Wild Wednesday in Muddy Hollows

Harold Wilson once observed, and pengovsky is fond of repeating, that a week in politics is a long time. Rarely was this more true than in Slovenia these days, where Jože P. Damijan’s antics on national television seem all but forgotten.

Image of European Parliament with Ljudmila Novak, Karl Erjavec and Zdravko Počivalšek in Slovenia

The one-time PM-hopeful was replaced in the news cycle by the EU parliament debate on media freedom in Slovenia (plus Hungary and Poland), Karl Erjavec quitting DeSUS (again), Zdravko Počivalšek of SMC sending a CYA letter to everyone and Ljudmila Novak of NSi denying that she’s about to launch her own party. And you know what that other British PM had to say about denials.

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Laying For Living

Poor Janez Janša, he just can’t seem to catch a break. No sooner did Slovenian PM see off a somewhat flaccid, though not unnerving no-confidence challenge by Karl Erjavec (more on the aftermath in the coming days), he already started another dumpster fire, this time following a not-so-flattering article by Politico Europe’s Lili Bayer on his love-hate relationship with the media. As in, how he loves to hate them.

Janez Janša railing against Politico Europe journalist on Twitter
Marshal Twito marshaling his minions

For all his professed pro-EU stance, the Glorious Leader seems to be remarkably inept at handling himself on the European stage. Which is, well, not ideal for a guy whose crowning achievement (as per his Twitter bio) was leading the EU Council for six months in 2008. And yet, just as he fucked up royally when he went to bat for his capo Viktor Orban over the rule of law last November, so did he land in a pile of flaming dog shit this week as he and his minions went after the Politico journalist.

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Depeche Mode

It took Janša 3.0 government less than a month to score its first international embarrassment. Which is quite a feat, considering that the country is in the middle of containing the Covid-19 epidemic. The crux of the matter is a “dispatch” sent by the Slovenian foreign ministry in which they rebuke an alert raised on the Council of Europe media freedom platform.

Depeche Mode, Greatest Hits. Or something… (source)

To cut a long story short, in a pair of tweets PM Janša accused the public broadcaster RTVSLO of running false stories, being overpaid and overstaffed. Various domestic and international journalism organisations raised a stink with the CoE and this required an official government response. The document turned out to be such a fucking train wreck that everyone – including the foreign ministry – started running away from it, pronto.

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