Pengovsky is (yet again) extremely late for today’s posting feast, but it seems that it was worth it. I was about to deliver the skinny on Slovene-Croat storm in a teacup, but something much better emerged today.
It seems that former PM Janez Janša has added one more notch to his lawsuit-happy belt. This time around, Janša filed a lawsuit against Slavko Ziherl, former State Secretary at Minstry of Health who resigned even before he started his job, officially out of protest against PM Borut Pahor‘s naming former FM Dimitrij Rupel as a personal advisor. This is the fifth lawsuit Janša filed in a little less than a year and a half. After filing a lawsuit against his predecessor Tone Rop for accusing him of coordinating border incidents with Croatia, then suing Boško Šrot for claiming that Janša sold Mercator to Šrot as a price for gaining political influence over Delo daily, later in the year he filed a suit against Finnish public broadcaster YLE and its journalist Magnus Berglund for claiming that he (Janša) was bribed in the Patria Affair, and – by the same extention – he also sued the head of the Anti-Corruption Commission Drago Kos and President Turk’s national security advisor Bojan Potočnik, both of whom -according to Janša- implied that he was on the take in the Patria case.
So how come Slavko Ziherl, a member of LDS, whose resignation was prompted by PM Pahor’s inexplicable love for Dimitrij Rupel found himself in Janša’s crosshairs? Well, among many harsh words directed at Pahor in his letter of resignation Ziherl said that he entered politics as late as 2005, prompted by “Janša’s style of governing which posed a danger to many liberal or even human values”. Which was enough for Janša to put him on the “to do” list.
So, what are we looking at here? A lawsuit-happy politico who can’t get enough of himself in the news? I don’t think so. On one hand this is a clear manifestation of one of Janša’s predominant personal traits, and on the other an obsession with defending his public image and record by any means possible.
In former Yugoslavia top politicians were exempt from public scrutiny by having their public image (“lik i djelo) and record legaly protected. At the very least this went for Comrade Tito, and then this implicitly applied to entire top political echelon. Since one of the upsides of a democracy is elimination of such legal nonsense, Janez Janša cannot have (as much as he would have perhaps liked) his “lik i djelo” protected by default. So, he is left to his own devices in protecting it. For most politicians poblic opinion polls and elelctions are enough. Janša, it seems, wants a court to tell him what everyone else already knows…