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The Repayment Of Fines For Breaking The Anti-Corona Measures Was Fatal For The Police

Do we have a neutered police force in Slovenia? A whole series of clearly inappropriate police interventions shows that this is indeed the case. We spoke to former Minister of the Interior and candidate for the position of Member of the European Parliament, Aleš Hojs, who holds the ruling authorities responsible for a series of recent “botched police interventions”.

“This is a disgrace for the police as an institution. On the other hand, it should be remembered that all these police officers and police staff have been brought to the point in the last two years where they practically dare to do nothing anymore, because they are constantly being bullied. Ever since the protests, they have been harassed, prosecuted, and, for some of them, even threatened with the loss of their jobs. No wonder then that police officers don’t want to bring any attention to themselves because it could end up costing them their jobs,” explained the former Minister of the Interior, Aleš Hojs.

As a reminder, Wednesday’s inappropriate police intervention has been the third in a row. We can highlight the football match between the Football Club Maribor and the Football Club Mura (that happened on the 18th of February), where we saw violent riots by fans of the Maribor Football Club, the use of pyrotechnics, and consequent injuries to Mura players and spectators. The police more than obviously misjudged the security risks and then failed to restore order in time. Following the incident, current Interior Minister Boštjan Poklukar requested a police report.

About two weeks later, footage emerged on the internet of young men surrounding a police car in the garage of a shopping centre in the Rudnik area of Ljubljana. According to the police, the patrol “tactically withdrew” until reinforcements arrived on the scene. A young right-wing influencer and vlogger, Zala Klopčič, commented on the video on the social network X, writing: “Slovenia. Yesterday. Zero respect for authority. I have no words for this, truly. Total anarchy.”

The latest incident took place in Ljubljana, at Bavarski dvor on Wednesday. The thug, who was walking around the city centre with two large knives, was only subdued after about an hour, in the presence of a special police unit and a relative of the perpetrator, who persuaded the 23-year-old man to drop the weapon.

The return of fines from the days of the anti-Corona measures was fatal for the police

Former Interior Minister Hojs believes that this is the consequence of the attitude of the current authorities towards the police. He highlighted the repayment of fines for offences committed during the period when the anti-corona measures were in force.

“This was one of the key things that completely discredited the work of the police. Now they are reaping what they have been sowing for two and a half, maybe even three years,” Aleš Hojs pointed out. He added that part of the responsibility also lies with the representatives of the media, who wrote at the time about a repressive, even “fascist” police force. “And now, they don’t have police, but they have people who no longer feel safe. What they have achieved is that now people make fun of the police.”

The mystery of the non-functioning stun guns

We also asked Hojs about the non-functioning stun guns that were used to try to subdue the man with the knives on Wednesday. Police officers have announced that they will carry out an investigation into why the stun guns that were used on him did not work, and in the meantime, questions have been raised in the public domain about the proper training of the officers and about the possible inadequate maintenance of the stun guns. “I suppose if they had set it up properly and knew how to use it, the stun gun would have worked, but they obviously weren’t trained well enough. You may recall the (anti)publicity given to stun guns by journalists, saying that they were about intimidating people, violating human rights and so on. Here, too, we can see how everything that the police did to be better trained, more technically equipped, was discredited, slandered, and belittled,” Hojs pointed out. However, he also added that the police also need to be reprimanded in this case. The fact that the stun guns did not work is a “grave disgrace” for them as well. At the same time, the Vice-President of the Slovenian Democratic Party (Slovenska demokratska stranka – SDS) wondered about how the police would have reacted in the case of a thug who was armed not with knives but with firearms.

The authorities underestimate the work of the police

When asked how he would react if he were still Minister of the Interior, the former Minister said: “If I were still Minister, I would certainly not have met Mr Jenull and discussed with him how we were going to write off the fines. It was such a disgrace and such an underestimation of the police that they could not have done anything more symbolically wrong.”

The set protecting the Prime Minister

In spite of all of the above, Hojs doubts that a series of (apparently) inadequate interventions by the police could lead to the resignation of a minister. “The Interior Minister’s helpfulness to the Prime Minister ensures that his political career is not threatened. Everything he has done so far; he has done as he was told. Just remember the appointment of the new Director-General of Police, who, in my opinion, did not have the right qualifications for the job.”

Hojs also recalled the press conference held by the Director of the National Bureau of Investigation, Darko Mužević, who looked away when billions of euros were being laundered in the NLB bank. At that time, he was still the head of that office… All of this tells us that the political set-up that is currently in place at the Ministry of the Interior is nothing but a puppet in the hands of a policy which is directly led by the Prime Minister himself, who is very interested in not having his robberies, which are already known in one way or another, investigated. Namely, according to information provided by Hojs, the investigations against Golob and the Gen-I energy company, which the Prime Minister used to head, are practically at a standstill at the police. “The Interior Ministry is practically a bulwark for Golob’s inviolability. They don’t care much about the safety of the citizens of Ljubljana and the general safety of the country.”

Žiga Korsika

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