Yesterday, I hinted at how PM Janša and his SDS place ever greater bets in a gamble remain in power after elections on 21 September. Now they are picking fights with former president Milan Kučan again. Just as a side-note: just as with Laško and Delo, here too Janša is proving that there are some mistakes he simply doesn’t learn from. Fights with Milan Kučan usually ended badly for Janša, but the latter would not let go, and keeps picking fights to the point of becoming silly.
Former president Milan Kučan in a statement for POP TV (source)
This time around, Janša is acusing Kučan of putting his foot where his mouth is. Namely, in a statement for POP TV, Kučan said that “The arrogance, the audacity that sky-rocketed during the term of this regime and the devaluation of values which negate what we craved in 1990 as we opted for our own state, is such that changes must be made.”
Now, read the sentence carefully. I had to employ dr.filomena, the master translator who cracked this one. If anyone’s interested, here is the Slovenian original: “Aroganca in samopašnost, ki se je razširila pod to vladavino, in razvrednotenje vrednot, ki so negacija tega, kar smo želeli leta 90, ko smo se odločili za svojo državo, je vendarle taka, da so potrebne spremembe.”
One’s foot in one’s mouth is not a pretty sight. Especially if we’re talking about a former president whom everyone listens to, regardless of their feelings towards him. And yet the SDS saw this as a pathethic gaffe and decided to take pot shots at the ex-Prez. In a statement, the party said that “Kučan must have wanted to say something else, but his hatred towards those who do not see eye to eye with him made him fumble his words and thus he said that today’s regime is the ‘devaluation of values which negate what we craved in 1990’”
Normally, this would be brushed aside, probabbly with the addition of “everyone’s fallible” or something like that. However, things are not that simple. Milan Kučan did not fumble his words. Neither did he put his foot in his mouth. What he did, was show a superior command of Slovene language while the SDS (as per usual) heard only what it wanted to hear and took his words completely out of context.
Namely: Kučan said that changes must be made because of the audacity and the arrogace of the regime and the devalutaion of our values which we opted for in 1990s. It’s there. You just have to read it. People at SDS on the other hand don’t seem to care for the niceties of their mother-tongue. They seem to have only basic understanding of Slovene and so it is no wonder that they misread the sentence.
Sometimes just talking is not enough. One has to know how to speak. And so the debate will now shift to the question “what did Kučan really say”. And this is the sort of fight Kučan was always best at.