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With The Law On The Repayment Of Fines From The Time Of Covid-19, Pandora’s Box Was Opened

The Golob government recently boasted that a law has entered into force that provides for the repayment of fines for certain offences from the time of the Covid-19 pandemic. “This is a severe blow to all healthcare workers who worked during the pandemic to ensure that as few people as possible fell ill and died from Covid-19. The rules were in place to reduce transmission of the virus. Offences were punished in every country, including Austria. But the far left was obstructive all along. And they have not stopped,” Dr Federico V. Potočnik, a medical doctor, was critical of the government’s move.  

Since those who most often violated the measures in force during the time of the Covid-19 epidemic were also those who took part in anti-government protests, and the latter are largely responsible for the installation of the current Golob government, it is not surprising that the latter decided to adopt the aforementioned measure in order to, in a way, pay the protesters back for their help. In doing so, the ruling party has sent a foolish message to the offenders, in terms of maintaining law and order, that if by any chance competition gets to the helm, rioting is allowed, even if it endangers public health.

Data on offences committed will be deleted

According to the government, beneficiaries will not have to submit individual claims to claim their rights, as the offence authorities will, ex officio, issue information calculations, which will be sent by post. It is foreseen that the first information calculations will be sent out in January of the upcoming year. “In the event of substantive errors, it will be possible to lodge an objection against the informative calculation. The amounts of fines paid and recovered will be refunded to the beneficiary’s payment accounts, and the details of the offences committed will be deleted from the offence records,” the statement added.

The above-mentioned measure signals that generous forgiveness follows when one works “for the right thing”, i.e., opposes the rule of Janez Janša. This logic of action was already revealed some time ago by Zoran Janković, the Mayor of Ljubljana, when he was asked whether he was afraid of ever ending up in prison, and replied: “Not at all; I have been the biggest opponent of Janez Janša’s policies all these years, so to speak, in this area of executive power.”
“I understand this as “activities to dismantle the rule of law”. Police officers mainly warned offenders and, less often than in the past, issued penalties. We were clearly less repressive than the police in some of the core EU countries, which are supposed to be our role models,” said Anton Olaj, the former Chief of Police, referring to the government’s plans to repay fines to those who had broken the law during the Covid-19 epidemic.

There has been no shortage of criticism

“In mockery of all those who lost their relatives during the Covid-19 epidemic, who were hospitalised in intensive care units, who are suffering the consequences of the disease, and who respected the measures. Above all, in mockery of all the healthcare workers who worked with their last strength in the covid wards,” MP Jelka Godec, the leader of the Slovenian Democratic Party (Slovenska demokratska stranka – SDS) parliamentary group, commented on the government’s intention.

Some believe that this opens a Pandora’s box of legal chaos in the country and that it means that anarchy reigns. “This is no longer a government, it is anarchy…You started well, you are continuing even better…”; “A ship of fools,” “Another blow to common sense.”; “What are you going to give back to those of us who adhered to the government decrees? Idiots.”; “Shame. Presumably, this is a guarantee that the laws of this government do not have to be obeyed. So why do we have a government?”; “A very despicable act that should sound the bells for the rule of law…calm down and breathe, because the boomerang is coming back fast…it was the same all over the world and here, the hospital capacities almost filled up…you were a menace, and you are still a menace…” are just some of the comments that are telling enough in themselves.

We can only hope that we will not have to face a similar crisis any time soon because, in this context, there is concern about the impact that such indulgences will have on the discipline of compliance. Namely, some will probably believea that, despite the threat to public health, they are allowed to do just about anything and that their ‘rights’ will be taken care of when their people are in power again.

Ž. N.

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