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Romana Tomc: “My colleague Joveva did not mention a single thing that would not hold up in the discussions of my guests. I am asking you to immediately come forward with concrete information that are not true, and tell who said them”

By: Domen Mezeg (nova24tv.si)

Media freedom in the EU was debated in the EP. In response to the event, the N1 studio prepared a confrontation between Tomc (SDS) and MEP Joveva (Svoboda). Joveva served up with sweeping accusations at the level of a fortune teller. It was platitudes in the style that the conference was “bizarre” and that it was “deception, manipulation, and distortions”. Tomc got her down off her high horse: “My colleague Joveva did not state a single thing that would not hold up in the discussions of my guests. I am asking you to come forward with concrete information that is not true and tell who said it… Flat accusation is something that is very close to you, but that is exactly what it is about. That is why I wrote on Twitter: the truth has come out in the European Parliament!”

SDS MEP Romana Tomc organised the Media Freedom in the EU conference in Brussels, where the media in Slovenia was discussed. At the event, accusations were heard against Robert Golob and the largest ruling party, Svoboda. In the latter, they defended themselves that the European Parliament was spreading false claims and defamation. Among others present at the conference were the president of the programme board of RTV Slovenia Peter Gregorčič, former editor of Siol Peter Jančič, and former journalist and former member of the SDS in the National Assembly Miro Petek. As was heard in the debate, the media are under strong pressure. Among other things, editors are being dismissed and there are brutal staffing changes. In response to the event, the N1 Slovenia studio prepared a confrontation between two MEPs – Romana Tomc from SDS (European EPP) and Irena Joveva from Svoboda (European Renew Europe), who commented on the events in Brussels and the Slovenian media space.

In the discussion in the studio, Tomc stood out, calmly saying something “bold” to Joveva, while the latter mainly used general, comprehensive accusations against the conference and the actions of right-wing politics in Slovenia. Joveva criticised, among other things, that in Brussels it was a “show aimed at the electoral base of the SDS party”. In the style of a horoscope, she also said that “it was a parallel world, with some distortions, manipulations, distortions”. “This is exactly what I told you about earlier,” Tomc turned to TV host Miha Orešnik. “Colleague Joveva did not state a single thing that would not hold up in the discussions of my guests. I am asking you to come forward with concrete information that are not true and say who said them…” Tomc got Joveva off her high horse. As the MEP from the ranks of the SDS also said, the representative of the European Commission, with whom she was also in contact today, thanked her once again for the invitation and told her that she would do a so-called “follow up”.

According to her, this means that the cabinet of Commissioner Vera Jourova “took very seriously what they heard at this conference, and with that our purpose was achieved”. At the same time, she once again asked Joveva to state what was not true from what was said at the conference by the guests. Joveva only highlighted the fact that it was said at the conference that Golob’s government was mainly engaged in political interference, but she did not provide concrete data, even though there were only three guests at the meeting in Brussels. “Please, if you want to discredit anyone, who it was and what it is that is not true. This general accusation is something you feel very close to, but that is what it is all about. That is why I wrote on Twitter: the truth came out in the European Parliament! And that needs to be refuted with more than just general platitudes such as ‘it was bizzare’, if you think it is not true”, Tomc was determined, who also emphasised that it was a high-level conference, so she hopes Joveva learned something from it. Joveva claimed that she had watched the conference and said that Golob’s government had started to “resolve things that happened under the previous government”.

“One very big inconvenience happened to your government – the fact that the law got stuck in the Constitutional Court”

Tomc: “One very big inconvenience happened to your government – the fact that the law got stuck in the Constitutional Court, and this has a lot of resonance in the European Parliament, because how can a government propose a law that is then stopped by the Constitutional Court…” Tomc also said in the show that it probably hurt many people that a different story was presented in the European institution than many have known so far. Tomc also reminded that Golob’s government acts contrary to the rule of law, and that the Golob’s act differently than Janša’s government. Namely, there is a law on the table that will destroy the public broadcaster RTV Slovenia, and even the Constitutional Court is considering it. As an example of political pressure on the conduct of the court, Tomc highlighted the recent record of the amphibian (RTV journalist/Member of Parliament for Svoboda) Mojca Pašek Šetinc, who reacted very harshly to the suspension of three articles of the law by the court on Facebook and called the conduct of the judges “self-interested political activity”. Tomc is convinced that it is political pressure.

She also sees Jourova’s recent visit to the Constitutional Court similarly. Tomc also responded to Joveva’s assertion that the improvement of media freedom under Golob is confirmed by European reports and the media, and she replied that it is information that is transmitted to Europe by people such as Blaž Zgaga, who switched from journalistic ranks to the coalition SD and was extremely critical of Janša’s government.

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