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The Silver Lining in the Transitional Disaster Is That We Have Janez Janša as the Prime Minister During the EU Presidency

“I cannot even imagine what it would be like if the government of Marjan Šarec was still in office today,” Boštjan M. Turk commented on the beginning of Slovenia’s Presidency of the European Council. Namely, very few people in Slovenia are responsible enough to take on such an important task – that is, facing the pandemic and all its consequences, and at the same time, preparing to lead the European Union. At this point, it should also be noted that the EU is in a state of increasingly pronounced, permanent political crisis. Šarec would absolutely not be able to cope with all of these challenges, and in addition, unlike Janez Janša, he does not enjoy any respect abroad, as nobody even knows about him at all.

In all probability, none of the political players opposing the current government would be able to cope with the EU presidency, especially combined with having to deal with the epidemic and its consequences – and it is certain that the former Prime Minister Marjan Šarec would not be able to handle the task. Perhaps the only exception here could be Tanja Fajon, said Boštja M. Turk, the vice-dean of the European Academy of Sciences and Arts, however, Fajon would likely be a “lightning rod” for dissatisfaction – let’s just think back to the reaction to her agenda on the accession of certain former member states of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia that she presented in Belgrade. Therefore, in Turk’s opinion, this is a kind of silver lining in the transitional disaster, which is caused by the unresolved past – that is, that the Prime Minister is currently Janez Janša. Igor Bavčar is the only other person who could likely perform his role with similar success, but besides him, Turk does not think there are any other possible candidates.

“Under normal circumstances and in a normal state, at such an important event as is the Presidency of the European Council, the opposition would support the government in a joint effort to solidify the good reputation and importance of the Republic of Slovenia,” Turk explained, adding that unfortunately, we cannot hope for something like that to happen here. If we look at the time since the formation of the current government, we quickly find that, regardless of the fact that we have had to face the worst health crisis, in addition to a general crisis, since the beginning of the second half of the 20th century, the opposition used the pandemic for constant attacks and settling the political score with the government.

The media played an important role in this whole matter, as they allowed and helped the opposition articulate all of its attacks on the government – regardless of the situation in which the entire country has found itself. Due to all of the above, we would be much too optimistic if we still hoped for the government to have some peace during the Presidency of the EU Council. We should even fear something else – namely, that the transitional background, together with the journalistic activists in Slovenia, will continue to make up scandals and export them to the European media and to Brussels, thus also making the government’s work more difficult and trying to disqualify it.

The majority believes that Slovenia’s Presidency of the European Council will be successful
However, all of the attacks and the attempts at disqualification that the political activists have prepared so far – whether they are part of the media or the transitional parties (since there is no difference between the two anyway) – were unsuccessful, according to Turk. They were nothing more than soap bubbles in which the faces of the ones who were blowing them in the air reflected the most. Thus, we all dare to look into the future with some optimism and dare to predict that – in spite of all the obstacles on our way and the media offensive abroad, the government will successfully survive the six-month presidency, just as it has survived the many candidates for the position of Prime Minister, presented by the powerful people of the transitional network and the journalistic activists.

The results of a recent poll conducted for Nova24TV by the public opinion agency Parsifal also show that the vast majority of the respondents believe that Slovenia’s Presidency of the European Council will be successful – namely, as many of 63.9 percent of the respondents believe that to be the case. Only 29.5 percent of the respondents believe that Slovenia’s Presidency will be unsuccessful. Judging by the results, it can be concluded that people trust the current government. This is not surprising, as Slovenia was more than successful during its first Presidency of the Eu Council – and at the time, it was also Janez Janša who was the Prime Minister.

Sara Bertoncelj

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