Tuesday, 6 May 2014

What is going on in Slovenia?!?

Ten years since joining the European Union and 23 years since gaining independence, Slovenia has found itself in a strange place:

1. Zoran Janković, the mayor of Ljubljana and the founder of Positivna Slovenija, has recently challenged the prime minister Alenka Bratušek. By winning the vote at the party congress on 25 April he resumed his position as the party president.  As a result, Ms Bratušek resigned from her position as prime minister of Slovenia and the ruling coalition fell apart.

During his campaign for the party presidency, Janković famously stated: "I won't attend the congress only if I am detained which they wouldn't dare to do." Mr Janković is embroiled in a number of investigations regarding alleged acceptance of bribes. 

There are not many democratic countries in the world where politicians are in a position to challenge law enforcers so boldly and openly. To date, Zoran Janković is still the mayor of Ljubljana and the president of Positivna Slovenia.

2. If you ever wondered what the Patria affair with former prime minister Janez Janša at the centre of another politically motivated trial is all about and why the ruling elite in Slovenia is so keen on dismantling the current government and suddenly holding  general elections please watch documentary THE MASK OF DEMOCRACY (partly in Slovenian).




3. These days Slovenia remembers Majniška deklaracija, a political statement drafted by first Slovenian parties opposing the communist regime in 1989.

Majniška deklaracija states: "Misunderstandings, provocations and open hostilities that are today experienced by Slovenians in Yugoslavia convince us that we live at a pivotal time in history and oblige us to clearly express our will that points to subsequent future actions."

And:
"In reference to historic endeavours of the Slovenian nation for political independence, the state of Slovenia can only be based on:
- respect for human rights;
- democracy that includes political pluralism, and 
- social order that ensures spiritual and material welfare in accordance with its natural resources and human capacities of citizens of Slovenia." 

Perhaps it is time to revisit Majniška deklaracija and ask ourselves how it is possible that 25 years later:
- there is still not much respect for human rights in Slovenia;
- democracy has become the victim of power-hungry communists who call themselves anything as long as they can protect their own and their family's privileges and history by locking up Slovenian archives, and
- the current social order has impoverished Slovenia spiritually, morally and materially.

4. From our Australian perspective, the events surrounding the opening of the new Consulate in Melbourne are yet another sign that something is not right in the country of Slovenia. Despite conflicting and offensive statements by Ambassador Balažic, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of RS refuses to take any measures - not even to conduct a fair inquiry - and insists that Dr Balažic should remain in his position regardless of loud protests from the community in Australia.

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