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Saturday, July 13, 2024

Peter Jančič: It is a scandal that the coalition prevents the control of the largest opposition party over its own work

By: G. K. / Nova24tv.si

This time, Ura moči show provided an analysis of the latest spying incident, about the extrajudicial interrogation of Culture Minister Asta Vrčko, which reveals the strained relations between the opposition NSi and SDS. As the discussants noted, these originate from the beginning of the mandate. “What has happened now, that the government coalition tried to disable the control of the largest opposition party over its own work in such a way as to give it to a smaller party, is scandalous,” said Jančič, for example. The last part of the show was dedicated to the increasingly authoritarian behaviour of Robert Golob’s government.

Commentators Peter Jančič, editor of Spletni časopis and former editor of the Siol portal, and Domovina journalist and political commentator Peter Merše appeared in this show. The debate started with the recent and rather unusual arrest of spies. As the guests on the show found out, the arrest itself was not even as suspicious as the media coverage of the arrest itself.

At the outset, Jančič pointed out that the current government no longer informs the public about migration or sexual crimes, while we learned about this arrest. Jančič also said that the way the story was released to the public shows the unprofessionalism of Slovenian journalism. “It is not only a problem that the foreign minister informs the public that she did not call the ambassador for protection or protest in any way because of Russia’s spying on us. Even the media, the journalists did not ask anything from the Russian side at the embassy, how do they comment that their agents were arrested, or did they provide them with help, which might even be normal,” said Jančič and then went on to say that in this case the journalists behaved like direct exposure to the authorities, since apparently they did not even bother to get a response from the other side, which could be very interesting.

In response to Požar’s remark that the story almost disappeared from the media the next day, Merše said that the story was clearly announced, as it does not happen that two media outlets publish such identical stories. Merše then continued or speculated that the public release of the news of the arrest could be about a so-called “damage control” of the authorities, “that is, that Slovenia shows itself as a country that opposes Russia, given that our prominent politicians, from the foreign minister onward, have one of the most condescending rhetoric towards Russia in the European Union.”

Playing with false successes and the minister’s amateurism?

The commentators then spoke about the appearance of Golob’s advisor for national and international security, Andrej Benedejčič, who was rumoured to be spying for Russia in the past, who described the arrest as a great success for Slovenia. At the same time, Jančič developed the idea that such arrests are quite common in the international public. He mentioned the recent expulsions of Russian spies from Austria or the expulsion of 33 Russian diplomats (actual spies) from Slovenia shortly after the invasion began, but we did not learn anything about what was actually behind the scenes, what the two arrested spies were spying on, etc.

Merše also explained that the probable reason why the foreign minister did not call the Russian ambassador to defend her (until the guilt of espionage is proven by the courts) lies in the latent sympathy of the left part of Slovenian politics towards Russia, which cannot be explicitly expressed now for obvious reasons, but it could also be the amateurism of the foreign minister.

Interpellation of the Minister of Culture or the entire government?

Merše and Jančič then spoke about the recent conflict between the opposition parties. Merše believes that this is a continuation of the story from April: “NSi is looking for its place under the sun from its minor opposition role, which at the same time is such that it appeals to its base and shows its independence from SDS.” On the other hand, we could in principle “come together” here, Merše continued, because this is a topic (interpellation of the Minister of Culture due to the abolition of the Museum of Slovenian Independence, fn.) in which the SDS cannot back down, which is why it proposed to interpellate the entire government. SDS hit back and got NSi into trouble with this interpellation of the government. In the smaller opposition party, they clearly did not consider two steps forward, thought Merše.

Government interpellation or constructive no confidence vote?

