By: Sara Kovač (Nova24TV.si)
“Have you already filled up with the cheapest gasoline in Europe?” asked the leader of the opposition SDS (Slovenian Democratic Party) to the gathered journalists at the beginning, regarding tomorrow’s anniversary of the swearing-in of Robert Golob’s government. Janša’s assessment of the first year of governance is, in terms of content, “a year of missed opportunities, a year of bureaucratic arrogance and anti-reforms, especially when it comes to wage relief or the declining standards of retirees.”
Symbolically, according to him, this year is also a year of returning to socialist Yugoslavia and unfortunately, a year of reviving the ominous spirit of civil war. “In a political sense, this is a year of unmasking.” He asked the audience if anyone knows of any European country “where the Minister of Justice warmly embraces, under the label of a representative of the Vesna party, the biggest gangster in the country?” He continued, “does anyone know of any country where the former president of the communist party advises the Prime Minister as if he were his superior?” According to him, it would be difficult to find a European country with an opposition party of eight members of parliament that sells itself for well-paid positions in state-owned companies and promised seats as constitutional judges.
Janša continued that the past year was a year of missed opportunities considering the challenges Slovenia faces. It was also a year of great momentum, as Slovenia was one of the fastest-growing economies in the EU after the crisis caused by the epidemic. The leader of the opposition was particularly surprised by the statement of Minister Tanja Fajon, who claimed that they had obtained 3 billion non-refundable European funds. Janša reminded Fajon that these negotiations were concluded almost three years ago, under a different government. However, he advised her to look at “where Slovenia stands today in terms of investing European funds compared to a year ago.”
When asked about record profits in the previous year, Janša explained that these were not the result of the government that took office on June 1st last year. He pointed out that the economic growth in the first half of last year was much higher than at the end of the year when Golob’s government was already in power. He expressed gratitude to the Prime Minister for stating that they have “normalised the country”. Today, he also mentioned that he considers a space normal where there is dialogue, but only with “healthy forces”.
Golob’s Fear of Collaboration
When asked about the new association of Dr Anže Logar, Janša responded that Prime Minister Robert Golob was not disturbed by the fact that Logar is a member of SDS but rather by the name – Platform for Collaboration. This emphasises the essence that SDS always advocates for, while Golob repeated the language of exclusion used by individuals in the opposition KUL who are now part of the Svoboda party. Janša reminded that the entire performance of KUL was based on exclusion and hopes that there will be more discussions on key topics in the future. Regarding the two SDS MPs in Logar’s association, Janša explained that this does not mean fewer members for the parliamentary group. However, Logar explained the purpose of the association at the parliamentary group session, emphasising that the essence is a platform for collaboration, which Slovenia urgently needs and SDS has always been striving for.
Janša also explained that talks are underway regarding cooperation between SDS and local lists that have achieved good results at the local level and in municipal and city council elections, “which is no secret”. When anything is ready for the signing of agreements, the public will be informed. At the same time, he emphasised that he hopes “the coalition will hold on long enough for the majority of those who do not participate in elections to be able to assess the difference between the current and the previous government, especially when they look into their wallets, and then make a mature decision”.
Referring to the statement about the “biggest gangster in the country”, he reminded of the words of a representative of the Green Party Vesna, that this does not only apply to the controversial C0 canal case. As he stated, the investigative commission will assist and even replace the authorities who should, by law and logic, perform their duties. He further added that if Franc Kangler had undertaken a similar project as Zoran Janković in Maribor, he would have ended up behind bars a long time ago.
Regarding the international arena, where Slovenia is a candidate for a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, Janša responded that if things were normal in terms of civilisation, there would be no question about it. Slovenia is competing against Belarus, which is an ally of aggressive Russia. He recalled all the declarations against Russia that received more support than Slovenia needs for election. Janša believes that Slovenian diplomacy is making efforts and that the election is obvious, so he would be surprised if there were not enough votes for the election in the end. “This means that we have done something very wrong in the past year.”
Regarding the liberation of the media, as Premier Robert Golob uses the term, Janša said the following: “This government is liberating the media just as the Communist Party liberated Slovenia nearly 80 years ago.” According to Janša, this liberation resulted in the creation of 700 mass graves in our country’s territory, which are still being discovered and where the dead are still not buried. “That is what liberation meant,” he explained and added that it has brought exactly the opposite of what it meant. As he concluded, the term media liberation does not belong in this sphere and those who use it actually mean the opposite.