Last night’s defeat of Theresa May in the Commons made an already complicated and tense Brexit situation infinitely more fucktangular. Which was obviously cue for politicos of various ways, shapes and forms in Muddy Hollows not to resist the urge and comment on the entire shituation.
This fact is mildly interesting in itsel , as Brexit was by far one of the least debated aspects of EU matters in Slovenia, a country where EU matters don’t rate high on the agenda as it is. Unless, of course, it has to do with EU funds, in which case suddenly everyone is an expert.
“I didn’t deserve this” said minister of development and European cohesion policy Marko Bandelli (SAB), butthurt as he announced his resignation on 13 November thus setting off a rocky ten-day period for the government of Marjan Šarec. And while the main event of the last few days were the 2018 local elections and some surprising results, the bad blood between various coalition members burst in the open almost as soon as the polls closed.
By itself, the Bandelli thing is a pretty straightforward case of the Dunning-Kruger effect in action. The erstwhile mayor of Komen, known for his colourful language and thin skin was a somewhat surprising pick for the non-descript post of assistant beancounter minister for EU cohesion funds. And indeed it turned out that the ambition got the better of him. In fact, we will never know whether Marko Bandelli would have made a good minister without portfolio in charge of EU cohesion funds, because the man turned out to be spectacularly inept at being a senior government official as such.
You might not realise it, but this coming Sunday local (municipal) elections are to be held in all of 212 municipalities in Slovenia. If you’re asking how in the holy fuck did Muddy Hollows end up with two hundred and twelve municipalities, pengovsky can only say: don’t ask.
Destrnik hopeful Franc Pukšič sending mixed messages (source)
But if you insist and want to have your mind blown, suffice it to say it has to do with some half-baked decentralisation back in the 1990s, when the old commune system was dissolved and municipalities formed on the principle of “natural gravitation”, i.e. defining local societal centres and setting up a fairly flexible set of criteria for forming municipalities. This link provides a nice path down the rabbit hole that are Slovenian municipalities.
You may have missed it, but Luxembourg held its legislatives Sunday last. The politics of the tiny European country are not all that important for this blog (although pengovsky does dabble in Luxembourg over at Luxventures podcast, do check it out), but for some reason the Grand Duchy did catch the attention of the SDS leader Janez Janša the other day and made him fire off this pretty amazing tweet:
For those not versed in the Slovenian language, the Glorious leader tweeted, verbatim: ‘These people want to lecture us on the “erased”. About half of Lux residents do not have citizenship because they don’t speak Luxembourgish. They don’t have access to public sector jobs and are not allowed to vote. There are 256,000 people eligible to vote, which is less than 43 percent of the population.‘ If your mind was just blown, you’re not the only one….
One of the peculiarties of the Slovenian parliamentary system are the separate votes on the prime minister and on their cabinet. Which means that once he was appointed PM, Marjan Šarec was only half-done. But as posturing slowly gave way to reality he and his coalition partners were able to agree on a division of labour which broadly goes along the lines of leaders of junior coalition partners getting all the high-profile jobs, LMŠ getting the PM spot and all the crappy jobs with the remaining cabinet members having merely to show up on time and not to screw up too much.
The one thing that separates this government from the previous twelve is the fact that Šarec will have two former PMs in his cabinet. Alenka Bratušek and Miro Cerar have both dealt with their own respective large-scale crises and will be able to provide Šarec with some first-hand advice on handling the situation if things suddenly go tits up. Provided, of course, the new PM will want to listen in the first place. Because he already demonstrated that he can have a bit of a fuck you attitude. But we’ll get there. So, apart from Šarec, who’s who in the new pecking order?