Then followed the next complication in relations, as NSi did not want to give a clear answer, and they “mixed” the initiative to interpellate the government with constructive no confidence vote when they put to the public the question of who the SDS would propose as the next formateur. Jančič then reminded that it is not necessary that if you propose interpellation of the government, you must also propose a new formateur. “It is about two different institutes, which is a bit confusing. A request for interpellation is a request to discuss the work of the government, about the content, and constructive no confidence vote is something completely different. You do not even need to discuss work; you just try to elect a new head of government. We are talking about the first institute, i.e., an interpellation, which is not necessarily connected to a vote of no confidence – this may or may not be requested,” he explained that the interpellation of the entire government team would be in place due to the cancellation of the mentioned museum. Namely, “by abolishing the museum of Slovenian independence, you are abolishing a memory that means a break with the totalitarian system. With this, we got fundamental rights and freedoms, and we have a bunch of parties in the government who defend the previous system,” argued the editor of the online newspaper.

Jančič: The government parties are fuelling the dispute between the opposition parties

Jančič further explained that the government parties caused a dispute with extremely unfair behaviour at the beginning of the mandate, when “the Commission for the Control of Public Finances, which, according to the findings of the expert services of the parliament, should be taken over by the largest opposition party, which was also the proposal of the expert services, the collegium of the President of the National Assembly assigned it to the smaller opposition party, this was done by the government parties.” Jančič then compared this as if, during the previous mandate, the SDS government party had left the leadership of one of the commissions to Zmago Jelinčič and his SNS party, and then given the other commission to Mrs. Bratušek. “This is undemocratic,” he is convinced.

“What has happened now, that the government coalition tried to disable the control of the largest opposition party over its own work in this way, is scandalous,” said Jančič, and at the same time drew attention to the media’s attitude towards the matter, which did not respond to it, because they, like the government and the coalition in the parliament, want “to f..k SDS and Janez Janša. He went on to reason: “But that is stupid. You need the opposition, they won the mandate in the elections, by far the most MPs, significantly more than NSi. Janša’s offer for NSi to accept, as was the case in the previous mandate, the control of the intelligence services, but to leave public finances to SDS, is a reasonable offer. Especially since we have a prime minister who comes from a state-owned company, where there are many suspicions of abuses,” said Jančič.

Golob set his own supervisors!

Merše then said that an agreement between the opposition parties would be necessary, as was the case in the past, when each had one investigative commission, and that a normal situation be restored. “The Commission for the Control of Public Finances is non-operative, as the coalition has a majority in it, and KNOVS has four MPs from NSi and four other MPs.” Jančič then warned that this is not a situation in which the parties would agree on this control, but “we have a situation where Golob’s party has determined who can control them, so that they escaped the control of the SDS, which has more experience, more MPs, better infrastructure, and it would cause them problems.”

NSi does not belong to either KNJF or KNOVS

“According to the expert analysis, which was made in the expert services of the parliament, following the election results, neither of the two main supervisory commissions belonged to NSi, but others did,” explained Jančič.

Rule by decrees

The interlocutors then opened up the last topic, namely Robert Golob’s way of governing, who introduces laws according to an emergency procedure, as if we were in a state of emergency, such as an epidemic, and these laws do not address solving “irreparable consequences for the functioning of the state,” which is often a pretext for introducing legislation under the emergency procedure.

“We are a witness to the Prime Minister who came before the judges and gave them a completely stupid idea that he would give all the prosecutors and judges a bonus of 600 euros – we immediately knew that there was no legal basis for this,” Jančič then explained, and then the entire government and the coalition in the parliament got involved in order to legalise this madness, and even following the procedure for natural disasters.

Merše also commented that the representatives of the authorities were taken over by incredible power, to which should be added the character of Robert Golob, who is distinctly undemocratic in his statements. He also said that the government is trampling on the work of the opposition, which cannot effectively prepare for work, by introducing laws following an emergency procedure and calling extraordinary sessions of the National Assembly. To this, Merše added the amateurism of a series of new MPs from the ranks of the coalition, who are completely unfamiliar with parliamentary procedures and the purposes of their debates.

Jančič said that it is not just amateurism, but that many people do not want to oppose Golob. He pointed out that the Ministry of Justice and the government’s legal service have completely failed here.

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