Former Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Janša was recently a guest on the Croatian TV Z1’s television show Bujica. Janša, about whom Professor Dr Slobodan Prosperov Novak said that he is “the cult politician of Central Europe,” and former Croatian Minister of Culture Zlatko Hasanbegović said that without his role, it is impossible to imagine the emergence of a modern Slovenian state, took part in an international conference in Zagreb on the challenges of contemporary conservatism, organised by the Centre for a Cultural Renewal.
“After the fall of communism, which caused the deaths of millions and significant further suffering of hundreds of millions of people, there was no Nürnberg trial for the communist leaders,” said Janez Janša, pointing out that “Nicolae Ceausescu was shot, but that is probably the only such case – he was killed by his own people, but nobody condemned the crimes of communism properly, and because of that, somehow, these evils have been brought back into modern times.” In the Croatian television show Bujica, the leader of the Slovenian Democratic Party (Slovenska demokratska stranka – SDS), Janša, together with the TV show host Velimir Bujanec, discussed a number of topics of common interest for Slovenia and Croatia. Among other things, the interlocutors touched on the issue of the relationship with the totalitarian past and the current political challenges.
On the show Bujica, former Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Janša also warned against the increasingly ruthless actions of the left and the influence of the old communist structures. Given that Janša is internationally recognised as a major figure in the Slovenian political arena, as could be seen and heard in a video clip at the beginning of the programme, the presenter pointed out that it is almost always the case that more good things are said about important figures abroad than at home. This, according to Janša, is also due to the division of Slovenia into those who never considered an independent Slovenia to be their preferred choice, as they also publicly declared at the time of the country gaining independence, and those who were in favour of an independent and democratic Slovenia.
The communists blame us for the destruction of their dreams, Janša said
Janša also pointed out that the communists “blame the people who fought for independence for destroying their dreams – because we won.” He noted that Yugoslavia was also the dream of many in Croatia. These people were never the majority, but it was a matter of influential circles, he stressed. When asked why there has been no lustration in Slovenia, Janša said: “While we were liberating Slovenia, others were privatising it. They took positions in the media, the judiciary, and financial institutions. It was relatively easy for the Slovenian communists to take power, and they are still in those positions,” Janša pointed out. He believes that the old forces have more control in Slovenia than in Croatia.
He then pointed out that since he has been leading his Slovenian Democratic Party – which has been for three decades now – it has made steady progress, except in 2014, “when we were robbed,” he said, “because three weeks before the elections, I was sent to prison on a trumped-up charge. And now, they are destroying our potential partners because they cannot destroy us,” Janša claims, adding that “at the same time, they are setting up their own new parties to replace the previously unsuccessful ones. The communists in Slovenia know no tolerance; they are extremely cruel to those who leave the sphere of their ‘cultural Marxism'”.
If communism had been punished, there would be peace in Ukraine today
Janša was one of the first people to visit Kyiv after the start of the Russian aggression, but he argues that the situation in Ukraine cannot be compared to that in Slovenia or Croatia. He believes that the war in Ukraine could have been prevented if the communist crimes had been punished. After Nazism, there was Nürnberg, but after communism, with millions killed and countless victims, there was no trial, no justice. “If the communists had been punished in Russia, there would be peace in Ukraine today,” the former Slovenian Prime Minister believes. Slovenia is also a large cemetery of Croatians killed at the end of the Second World War, and Janša believes it is only natural to pay tribute to the Croatians who were killed, all the more so because his father managed to escape from the Macesnova gorica cave. “If he had not escaped, I would not be here today,” he pointed out. He also reminded the viewers that Slovenia’s current left-wing government recently cancelled the Day of Remembrance for the Victims of Communist Violence.
“After the fall of communism, which caused the deaths of millions and significant further suffering of hundreds of millions of people, there was no Nürnberg trial for the communist leaders,” said Janez Janša, pointing out that “Nicolae Ceausescu was shot, but that is probably the only such case – he was killed by his own people, but nobody condemned the crimes of communism properly, and because of that, somehow, these evils have been brought back into modern times.”
He also believes that the main reason for the ban on the commemoration in Pliberk is that the modern European left, including the Austrian left, openly justifies the crimes of the communists. The tv show host then pointed out that Janša also opposed the attempt to ban a concert by Marko Perković Thompson in Slovenia. In response, Janša said that he himself would have liked to go to the concert and described the attempt to ban it as a great shame for Slovenia. The decision to ban the concert in Maribor was taken by the Minister of Public Administration in the Golob government, Sanja Ajanović Hovnik. “The banning of this concert is a great disgrace for the Slovenian legal order,” continued the former Prime Minister and President of Slovenia’s most powerful party: “The fact is that some of Thompson’s lyrics, which do not speak well of the communist era, are not popular in Slovenia, with the Slovenian left… In reality, that is all there is to it, that was the reason for the ban – and not what he is being accused of – namely, some imaginary link with the Ustasha. Quite simply, he is a poet, an artist, a singer, and a popular media personality who has the same attitude towards all totalitarianisms. And if you have the same attitude towards all totalitarianisms, then you are already “on the verge of fascism” in Slovenia. “If you have the same attitude towards all totalitarianisms, then you are a fascist,” Janša concluded.
Europe has become a disappointment
Regarding the conference on today’s challenges of conservatism, Janša believes that the eastern and central part of the European Union is ahead of the western part in terms of values, but is on the verge of extinction. He believes that Europe is threatened by sexual ideology, various projects under the guise of human rights, and the destruction of the family. “Europe has become a disappointment,” Janša argued, citing as an example the European Commission’s Rule of Law Report, which claims that Slovenia has made progress in terms of independence of the judiciary and the media, while at the same time, Slovenian institutions are being taken over by members of the same political milieu. “The European Union is part of the problem, not the solution,” he pointed out. And regarding immigration and the migrant quotas recently adopted by the European Union, Janša pointed out that this is all about certain forces in Europe that are fighting for new voters because they are losing old ones.
Janša: Slovenian communists know no tolerance
“It is unacceptable that the immense suffering that Pliberk represents, that this terrible suffering is attempting to be presented under some kind of ideological label,” Janša commented on the ban of the commemoration of the Croatian victims at the Pliberk Field. “This is a great shame for democratic Austria!” Janša’s family narrowly escaped the terrible fate of the hundreds of thousands of victims of Tito’s post-war purges: “I have a specific personal relationship to those events, and a completely clear relationship, because my father escaped from the cave near Macesnova gorica. If he had not escaped from the cave at Macesnova gorica, I would not be here today,” he said, adding that he “knows many families and many people who lost even more in those massacres after the war, and that is why my government introduced a National Day of Remembrance for the Victims of Communist Violence, and the current left-wing government abolished it on the very Day of Remembrance the next year”, Janša said, noting that “Slovenian communists know no tolerance”.
You can watch the show in its entirety at the following link: