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Friday, March 1, 2024

Swiss Media Outlet Weltwoche: Most of Janez Janša’s Critics Do Not Speak Slovenian, and They Get Their Information From the Slovenian Left

By: Sara Bertoncelj / Nova24tv

Most of Janez Janša’s critics do not speak Slovenian, and only a few know the country from their own personal experience. They are getting their information from the Slovenian left. This is a method that has been known since the sanctions implemented two decades ago against the black-and-blue government coalition in Austria. After Wolfgang Schüssel, Jaroslav Kaczynski and Viktor Orban, it is now Janez Janša’s turn. All three of them dared to oppose the EU’s dictation; they knew how to defend themselves and prove their national sovereignty – this is what Karl-Peter Schwarz wrote for the Swiss media outlet Weltwoche, which – unlike many other media outlets – obviously publishes more objective content too.

In his article, journalist and historian Karl-Peter Schwarz wrote that the image of the Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Janša, which is being presented by the European Commission, certain parties and media outlets, is no better than the image of his Hungarian friend Viktor Orban. A man like that should not be offered an outlet for his anti-democratic rhetoric and politics, MEP Katarina Barley warned. Certain foreign media even stated that he is a right-wing populist, a Donald Trump fan, someone who tramples on the fundamental values of the EU and wants to take control of the media, and other similar claims. “Most of Janez Janša’s critics do not speak Slovenian, and only a few know the country from their own personal experience. They are getting their information from the Slovenian left. This is a method that has been known since the sanctions implemented two decades ago against the black-and-blue government coalition in Austria. After Wolfgang Schüssel, Jaroslav Kaczynski and Viktor Orban, it is now Janez Janša’s turn. All three of them dared to oppose the EU’s dictation; they knew how to defend themselves and prove their national sovereignty,” the journalist pointed out.

In the continuation of the article, journalist Schwarz went on to explain that attention is now focused on Janša because of Slovenia’s Presidency of the Council of the European Union. The narrative of the media is moving in the direction of claims that Orban-type politicians are emerging in other countries as well. Janez Janša was one of the key figures in the democratic upheaval in Yugoslavia, which also led to Slovenia gaining its independence. In 1988, as a journalist, he was sentenced by a military court to eighteen months in prison for “high treason” – he dared to break the communist taboo and criticise the Yugoslav People’s Army. Outrage over this verdict transformed into a mass movement for democracy and sovereignty – the political monopoly of the Communists ended, and Slovenia became independent. But when it comes to the political elite, no actual changes happened. The Communists returned to power under new – liberal and social democratic labels. Not only were they not convicted for their fraudulent privatisations, they were not even punished for the crimes committed during Tito’s time. The journalist explained to foreign readers that the commission that carried out the search had registered 600 mass graves of victims of the terror of the communist partisans. In Tito’s “killing fields,” 100 thousand shots were fired in Slovenia, and the victims were also killed with picks and shovels and then buried in the forests, canals, karst caves and mine shafts.  There were 14 thousand Slovenians among the victims, as well as 20 thousand German soldiers and members of the German minority. Ten thousand Croats were also found, and Serbs, Montenegrins, Italians, and Hungarians were also among the victims.

The journalist also explained the family background of Janez Janša, writing that he comes from a Catholic peasant family. In 1945, his father fled across the mountains to Carinthia, where he was captured by the British and handed over to Tito along with thousands of other Slovenians. In Kočevski Rog, he survived the mass shooting, along with only three others. He lay among the corpses in the cave for two days before he managed to escape from the cave and get away from there.
In addition, Schwarz also explained the current situation in Slovenia, especially in the field of justice – communist judges and prosecutors were able to continue building their careers without any problems even after the break-up of Yugoslavia and communism.

Three weeks before the 2014 parliamentary elections, Janša landed in prison again; the journalist pointed out. The verdict was downright ridiculous, claiming that at an indefinite moment, in an unidentified place, and with the help of an indefinite communication method, Janša accepted an offer of a bribe in an unknown amount, which the Finnish arms company Patria was willing to pay for the delivery of its armoured vehicles. Despite the lack of evidence, he was sentenced to two years in prison, as the “red” (communist” teams are also present in the justice system, all the way to the top of the Supreme Court. Schwarz was critical of what was happening back in 2014 already. “My first impression is that something like this cannot happen in a Central European country, but in a banana republic. The trial against Janez Janša was not fair; he was convicted without evidence and then sent to prison only because of his political beliefs,” he said at the time. He saw the key problem in the fact that the court proceedings were not conducted in accordance with the rule of law. “If you do not have evidence, if you do not know who and when offered the bribe, how he did it, if it was offered at all, and other details, then you are only assuming that a promise was made. Condemning a person in this way is frivolous, a real farce,” he was appalled. The journalist then added that Janša’s opponents are now hoping for the instability of the four-party coalition, which may not even survive the six-month Presidency of the Council of the European Union, adding that the EU Commission will apparently do everything in its power to make sure they do no.

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