By: Tanja Brkić / Nova24tv
“The word freedom, which is a very noble word, has been completely trivialised, I have also heard the former President of the country talking about the return of the freedom of democracy – look, that President has not travelled abroad a lot, he has been here, at home, in pubs – or else, he was in Moscow, so what could he really tell us about freedom? And as for the Freedom Movement party (Gibanje svoboda), it reminds me more of the social movement Freedom and evokes Italy. Even if we look at the last three months, there has been little talk of freedom, but rather of certain overconfidence, a flaunting, which is directly proportional to the Prime Minister’s stupidity,” the former Minister of Culture was direct in his interview with Dr Jože Možina, referring to both the former President Milan Kučan and the current Prime Minister Robert Golob, whom he considers to be, above all, harmful to Slovenia.
The guest on this week’s episode of the show “Intervju” (“Interview”) was the Slovenian historian and former Minister of Culture, Dr Vasko Simoniti, who was often the target of severe attacks during his time as Minister, but who also responded to them harshly himself. In the interview conducted by journalist Jože Možina, the two interlocutors touched upon the current situation in Europe, where the Russian attack on Ukraine is calling into question the unity and the future of the European Union, which will be crucial for future changes in civilisation. He was surprised by the outcome of the last parliamentary elections because of the radical difference between the results of individual parties and believes that such results were due to the aggressive propaganda by the mainstream and left-wing media, which had persistently attacked the former government throughout its term and the pre-election period. His surprise stems from the fact that the Janez Janša government was extremely successful in combating both the epidemic and its consequences, as demonstrated by the results at both the national and the international levels.
In the introduction, Simoniti and the host of the show, Dr Možina, briefly touched on the war in Ukraine, which, according to the former Minister of Culture, is the main actor in the future of Europe and its development, “if Europe lets Ukraine down in this current situation, I think we are looking at not only bad times, but the worst times, because it will be reflected in violent reactions in the Balkans and we will have to face the civilisational conflicts that can also lead to civilisational changes.”
Simoniti believes that the current situation is closer to not being free than it is to freedom
Regarding the current government and the Freedom Movement party, in particular, Simoniti said that it reminds him “of certain things that are closer to not being free than to the freedom that they stand for.” Simoniti is especially bothered by the overconfidence and showmanship of our Prime Minister, which, in his opinion, “are directly proportional to his stupidity.” For Simoniti, the utterly unacceptable propaganda that the former President of the Republic, Milan Kučan, and Prime Minister Golob himself indulge in is the labelling of political opponents as fascists.
Simoniti thus advised Prime Minister Robert Golob to first put his house in order when it comes to fascism and added: “These are very serious words, and they are very offensive, and these terms cannot be used arbitrarily. These are not simple things because people really have suffered a lot, and it is not appropriate in a democratic system to just stick such a label to something. I think that a person who says something like this, who insults others in this way, is an idiot… I cannot put it any other way.” He also explained the harsh remarks he made during his interpellation in the National Assembly, when he said that the Social Democrats (SD) MP Matjaž Nemec “does not know anything.” He described the unelected MEP as incompetent, “the Social Democrats party is a bit like a shiny metal sheet – but it is not gold, and Matjaž Nemec is an absolutely incompetent man.”
During their conversation, Simoniti and the host of the show also touched on the Smodej affair. Simoniti predicted that if politics were involved in the affair, there would be no judicial epilogue, because the police and the judiciary “are literally in the pocket of the left-wing political option.”
Simoniti is counting on the success of the referendum on the Radio-Television Slovenia Act
The former Minister of Culture then also commented on the amendment to the Radio-Television Slovenia Act, which he believes should be rejected, because instead of the announced depoliticisation, it brings about the politicisation of the public institution under the cover of a few selected left-wing civil society organisations, “and public television is not a private institution, there are rules and norms in place, as this is a public television, where knowledge and education are required,” Simoniti commented on the negative personnel selection that has brought many incompetent people to the country’s leading positions. Simoniti is particularly concerned about the future of Slovenia in light of the revival of totalitarian patterns and the phenomenon of paramilitary organisations.
He also commented on what he considers to be unacceptable behaviour that we have seen in recent days, when some journalists and editors misused the programme time of the public media outlet for their activism. Finally, on the future of Slovenia and Europe, Dr Simoniti stressed that it was important to insist on democracy, pluralistic society and freedom of speech, and added that he wanted the European Union to stand firm and be consistent in defending its fundamental principles. The guest also said that he believed that there was a need for greater personal commitment of Slovenian intellectuals to Slovenian and European values. He also saw the protection of all that has built Europe up as a necessity for Europe’s survival and future.