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Janša: A Year Of Lost Opportunities, Rampant Bureaucracy And Anti-Reforms

“Have you filled your tanks up with the cheapest petrol in Europe yet?” the leader of the opposition Slovenian Democratic Party (Slovenska demokratska stranka – SDS) asked the journalists in relation to Thursday’s anniversary of the swearing-in of the government of Robert Golob. Janša’s assessment of the first year of Golob’s rule is that this was “a year of lost opportunities, a year of rampant bureaucracy and anti-reforms, especially when it comes to wage relief or the falling standard of pensioners.”

Symbolically, he believes that this is also a year of returning to socialist Yugoslavia and, unfortunately, a year of reviving the sinister spirit of the civil war. “In political terms, it is the year of the dropping of masks.” He asked the audience if anyone knew of any other European country “where the Minister of Justice is warmly embracing, in the words of the Vesna party spokeswoman, the biggest gangster in the country?” “Does anyone know of any country where the last chairman of the Communist Party sits the Prime Minister down on a stool and gives him friendly advice?” It would also be hard to find a European country with an opposition party with eight MPs that sells itself for a few well-paid positions in state-owned companies and the promised post of a Constitutional Court judge.

Janša went on to say that the last year was a year of missed opportunities, given the problems Slovenia is facing. It was also a year when there was still a lot of momentum from the times when Slovenia was one of the fastest growing economies in the EU after the epidemic crisis. The leader of the opposition was particularly surprised by the statement of Minister Tanja Fajon, who said that they had obtained 3 billion euros in EU grants. Janša reminded Fajon that these negotiations were completed almost three years ago, under a different government. But he advised her to look at “where Slovenia is today in terms of investing EU funds and where it was a year ago.”

Asked by the press about the record profits last year, Janša explained that these were not the result of the government that took office on the 1st of June last year. He recalled that economic growth in the first half of last year was once again higher than the growth at the end of the year, when the Golob government was already in power. He was, therefore, grateful to the Prime Minister for saying that they had “normalised the country.” Golob also said today that for him, a normal place is where there is dialogue, but only with “healthy forces.”

Golob is afraid of cooperation

Asked by the press about the new association of Dr Anže Logar, Janša replied that Prime Minister Robert Golob was not bothered by the fact that Logar is a member of the SDS party, but by the name – The Platform of Cooperation (Platforma sodelovanja). This is because it emphasises the essence of what the SDS party has always stood for, and Golob repeated the language of exclusion that was often used by the so-called Constitutional Arch Coalition (left-wing parties of the former opposition) and by individuals who are now part of the Freedom Movement party (Gibanje Svoboda). Janša recalled that the entire performance of the Constitutional Arch Coalition had been built on exclusion and hoped that there would be as many discussions on key issues as possible in the future. On the two SDS MPs in Logar’s group, Janša explained that this does not mean fewer members for the SDS parliamentary group. However, Logar also explained the purpose of the association at the group’s meeting – the essence of it is to create a platform for cooperation, which is something Slovenia desperately needs and which the SDS party has always strived to achieve.

Janša also explained that there are talks about the SDS party cooperating with lists that have achieved good results at the local level of elections and in elections to municipal and city councils, “which is no secret.” The public will be informed when anything comes to fruition. At the same time, he stressed that he hoped “that the coalition will last long enough for most of those who do not vote to be able to appreciate the difference between the current and the previous government, especially when they look into their wallets. And hopefully, they will then make a mature decision.”

With his statement about “the biggest gangster in the country,” Janša reminded us of the words of the Vesna – Green Party representative, namely that this is not only the case when it comes to the controversial C0 sewage pipe. As he said, the Commission of Inquiry will assist and even replace the authorities that should otherwise, by law and logic, do their job. He added that if Franc Kangler had taken on a similar project in Maribor as Zoran Janković has in Ljubljana, he would have ended up behind bars a long time ago.

When asked about the international situation, where Slovenia is running for a non-permanent seat on the UN Security Council, Janša replied that if things were normal in a civilisational sense, then this issue would not exist. Slovenia is running against Belarus, which is an ally of the aggressor Russia, and he recalled all the declarations against Russia that have received more support than Slovenia needs to be elected. Janša believes that Slovenia’s diplomacy is doing its best and that being elected to this post is a given, so he would be surprised if the votes for the election were to fall short in the end. “This would mean that we have done something very wrong in the last year.”

On the importance of liberating the media, which is the term that Prime Minister Robert Golob has often used, Janša said: “This government is liberating the media, just as the Communist Party liberated Slovenia a little less than 80 years ago.” According to Janša, since that liberation, 700 murder sites have been created on the territory of our country, which are still being discovered, and the dead are still not buried. “That was what liberation meant,” he explained, adding that it brought the opposite of what it was supposed to. As he added in conclusion, the liberation of the media is also terminology that does not belong in this sphere, and those who use it, actually mean the exact opposite.

Sara Kovač

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