By: Andrej Žitnik (Nova24tv.si)
One year ago today, Slovenia became different. From a country that surpassed the European average in almost all aspects of development, success in dealing with the coronavirus, from a country where new projects grew like mushrooms after rain, to a country where citizens are tremblingly waiting for the next “idea” of the authorities to not hit them in the pockets too much, as well as a country where leaders of European parties actively accuse the Prime Minister of corruption and interference in the media. One year ago, on the wave of anti-corona discontent and mainstream media support, we won the election of the new instant party, Gibanje Svoboda. A lot has changed from those – for extreme leftists – euphoric times to today, and the Gibanje Svoboda party, although it threatened to become the new LMŠ at the time, is practically a political corpse, as is its president.
Even before the elections, Robert Golob’s potential coalition announced turbo-socialism: from property and real estate taxes to higher payroll taxes (with the abolition of the income tax reform of Janša’s government), as well as ideas about workers’ self-management, which filled many with Yugoslav nostalgia.
Although many people did not like the extremity of the announcement, the Gibanje Svoboda party still voted – why? Because they were offended that during the coronavirus pandemic (like other EU citizens) they could not go to the local buffet for a coffee. There was a lot of resentment towards the previous government – even though it was doing well. But such a pattern was characteristic all over the world. Practically all governments lost in the corona, many analysts also say that Donald Trump lost mainly because of the pandemic.
A rich tradition of new faces
Slovenia, however, already has a rich tradition of voters who periodically skate on thin ice with the help of media-built faces of a parallel mechanism. The result was predictable in its own way, although the concentration of the entire left in the empty liberals was nevertheless a partial surprise even for analysts and pollsters. After all, just a few months earlier, no one in Slovenia knew who Robert Golob was, and his appearances in the pre-election confrontations were so bizarre and banal that the average sane person thought that he would turn off the voters – but he did not. The anti-corona pogrom was too strong.
And what did we get?
- the government repealed Janša’s income tax reform, as promised before the elections and stole at least 1,000 euros from the average citizen per year until 2025;
- Cohesive absorption of European funds, where we were previously among the record holders in efficiency, has practically stopped, so that today we are at the tail end of all EU countries;
- Ljubljana became a medical Caracas – during the period of respiratory diseases, people crowded to the doors of the Ljubljana Health Centre, because there was a lack of family doctors, who were driven away by Janković’s director (the Minister of Health is still powerless to this day);
- reforms were announced and cancelled – the last one where we citizens “misunderstood” was the tax reform;
- mandatory penalties against savage vandals who ravaged Ljubljana during the pandemic are at the stage of cancellation;
- the Prime Minister has embarrassed himself several times globally: once by proposing the sun and sea water as a cure for corona, and also when he insulted Ukraine, saying that “no side in the conflict is ready to lay down their arms”;
- the Minister of Foreign Affairs also flirted with fascist Russia several times between the lines and even declared that she could not imagine a European security structure without Russia (and thus became a star of Russian regime portals);
- in the meantime, we recapitalised the billionaire state-owned energy companies with hundreds of millions of dollars, which previously made huge profits for a long time;
- in the meantime, the government wanted to curb inflation with a comical “food basket”, which triggered ridicule and contempt;
- the government is threatening us with an additional tax on our second vehicle and entry into the capital, as well as prohibiting the sale of new and the import of used fossil fuel vehicles;
- all the “street warriors” of the political cyclers have already been to the meeting with the Prime Minister and are actively co-creating government policy;
- the authority, which has made digitisation one of its priorities, has reintroduced the mandatory printing of paper invoices;
- meanwhile, the authorities behaved “in an authoritarian manner: the President of the National Assembly flew to Vienna for a concert 300 kilometres away, the Prime Minister dealt brutally with the police leadership (so much so that the Minister of the Interior resigned due to personnel pressures), the Minister of Health threatened doctors and announced to them the release of secret affairs;
- the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the President of the National Assembly, each with their team, promoted African tourism even in countries where homosexuals are shot – this was a truly original tribute to the policy of getting closer to core countries;
- the budget hole exploded and “with a technical rebalancing”, which revealed how much the new ministries will really cost us, reached the magical limit of €3,000,000,000.00 deficit, even though the European institutions threaten that the time of handing out helicopter money is over;
- the government coalition deals brutally with the media: on the one hand with investigative commissions that target specific media (including ours), on the other with a legal attempt to completely subjugate the public institution RTV Slovenia (which the Constitutional Court has stopped for the time being);
- the government in the West explains that it supports nuclear energy, but at home it is trying its best to stop the second unit of the Krško nuclear plant and instead promote “solar energy” (what a surprise that a significant part of the government, together with the Prime Minister, is actively involved in this industry).
Will we get stranded again?
To summarise: in just ten months, we have changed from an average European country (which ranks high in the rankings of economic and social efficiency) to a Balkan cesspool, where journalists are persecuted, public institutions and the police are subjugated, where corruption, clientelism and Nashist corporatism reign, and on the other hand, people are visibly poorer every day. On April 24th, 2022, Robert Golob was the new star of Slovenian politics, a year later he is already a political corpse, while uncles from the background are actively looking for his less excessive successor.
But this time, too, it will only be an aesthetically packaged package with the same content: how to squeeze as much as possible out of people and pump resources into three sources: corruption, bribes for far-left NGOs and crumbs for the pool of poor voters who believe in the dream of socialist prosperity, and they can be successfully bribed with change. It only depends on the common sense of Slovenians whether they want a new Uncle Golob or instead a European and global politician.