Who’s Next?

Yesterday I hinted at more possible arrests as elections near. You don’t actually have to be a rocket scientist to figure that one out, but what it is interesting, though, is the fact that these arrests have little or no effect on public opinion polls. Or don’t they? If one looks at it from the perspective of an increase in public support for the rulling party then arrests (or more broadly speaking – the war against tycoons) have failed to deliver. But what if we are looking at it from the wrong perspective?

A sight many would love to see

Janez Janša and his SDS won the 2004 elections by a handsome majority mostly on a ticket of radical socio-economic reforms combined with good old anti-communism and xenophobia. He also promised to achieve a lot of very specific goals (one of them being the regional legislation). However, he failed to deliver on most counts. He failed to deliver to his own electorate. Pengovsky knows for a fact that a lot of his voters are down right disappointedd at today’s lack of a revolutionary fervour which Janša radiated just prior to 2004 elections. So what if Janša is not really looking for a bump in polls but is rather trying to keep his existing polls from going into a freefall? His and his people’s persitency in rounding up the usual suspects and putting them behind bars – even is only ever so briefly – suggests that these moves are yielding political results. And if no result is visible, it must be by design. War on tycoons and accompanying arrests are not meant to increase Janša’s popularity, but to prevent it from decreasing any further. This also suggests further arrests are highly likely. The question of course is – who’s next.

The obvious answer would be Laško Brewery CEO and majority stake-holder Boško Šrot. In Janša’s mind he undoubtedly has a lot to answer for, since the two got along really nice at first but it turned out that Boško was playing an angle and snatched Delo newspaper from Janša’s hands, depriving the PM of a very handy PR tool – and making 1,6 bln euros in the process while acquiring Laško Brewery.

However, Boško Šrot is only a secondary target in this case. Sure, he is worth a truckload of greenbacks and people in Slovenia generally hate other people who do better than themselves but Boško Šrot and his Laško got where they are now more or less thanks to politics and certain politicians. Janša was among them until 2007 and he knows that if pressed against the wall Boško Šrot will probably start oozing information at an accelerated speed. And secondly, if Janša has Šrot arrested, he must also have them arrest Igor Bavčar of Istrabenz. And that will never happen as he ows Bavčar big time since the latter headed the movement which eventually got Janša out of prison in 1988.

Remember, from Boštjan Penko onwards you don’t really need evidence to lock someone up. All you need is a willing police and a willing state prosecution. Both of which are availabe to the PM in large quantities. So, if not Šrot, who then?

Why, Ljubljana mayor Zoran Janković. He is roundly hated by Janša’s supporters as a model tycoon, who not only made millions in supposedly dogdy deals, but also entered politics where he continually refuses to play ball. Janković is trying to position himself directly up against Janša and he is getting quite good at it. Not that he is very damaging politically to Janša at the moment, but that might change in the future. Furthermore, by locking up a sitting politician, the PM would also send a very strong message to anyone who might be thinking about jumping ship – this is what will happen if you don’t do as I say.

Locking up Zoran Janković – even if just for a night – would send Janša’s party into a mass multiple orgasm and since more arrests are inevitable, the Mayor of the City of Ljubljana is high on the lists of possible arrests. This was corroborated by another media company whose people came to the same conclusion independently, as well as (indirectly) by a source within Janša’s party.

The question is – will Janša have the balls to do it?

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Agent provocateur and an occasional scribe.

16 thoughts on “Who’s Next?”

  1. Cassandra has spoken… Well, let’s wait and see, then.

    (Have we entered the realm of a B-country, working towards achieving and deserving the rest of the term, namely -anana?)

  2. Šrot fancies himself a prime target. See

    Let me continue your recent thread:
    I live in a country:
    – where managers fear being exploited for political points by the authorities;
    – where the Mayor of the capital anticipates being arrested just before the elections for the same reason;
    – where judges issue statements of disgust over the executive branch encroaching upon the independence of the judiciary;
    – where those with the lowest income are provided with tax income alleviation just before the elections after having paid more than before the couple of years before, especially taking the high inflation into consideration…


    They can’t lock up my mate Zoran!

    He’s asked after me, you know.

    Do you think I’ll get a visitor’s pass for prison in order to see my old friend?

  4. BTW, probably best not to extend the Cassandra analogy too much. She came to a sticky end and we wouldn’t want that for you, Mr P.

  5. @alcessa: nah, just the police transportation vehicles (kako se reče marici??) and the overnight stay facilities 😉 And pad the wrists. Those nylon bands can be a bitch, I hear.

    @P: shit, makes me want to go out there and rob something. Hey no, actually, just stay in and write something! 🙂

    @Adriaan: no worries, it’s easier to get in than out. Though that partly depends on who you are, apparently.

  6. @Adriaan: Sure, no problem… :mrgreen:

    @dr. fil: Black Mariah, if I’m not mistaken

    alcessa: the answer to your original question is – yes. Unfortunatelly.

  7. Seems like for a while now, JJ has been taking cues from his Soviet Union, sorry, Russian counterpart “Putin” Putin (the one in quotes should be pronounced in French, and as an aside : ‘Putin, Putin’ is a great song by Belgian band TC Matic). Those who not comply will be either assimilated, incarcerated or destroyed and resistance is futile (bit of Borg logic in there as well :P). However, JJ is forgetting one minor thing : whereas Russia is a BIG country, in size as well as populace, hence it’s easier to control the media and the institutions, as many people are too decentralized from the government to actually know what’s going on. Not so in Slovenija, where – in a manner of speaking – everyone knows everyone else and social control is actually more influential. I know it may be bullshit to the more politically inclined amongst you here, but I believe the size of both the country and its population will prevent such stalinistic way of government from coming to full bloom eventually. Besides, inflation is rampant, oil prices are spiraling out of control and it’s all happening under JJ’s nose. This alone might actually be enough resentment to take out on him come election day without him making matters worse by organizing and executing (pun intended) a witch hunt against all those opposing him to divert attention from these problems as well as effectively attempting to squash opposition. Because there is one imminent danger for JJ : notwithstanding those who still crave for the olden Yugoslavian days, politically speaking, there are more people who have had a taste of the democratic freedoms (for better or worse) to let JJ go too far. Again, size does matter in this case and Slovenija will never be Russia, no matter how dearly JJ would love it to be, in my outsider opinion (in which I hope I haven’t oversimplified matters by lack of direct knowledge; if I did, please forgive me)…

  8. @dr. Arf: Nicely put! 😀 I’m not worried about Slovenes providing a healthy reality check when need be. Goes for any party (happened to LDS as well). I worry what happenes if JJ really doesn’t like the message.

  9. There might be some bloody noses in that case, P. Don’t worry, I’ll supply the handkerchiefs if it comes to that 😉

    @alcessa : I’ve no doubt you will! :mrgreen:

  10. I see you are still loyal to the old family tradition. You are the accuser, defender, judge and the jury all at once.

    I understand your concerns, Pengovsky. I truly do. If Zoki goes in prison as lot of people in Ljubljana would stay without their subsidies.

    You froggies truly have a tough life, don’t you?

  11. @Karel: Actually, the multiple judicial role is reserved for you and your great leader. I am merely connecting the dots 😀 But thank you, ever so much, for further proving my point.

    And yes, we froggies have a tough life. Having to to deal with the small mindedness of those who apparently left the province in body but not in mind is a tough job. But hey, someone’s got to do it, no? 😀

    BTW: Changed your email, I see… What happened? Did the other one make it to one black list too many? 😉

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