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The public is horrified by the Prime Minister’s statements – will he submit RTVS in an uncivilised way?

By: Gal Kovač (Nova24TV.si)

The Prime Minister’s latest media appearance should have alarm bells ringing in the country. In an interview for the programme STOPkast, he openly threatened those who think otherwise with criminal prosecution, publicly boasted about the inspections with which the authorities harass those responsible with legally granted mandates, and above all, between the lines, he announced a pogrom against the current management of RTV. The Prime Minister’s words about the depoliticisation of the media have never sounded so hollow, and his vocabulary has never sounded so authoritarian and outside the civilised framework of the European Union.

When asked by a journalist if he felt responsible for the situation, he replied: “I feel especially very frustrated because I was naïve and believed that RTV could be depoliticised in a civil and legal way.” He then went on to say that his political side had made a mistake and that they should first take over RTV politically and only then begin depoliticisation. “Together with civil society, we wanted to skip this phase after which Svoboda would take over RTV. And that was our mistake,” said the Prime Minister. Unbelievable, but true – the Prime Minister publicly said that he should have depoliticised RTV by first taking it over politically.

“The government did everything that was within our legal framework on the first question, which we hear most often from the voters of this coalition or from the citizens who took the time to go to the referendum that Sunday in November,” said the Prime Minister. He then turned his attention to the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Slovenia, on which the executive power exerts thinly veiled political pressure. “We, as the government, were an intervener, unfortunately we were unsuccessful, we also called for the Constitutional Court to hold a public debate before making a decision, but we were also ignored,” said Golob. At the same time, it is also necessary to mention a number of other political pressures, for example, the visit of the President of the National Assembly, who requested an inspection of the court file of the case at the Constitutional Court (HERE) and the visit of European Commissioner Věra Jourova to the Constitutional Court, which you can read about – HERE.

A public acknowledgment of the exercise of political pressure

The Prime Minister then said that the Constitutional Court had created a stalemate. When asked what the government can do in the meantime to avoid “irreparable damage” (the term “irreparable damage” most likely refers to the pluralisation of reporting), the Prime Minister replied that “there is only one executive power – I am not looking for excuses,” to which he added, “we also monitor the situation through inspections, we also determine individual responsibility”. Thus, the Prime Minister explicitly and publicly admitted that the executive power is directly abusing the instrument of inspection to achieve party political goals.

This was followed by an ominous prediction. When asked whether those responsible for RTV will have to answer for the “situation that has arisen”, the Prime Minister replied: “Ah, they will! I believe in the rule of law also on the part of the law enforcement authorities.”

The Prime Minister’s big threat

While the Prime Minister notes throughout the conversation that his hands are tied because of the Constitutional Court, he predicted results that are “the only true ones”. At the same time, he admitted, beware, that they were thinking about another option, a kind of shortcut, but they “consciously decided not to use it. I think that is important.” When asked what this plan B is, the Prime Minister did not reveal. As they write on RTV, there is an inkling that it exists.

Uroš Urbanija has already responded to the Prime Minister’s words, saying that the Prime Minister has now apparently joined Milan Kučan’s threats (HERE).

YESTERDAY MILAN KUČAN THREATENED US, TODAY PRIME MINISTER GOLOB. WHO BY THE WAY ACKNOWLEDGES THAT HE SENDS INDEPENDENT INSPECTIONS TO @RTV_SLOVENIJA DAILY – I BELIEVED THAT RTV CAN BE DEPOLITISED IN A CIVIL WAY. #RULETHEJUNGLE HTTPS://T.CO/D7SPUMABX1

– UROŠ URBANIJA

(@UROSURBANIJA) APRIL 3, 2023

Horrified response of the public

The wider Slovenian public was horrified by the Prime Minister’s words. Journalist Jože Biščak wrote: “Well, this one is bad. Does this mean that Golob will submit the RTV Slovenia in an uncivilised way? What kind of way is that? Will only the specialists break into the Kolodvorska building, or will he send even mercenaries there to deal with Uroš Urbanija, Igor Pirkovič, Peter Gregorčič, and Andrej Grah Whatmough?”

WELL, THIS ONE IS BAD. DOES THIS MEAN THAT GOLOB WILL SUBMIT @RTVSLO IN AN UNCIVILISED WAY? WHAT WAY IS THIS? WILL ONLY THE SPECIALISTS BREAK INTO THE KOLODVORSKA BUILDING, OR WILL HE SEND MERCENARIES THERE TO DEAL WITH @UROSURBANIJA, @IPIRKOVIC, @PETERGREGORCIC, @GRAHWHATMOUGH? PIC.TWITTER.COM/NXZ4LR1XIK

– JOZE BISCAK (@JOZEBISCAK) APRIL 4, 2023

On the other hand, a web user Jure Colja wrote: “When you hear today about a strike on a medium that is paid for by ALL of us and that is committed to plurality, not to single-mindedness, remember that those who are on a strike publicly say that “there are f***ing more of them” and that their goal is “to take over the media”. NOT in my name.”

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