Upping the Ante

So sue me! (source)

A shocker! Contrary to my expectiations, PM Janez Janša went ahead and actually filed a suit against his predecesor Tone Rop. The date is obviusly not a coincidence, as Janša seems to be on a brink of a breakthrough in negotiating a settlement of several Slovene-Croatian disputes. This settlement (if sucessful) wil have been achieved with Croatian PM Ivo Sanader, with whom (according to Rop claims) Janša has coordinated border incidents in the Bay of Piran just prior to Slovene 2004 elections, when he got elected as PM and replaced Tone Rop in office.

Also, the filing of the suit comes only days before Iztok Podpregar, former top Slovene spy, who broke the news of allegend Janša’s involvement in the incidents to Rop, is due to testify before the parliamentary committee overseeing the intelligence services. Podbregar is expected to be quizzed especially about the supposed eavesdropping on Janša and Sanader.

Janša’s move could mean any number of things: If the dispute with Croatia is settled, the question of his involvement would suddenly become less important. Not because his alleged actions would be any less… how shall I put it… deplorable, but simply because it would become so last Tuesday and noone would care to open issues that were barely closed.

On the other hand it could be that Janša is running scared and is trying to bluff his way out of a very bad predicament. Namely -if Rop’s allegations are true (as hinted at by the German secret service) than Janša has nowhere to hide and can only hope that the other fellow will blink first. Knowing Rop, this is not likely to happen.

And thirdly, it could be that Janša is only covering his bases. If the deal with Croatians does not go through, he can still try to pin it on Rop, saying that the latter undermined Slovenia’s negotiating positions by his claims.

Anyways, the ball is now in Rop’s court. As Janša is filing a private suit, the burden of proof lies with Rop, meaning that in order to win the case, Rop must prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that his allegations are correct. Short of producing the transcripts and/or several strong material witnesess, I fail to see how that can be done. So I asume Rop’s got his bases covered – why else would he play such a dangerous game?

But the sad part is that we now have two people, who – each in his own time – were (are) the most informed and powerful men in this country are due in court to decide who knew what and when. Again…. this is not you calling your neighbour a cunt and him calling you a pussy, but about two prime ministers, one basically accusing the other of high treason. This is impeachment stuff, and not a matter for a disctrict court.

Only in Slovenia, ladies and gentlemen, only in Slovenia

UPDATE: Hours ago PM has replaced three ministers and Director of SOVA. See my comment @ 4:41 pm for details.

SLS (So Long, Suckers!)

OK, so the title is a bit misleading, but still… Slovene People’s Party (Slovenska Ljudska Stranka – SLS) is opposing the proposed setllement of disputes between Slovenia and Croatia which Janša and Sanader have agreed upon Sunday last.

As always, one can always on SLS to stir the shit a bit – as it has done prior to 2004 elections, when party’s president Janez Podobnik created an international incident at border crossing Dragonja, where he tripped over a fence and then claimed that he was viciously pushed by Croatian police who were trampling on the sacred Slovene land.

Janez Podobnik tripping over a fence (source)

Janez Podobnik was the only party leader who – only days later – was not elected member of the parliament, and it was in my opinion this incident which tipped the scale. Warmongering was never well received in this part of the world. But today, as Janša and Sanader seem to be on a brink of a breakthrough, Podobnik (who is now minister of enviroment) must (must) oppose their agreement, otherwise his pre-election stunt would turn out to be a load of bullshit that it was.

It’s a hefty bill of political folly to pay… If they supported the agreement, they would admit to their true intentons in 2004… If they opposed it (which they did), they risk looking uncooperative, which would not be well received. Add to that the fact that SLS is a member of the ruling coalition (it’s a tough gig, I know :D) and you can see why it is entirely possible that the party is on the night train to the Big Adios

But just to give you full disclosure, SLS has a special place in my heart – but I’ll write about that some other time. Suffice it to say that they’ve prevented a coup d’etat…

A Janshism…

…is not unlike “a bushism“, the only difference that it is uttered by Slovene PM Janez Janša. It could be that both – well – leaders come from the south of their respective countries and that their speech sports a Texas/Dolenjska drawl.

