The Alenka Bratušek/Angelika Mlinar duo is making waves again. After their failed attempt to make the cut in the EU vote last May, the SAB leader nominated the former Austrian-Slovenian MEP for the position of minister without portfolio in charge of EU cohesion funds. Somewhat predictably, all hell broke loose.
There are various ways of looking at the move and not all of them paint a rosy picture of Bratušek and the SAB. But in what was either a shrewdly calculated risk or pure luck, the debate has largely centred on Mlinar’s eligibility for the position, once more showing that the one thing the political landscape in Muddy Hollows sorely lacks is any sort of open-mindedness and imagination and that is in fact bursting with autarchy, bigotry and jingoism.
If there’s one thing to be learned from observing the media and political bubble, is that there is such a thing as too much agreement. When the SoManyPeopleCan’tBeWrong ™ effect kicks in, this should generally trigger a mass hysteria alert. Which is what happened the other week when Bank of Slovenia, the nation’s chief banking regulator tightened the screws on household borrowing.
This caused an uproar in Muddy Hollows, with everyone from Banking Association and youth organisations to the politicians and the media slammed the BS for their supposedly heartless and unnecessarily harsh move. It must have felt good to be a part of the crowd.
Under usual circumstances, Levica bailing out on the supply & support agreement with the Šarec government (or the other way around, depending on whom you ask) would be big news. But seeing as the circumstances are anything but usual, the splash Luka Mesec and his democratic socialists hoped for was anything but spectacular.
This was just the latest of missteps, unforced errors and ham-fisted efforts at controlling the narrative that has marked the past few weeks in Muddy Hollows and pengovsky hopes to make a short series of posts on them. Let’s start with the latest one.
On Monday, the Constitutional Court ruled that the infamous 2017 changes to the Aliens Act, which effectively allowed the government to wholesale deny asylum under certain conditions (say, a mass migration wave, to give an example at random), were unconstitutional and struck them down in an 8-1 decision. Normally, this would be quite a bombshell on its own. And yet, somehow, it wasn’t.
Both readers will remember that the topic was so controversial back then that it drove a big fucking wedge between PM Miro Cerar and Speaker Milan Brglez, both SMC top dogs at the time and that Cerar eventually threw Brglez out of the party. Still, the latter must be feeling smug these past few days.
Poor Czechs. They can’t even have a proper senior political turf war without those pesky Slovenians beating them to it. Imagine being in charge of Czechia’s foreign policy, seething over another one of your president’s solo trips to badlands and mulling a response, only to see your counterpart in Ljubljana do the exact same fucking thing, an hour earlier.
This is broadly what happened to Czech FM Tomáš Petříček while he was looking for ways to undo the damage president Miloš Zeman did during his visit to Belgrade where he said that he will push for de-recognition of Kosovo by Czechia. However, Zeman wasn’t the only president of a Central European country facing pushback from his foreign minister that day. Cue Borut Pahor. Obviously.