Minister of interior Katarina Kresal yesterday – as expected – survived the interpellation (effectively a vote of no confidence) called by Janez Janša’s SDS.
Katarina Kresal making her rebuttal. In the background: PM Pahor, ministers Svetlik and Lukšič (source)
Officially, the vote was called on the basis of Kresal wrongfully implementing the decision of the Constitutional Court concerning the so-called erased (note the “so-called” manoeuvre) saying (among many wonderfully stupid things) that issuing decisions on permanent residence will generate a wave of suits against the state which could amount to as much as a billion euros in damages and that The Quartet is solving an unimportant but potentially costly problem at a time when most people face economic hardship.
There were other rhetorical bravuras, mostly delivered by Janša’s chief attack dog and Goebbels-wannabe Branko “Gizmo” Grims, who took center stage during 14+ hours of parliamentary debate which was more or less a zillionth re-run of the same old story. However, this time the old stance of “erased-were-collaborators-and-deserved-what-they-got” was supplemented by linking their potential claims for compensation to economic crisis, saying the country cannot afford costs of judicial processes by 25.000 people and (what horror!) pay for damages.
Which is yet another example of how SDS pictures the rule of law: selectively.
On the other hand, Kresal enjoyed what was probably her most glorious moment to date. She delivered an extremely strong speech debunking claims of the opposition. But most importantly, she maintained that the issue goes to the very heart of human rights and that there should be no ifs and buts about it, if we are to have a rule of law in Slovenia. All in all she gave a very strong performance and came off as being able to hold her own. Which means that she made leaps of progress since she entered Slovenian politics a little more than a year ago.
As for SDS’s manipulations with the issue at hand, Kresal repeated a sentence by Abraham Lincoln and much later by Bob Marley, both of whom said that you can fool some people sometimes, you can even fool some people all of the time, but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time.
Not that this is the end of it. The opposition said that they will have the parliament form an parliamentary investigative committee which will investigate whether the issue of the erased is being solved properly. Which is just another way of saying that they will keep the issue on the back-burner until next election cycle when you can be sure it will explode once again, but in a much tougher economic environment.
They did it with the Roma in 2004 and won the elections. Question is will they fool enough people in 2012.