The hunting season is open. Literally. First the three bulmastifs went after their owner and mauled him to death. The investigation as to why and what exactly happened is still under way and (albeit strong) suspicions that the three members of canine persuasion were abused have yet to be confirmed. But that did not stop the media to succumb to the scent of blood and sperm and started beating the drums, turning the general population into a pack of rabid dogs and let them loose to go after whoever they came by.
Minister for agriculture Milan Pogačnik of Social Democrats was starting to feel the heat almost immediately after the attack. After all the Veterinary Administration which (following a court order) released the dogs into the late Saša Baričevič‘s custody is under his jurisdiction. Allegations of pressure being brought to bear surfaced and the whole thing started to look as if the laws apply differently to the powerful few than to the rest of us. So an interpelation was filed against minister Pogačnik who (you shan’t be surprised) denies any wrongdoing and insists that the law was followed to the letter and that in the end there was a decision of the Administrative Court which the ministry and the Veterinary Administration had to fulfil. The court said that the dogs are to be returned to their owner because the provision of mandatory extermination after an attack came into force after the process had started.
But as this angle was still being explored the “blood and sperm” thing exploded. The fact that Miro Senica, partner (spouse) of minister of interior Katarina Kresal of LDS represented Baričevič in the above case was bad enough (although Kresal was not minister when Senica took the case). But then allegations (completely unfounded, btw) of a media cover-up were circulated by the yellow press and were immediately followed by speculation that either Kresal or Senica (or both) knew about the alleged abuse (note the three-fold conditional). Even more, as days passed (and Kresal remained curiously quiet) speculation mounted that she somehow tried to influence the police or that the cops intentionally dragged their feet investigating. Therefore SDS, SNS and SLS filed for interpelation of minister Katarina Kresal.
So, now we have two ministers being dragged in front of the firing squad, so to speak. In case of Kresal this is the sencond time in less then a year (an interpelation against her was filed by SDS, SNS and SLS 364 days ago). But things do not stop there. As it happens, minister of justice Aleš Zalar is under fire as well, supposedly because his brother was on the judiciary panel of the Administrative Court which – it is now being argued – actually fucked up and interpreted the law wrongly. Things are not helped by the fact that Zalar is embroiled in a bitter dispute with General Prosecutor Barbara Brezigar who is politically closer to the opposition. As of this writing Zalar is neither a subject of an interpelation nor was he called on to resign, but give it a week. So. Minister three under fire.
Not that it stops there. Minister Gregor Golobič of Zares yesterday testified in front of an committee investigating his alleged abuse of power in acquiring an unsecured credit line for Ultra, a company where he holds a 7% stake. Pengovsky covered the Ultra affair at length here and here, so do your homework 🙂 Golobič is in fact the first public official to be under investigation by a parliamentary committee in the history of Slovenia (all others investigative committees only called public officials as witnesses). Minister number four being forced to walk the plank.
To go on. Today, the opposition demanded that minister of health Borut Miklavčič resign because of the deal with GlaxoSmithKline for the swine flu vaccine. It has emerged that Miklavčič could do little but say yes the terms of the deal (most importantly) the price, but he did negotiate slightly better delivery dates and the provision that Slovenia will not pay for surplus vaccine. But the catch is that – according to the contract now made public – the state would have to pay for any and all potential damages awarded had any lawsuits been filed because of complications due to vaccination. The thing is that – according to the minister – the law says otherwise which makes this particular stipulation in the contact null and void. Furthermore Miklavčič says that he did nothing wrong and that had he not agreed to the conditions of GSK and Slovenia did not get the vaccine in time, he would be held responsible when the flu struck.
And, to top it off, last Friday SDS president Janez Janša posted a conspiracy-cum-philosophy text entitled “There is no god. Everything is allowed.” where he outlines what he sees as the fundamental corruption and moral wrong of the political left which – according to Janša – stemming from the criminal roots of communism had flourished until today, perverting justice, bending the rules and – defying all things sound and moral – took every advantage to increase its own wealth and power to the point of being obscene:
As ever more bizarre details of the [canine] garage affair are unveiled, as new information about abusing judicial and administrative procedures is coming out daily, people who ask themselves how all of this is even possible should know this: if murder remained unpunshied, then that went double for theft and abuse of state, people and animals.
Time allowing I’ll translate this text as it will (I suspect) become an oft-quoted piece of Slovene political thought.
So, as you can see, no punches are being pulled. The dogs are out and the hunters are following. They smell blood. Question is, what if it leads them where they don’t want to go?