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A Statement Not Worthy of the President of the European Parliament Is Politically Motivated and Indicates Ignorance of the Situation in Slovenia

Who does David Sassoli think he is, warning the Prime Minister Janez Janša about “attacks” on Members of the European Parliament also being attacks on European citizens? And on what basis can the President of the European Parliament, who lost 70 percent of his voters in ten years, even accuse the Slovenian Prime Minister of any attacks? It is more than obvious that the European delegation has known from the very beginning how it intends to present the situation in Slovenia and its current government, and Sassoli’s words only further confirm this.

We have previously already reported that in recent days, seven Members of the European Parliament came on a “fact-finding mission” to Slovenia. Namely, the delegation includes seven members from the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE), one from each political group, and one member from the Committee on Budgetary Control. The purpose of their visit is to assess the situation in the field of the rule of law, freedom of the media, and also the fight against corruption. As part of this mission, they met with journalists, the human rights ombudsman, the President of the Court of Audit and President of the Constitutional Court, the Information Commissioner and the Supreme State Prosecutor, and others. They also wanted to meet with Prime Minister Janez Janša, but he did not confirm his participation in the meeting.

On Thursday, Belgian MEP Assita Kanko tweeted: “Prime Minister Janez Janša refuses to meet our European Parliament delegation, but has enough time to create a Twitter storm among his followers, also about our visit?” She added that she was furious because of his attitude and offered to find a time slot for the meeting that the Prime Minister would agree with. The S&D Group from the European Parliament, the member of which is also our Slovenian MEP Tanja Fajon, also commented on the situation in question, writing that the delegation was greeted by an empty chair instead of the Prime Minister. “We have many questions for him on the worrying state of media freedom and the rule of law in Slovenia,” they tweeted their worries in a style very similar to that of Tanja Fajon. The invitation of the delegation was also refused by the Minister of Justice Marjan Dikaučič and Minister of Culture Vasko Simoniti – the latter also did not respond to the invite because the ministry wanted the conversation to be recorded for internal purposes, but the MEPs refused.

Of course, the Prime Minister himself also responded to the situation and rightfully asked: “Who are you? How many times have you visited a German chancellor, a Dutch MP or a French president? By the way, it’s the Netherlands where the last journalist was killed in the European Union. In Slovenia, such attempts were made only during the regime of your comrades from the Social Democrats party.” With this, the Prime Minister was, of course, referring to the attack on journalist Miro Petek, who was almost beaten to death twenty years ago.

Later, the President of the European Parliament, David Sassoli, also joined in on the “debate” on the social network, calling on Janša to cease the provocations against members of the European Parliament. He wrote that attacks on members of this house (the European Parliament) are also attacks on European citizens, adding that a constructive collaboration with the rotating Presidency of the Council of the European Union can only be based on mutual trust and respect. Well, Sassoli’s tweet upset MEP Milan Zver, who responded to him by writing: “Dear President of the European Parliament Mr Sassoli, I am deeply disappointed by your unsubstantiated statement which is not worthy of the president of one of the largest democratically elected institutions. Your statement is politically motivated and indicates ignorance of the situation in Slovenia.

Sara Kovač




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