Both of them also seem to have a problem pronouncing the word “nuclear”…

Is there a coalition of the intelectually impaired so we could enroll these two charaters?

P.S.: I know this was posted time and again, but it’s just too good to miss. 😆

The “V” Word

Dubya compared leaving Iraq to leaving Vietnam. (see video by Beebs). I mean: Could. You. Be. Any. More. Stupid..

But hey… I’m game… If he wants to shoot himself in the knee repeatedly, then I’ll watch gladly… It’s just so fucking sad to see the world being ran by people who have absolutely no sense of history.

The above commentary is a must. I couldn’t have said it better myself.

Zee Germans (a.k.a.: I Know What You Did Last Summer)

As predicted, the transcripts of Janša’s confabulation with Sanader are about to surface. But according to this report by RTV SLO’s website (a state television!), which quotes POP TV (the competition!) it was actually the German intelligence service BND which eavesdropped on Janša and Sanader and then told Slovene intelligence SOVA what it stumbled upon, and it was that which SOVA’s then-director (the top spy) Iztok Podbregar reported to the then-PM Tone Rop.

Protection from what? Zee Germans?!? (a clip from Snatch)

Now, why is this important?

1.) Because Podbregar is finally due to testify before the parliamentary Committee for Inteligence Services Oversight, where he is largely expected to confirm what BND has apparently publicly confirmed. This is a very safe position for Podbregar, because the topic of his testimony is now a matter of public record and he will not be furhter endangering the already strained relations between SOVA and BND which were cooperating closely in hunting down Radovan Karadžić.

2.) Beacuse it gives more credibility to statements of former PM Tone Rop, who maintained that transcripts of the conversation(s) between Janša and Sanader did exist, even if they were removed from SOVA’s files. You can always count on the Germans to keep a file on everything.

3.) Because it signals a shift in Slovene-German relations. If the reports are correct then you can be sure that the BND did’t leak this information on its own, but got clearance from someone very high in the German administration. And that should set off Janša‘s klaxons. Not having Chancellor Angela Merkel‘s good ear in a period just prior to Slovenia’s EU presidency spells grief in three month’s time, this in turn meaning that something must have gone completely wrong in relaltionship between Ljubljana and Berlin, especially since both Janša and Merkel belong to the same European People’s Party.

4.) Given the above, one starts to wonder about stories that the PM is in serious talks about selling Slovenske Železnice (Slovene train operator) to German DeutscheBahn and about selling Telekom Slovenije (Slovene near-monopoly fixed-telephony operator) to Deutsche Telekom. Have the talks already collapsed and is this a form of German revenge or just a sort of “peer-pressure”, as in “I-know-what-you-did-last-summer-and-am-gonna-blow-the-whistle-if-I-don’t-get-a-good-deal“?

5.) The fact that state-television website reports a story which was broken by the competition and does nothing to protect the Ultimate Boss could mean (notice the conditional, please) that this government is fast losing its grip on things and cannot even control its own media. Given that media-control is Janša’s speciallity this could mean that he’s in more trouble than originally thought.

And, last but not least:

6.) The Germans are careful as to not make anything official. Both Slovene televisions quote dr. Udo Ulfkotte as saying that BND is in possesion of the transcripts and so should be SOVA, implying that they were removed by Janša’s government, since the latter claims that no such documents exist.

Now, dr. Ulfkotte is not a government official, but apparently an outside advisor to the German government on intelligence matters, which automatically means that any and all statements are his own and are not official Berlin positions. Meaning that this is Angela Merkel is sending a strong but totally deniable message to Janša, hoping he’ll understand it and make the “right” choice: sell two thirds of Slovene infrastructure to German companies. If not, she’ll crush him to solar dust.

Funny thing is, that this may very well be enough to deliver a very strong blow to Janša’s credibility, making him a lame-duck PM, especially if the opposition maintains the self-discipline not to start impeaching him, but letting him cook in his own sauce of espionage scandals, economic fuck-ups and hoping for a screw-up or two during the EU presidency which will have to be solved by the big boys (and a girl).