhere" in opposition not only to the Christian nature, but human nature in general.

"Dalli has repeatedly made it clear that she is the enemy of indigenous European nations, the heterosexual family and Christianity," the weekly adds under the headline Have a Nice Trip to the Pinkish Farout.

The reaction to the opposition to the guidelines was expected: reactionary, conservative and far-right forces are at work, the weekly says, while arguing that it was actually people with common sense who have raised their voice.

These people do not want to experiment with God's creations and traditional values, but the progressives have taken the familiar position that argues that the discourse of the former is violent and hostile.

"Normal Europeans, what is left of them, should now finally wake up and, despite their fatigue, stop allowing the madness in Brussels to continue to grow. It has all gone too far," concludes the commentary.

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20 Nov 2021, 14:29 PM

The covers and editorials from leading weeklies of the Left and Right for the work-week ending Friday, 19 November 2021.

Mladina: Signs of optimism upon Janša's looming defeat

STA, 19 November 2021 - Mladina says in its latest editorial that with the announcement of the election date, a countdown has started in Slovenia and in the EU as well, an "increasingly optimistic countdown to the end of a painful period of authoritarian rule".

Under the headline 155, Mladina says that the majority of politically active people are counting down the 155 days left until the election, and compares Slovenia's situation to the final period of President Trump's rule in the US.

Turning to Prime Minister Janez Janša, the commentary suggests that his recent behaviour reflects "a man whose plans have all fallen through and who has experienced rejection everywhere".

"Janša is defeated, and he knows it. We have never seen anything like this in the history of the rotating EU presidency: other EU leaders and representatives making it so clear to the PM of the country holding the presidency that they despise him."

"But his defeat at home is even greater. He has failed to break the media and the judiciary, he has failed to establish a cult of personality, he has failed to overturn the mood of a society so clearly opposed to the Slovenia he would like to create."

"Janša is now counting only on the government's alleged economic success, that is the only thing he talks about in an attempt to cover up the completely misguided fight against the epidemic, which is taking on frightening proportions."

Mladina adds that despite all the government's interference in various state institutions, certain forms of optimism, strength and rebellion are spreading through Slovenia's society, a certain "mockery at the autocratic ruler and his followers".

"As we are in the midst of an epidemic, it is hard to laugh - but the sentiment is there. Laughter is a sign of freedom, and the beginning of laughter signals the end of fear," concludes the commentary.

Demokracija: Fight against heirs of Communism

STA, 18 November 2021 - Demokracija magazine argues in Thursday's commentary that it is time to fight against the heirs of Communist ideology, which it says stages "media pogroms and show trials" whenever a government is not led by "red monsters disguised as social or liberal democrats".

These people perceive themselves as democratic advocates of liberty, and yet they designate everyone who disagrees with them as authoritarian enemies of democracy. "In their mental processes, shaped through decades, the (bourgeois) right is bent on racism and fascism, whereas the middle class, the pillar of the free market system and the engine of development, remains their biggest enemy."

According to the commentator, the time has come to determine whose country Slovenia is. "Do the 'proud heirs of the League of Communists' really have the exclusive right to bypass all the rules ... and terrorise others in the streets? Who will stop these guerrilla actions by leftists, concealed behind nice-sounding names of NGOs?"

History shows that red revolutions have always been deadly for good, God fearing people, that they have only brought devastation and sadness, Demokracija says.

"Nowadays a coordinated and systemic attack is carried out differently than it was a hundred years ago, but the consequences are the same. Our future demands that we fight, and that we remember the legendary times of this generations for actually liberating [the country], not only making it independent."

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30 Oct 2021, 10:04 AM

The covers and editorials from leading weeklies of the Left and Right for the work-week ending Friday, 29 October, 2021.

Mladina: Govt's epidemic strategy guided by upcoming election

STA, 29 October 2021 - Mladina says in its latest editorial that the government's Covid-19 strategy is actually "crazy business" that has nothing to do with the epidemic, because the basic premise that prevents the government from having a strategy and that steers the country's fight against the epidemic has a name - election.

"It sounds banal, and actually even criminal, but the Slovenian government today takes (or does not take) measures based on the fact that general election will be held in the country in half a year," the weekly says in Price of Pre-election Period.

Half of the voters who may take part in the election refuses vaccination, sending an indirect message that they also reject the majority of the anti-epidemic measures, which is why the government has been taking illogical and inconsistent measures.

"When it comes to all measures, the main line of thinking of the prime minister and other coalition party presidents is how possible individual measures taken by the government will impact the sentiment of voters in the upcoming election."

Taking action during an epidemic does have a political effect on the electorate, but this applies to every government, Mladina says, noting that Miro Cerar (2014-2018) had the refugee crisis and Alenka Bratušek (2013-2014) had the financial crisis.

"What comes with politics is politicians being able to look beyond the party and personal interests and take measures that will probably be damaging to them politically, but beneficial for the country and its residents."

According to the weekly, this is especially true for the current government and the time of epidemic - it is without a doubt a historical moment in which true statesmen sacrifice their possible future career in the name of higher goals.

"This government is not doing that, this is something Janez Janša is not capable of. That man continues to think only about himself, like all autocratic leaders. It is not about the nation, it is about him."

The weekly notes that Slovenia cannot afford another six months of pre-election time, because it immediately needs a government that will not look at the epidemic and measures to stem it through the lenses of the upcoming elections.

"The price of this calculating and egomaniac conduct is not counted in euros, but in lives," concludes the commentary.

Demokracija: Parallel mechanism of deep state still alive

STA, 28 October 2021 - Demokracija says in its latest commentary that the "parallel mechanism of deep state" from the period of transition is still very much alive in Slovenia and that money for completely political and ideological needs keeps returning to the country.

Today, deep state is being falsely defended by presenting the parallel mechanism as a system that benefits the Slovenian nation and as part of preparations for monetary aid during the independence efforts, the weekly adds in Parallel Mechanism.

The commentary discusses a book on the topic by economist Rado Pezdir, which talks about millions of euros disappearing abroad (mostly in tax havens) and returning in the form of various privatisation stories.

"What makes the book invaluable is that it uses concrete examples to describe how the parallel mechanism functions: from classic crime (cigarette smuggling) by the communist avant-garde and cooperation with (Italian) mafia after WWII."

The refined financial operations at the turn of the millennium show that the mechanism is very much alive and certain circumstantial evidence shows that the violent street protests in Ljubljana are financed in agreement with career criminals.

"The parallel mechanism defends what it holds dear the most: enormous quantities of money, care for heirs of communism, integrity of its (im)moral system and its interpretation of the world," Demokracija says.

It notes that the battle to dismantle this mechanism does not take place in plain daylight, but "at the most visceral levels," and in truth it is a battle between good and evil, between truth and lies.

"The left-wing experiment that has built the parallel mechanism in the first place has been taking place for more than three-quarters of a century in Slovenia, but sooner or later it will crumble under the weight of history," concludes the commentary.

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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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