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Tanja Fajon: Expelling members, journalists, the Prime Minister, the government – will Slovenian citizens be next?

On Friday, two positive and one negative event happened. In the morning, we found out that the Prime Minister had sent a letter to the President of the European Commission, Ursula van der Leyen, in which he presented the actual state of the media landscape in Slovenia.

Janša called on the European Commission to send a working group to Slovenia as soon as possible, which would be able to see first-hand how the media operate in our country, who they serve, and how the judiciary works, whether academic freedom is being respected, which journalists have actually been persecuted, who laundered money for Iran, and so on.

He also wrote that the absurd accusations that some of the more known Slovenians are exporting abroad must be stopped. We also published the letter in its entirety on our web portal, and you can read it here. The opposition parties SD, LMŠ, Levica and SAB panicked when they found out about it, as the truth scares them more than anything else. They began attacking Janez Janša, who commented on this, saying: “You want to complain to Brussels, but you are afraid of a commission which would check the facts. I wonder why?”

The proposed Plan for the Recovery and Resilience after the epidemic has been published
The Government Office for Development and European Cohesion Policy published the proposal for the Pandemic Recovery and Resilience Plan on Friday. They also held a consultation of the government representatives with the expert advisory group, led by Matej Lahovnik, Ph.D., on the preparation of the final version, which the government will then submit to the European Commission for approval. This will allow us to receive the European funds for the recovery after the pandemic (several billion euros, most of which are grants), and the government intends to use this money for reforms, reconstruction and development of Slovenia.

Tanja wants to comment on the matter but has not even read the plan yet, so she banned the Nova24TV cameraman
What the President of the SD party, Tanja Fajon, allowed herself to do on Friday is just the tip of the iceberg. In the afternoon, she announced the time when she would make a statement, in which she intended to present her response to the publicly announced Recovery and Resilience Plan. She also tweeted that the SD party had come up with a good alternative plan for recovery and resilience.

Janša responded to Fajon’s (and others) posts yesterday, writing: “We invited you to work with the government in May 2020, so you could have helped from the very beginning. And we then asked you twice more. We were always rejected. So trying to be the know-it-alls now is pretty shallow. Suggest something new, anything that will add value. That is always welcome.” Fajon then also confirmed that she had not even read the government plan. So, what can the alternative plan even look like if she did not even read the original one?

As she did not read the plan, the Nova24TV cameraman was not allowed at the press conference
At Friday’s so-called press conference, which was held in front of the SD party’s headquarters, where the selected few agreed with each other on most things which were also mostly without any real content, a scandal happened. A security guard or someone from the SD party’s headquarters prevented the Nova24TV cameraman from coming to the event and recording the statement. The Association of Journalists and Publicists (Združenje novinarjev in publicistov – hereinafter referred to as ZNP) responded sharply to this, writing that Nova24TV is officially recorded in the register of the media and has the same rights to participate in press events as any other media outlet.

Such restrictions on the work of the media are not acceptable and grossly interfere with the media’s freedom to work. What is especially incomprehensible is that this was done by the party which warns of the alleged pressures on the work of the media in Slovenia on a daily basis, and whose MEP initiated the discussion on the alleged violation of the media freedom in Slovenia in the European Parliament. Apparently, the SD party only notices the pressuring of the media when it is being done by others. This is discrimination that is contrary to the values of media freedom, as well as democracy itself.

The ZNP also expects the SD party to take back what they posted on Twitter about the Nova24TV, stating that their journalists are not welcome at the SD party’s events and that the party does not intend to work with their journalists or cameramen. If the SD party does not take back what they posted, the ZNP will call on all of the other media outlets in Slovenia to boycott all events organised by the SD party in protest. The attacks on the journalists by the SD party and its President and MEP Tanja Fajon will also be reported to the European Parliament, the European Commissioner and the international journalistic associations.

No content but lots of lies
When Friday’s event was met with sharp reactions from the public, as it turned out that the SD party has gone too far, Fajon posted an apology on Twitter, saying that “there was a misunderstanding, but I did not have the time, nor the opportunity to fix it.” However, it turned out that the SD headquarters had also sent a message to the editor of Nova24TV, Aleksander Rant, practically at the same time as the apology was published, proving that the ban of the Nova24TV cameraman had been planned. This is also what the ZNP is referring to.

Not only the government, cameramen and journalists – Fajon is also expelling the members of the party
The SD party really made a mistake by picking Tanja Fajon. This has also been confirmed by what is going on in Slovenska Bistrica, as the headquarters in Ljubljana expelled the Slovenska Bistrica Mayor Emil Rojec from the party (he was a member of the SD party since its beginnings), and therefore, the entire municipal committee of the SD party also left with him. Borut Rojc, who is now already a former member of the SD party, also commented on Friday’s lies of the SD party (regarding the Nova24TV cameraman). He wrote: “Someone in the SD party is lying, either it is their PR or the President Tanja Fajon. Place your bets on who lied with me.” It is clear that he was aiming at Fajon. Rojc then also added: “Here is the proof that will show you that Emil Rojec was not expelled from the party because of inappropriate communication with the media. He was expelled because he opposed the illegal migrations and because he successfully cooperated with the Government of the Republic of Slovenia for the benefit of the little man.”


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