Someone please tell prime minister Janez Janša to stop writing letters. Every time he writes one he sets himself up for a fuck-up of epic (epidemic?) proportions. This time is no different. Last weekend, Janša co-authored a sharply-worded letter to European Commission and EU Council presidents. Therein he joined PMs of Austria, Czech Republic, Croatia, Latvia and Bulgaria in complaining about delivery of Covid-19 vaccine doses, basically accusing Brussels of lack of solidarity.
Fast forward a couple of days and PM Janša finds himself bitch-slapped by the European Commission, thrown under the bus by Viktor Órban, and in serious trouble at home for skipping on buying available vaccine doses. As a result the Glorious Leader had to change his story as he went along, walk-back his statements and side-step accusations to the point of reaching his daily 10,000 steps and 500 calories many times over.
From the beginning to the end, the honchos in power produced a steady stream of thinly veiled threats, contradictory information on personal and public hygiene measures and did many a walk-back. The one thing they don’t seem to be capable of doing, however, is staying the fuck on message.
No matter how you look at it, Slovenian prime minister Janez Janša is not having a good post-epidemic. His majority in the parliament has shrunk down to a single vote in a matter of days, the biking protest movement shows no signs of abating and his onslaught against the public broadcaster somehow continues not to go according to plan. And to top it all off, there is his Twitter habit which keeps backfiring.
While there is no real danger of PM Janša again becoming ex-PM Janša anytime soon, shifting gears from the adrenaline-filled environment of political epidemiology to the mundane everyday of coalition-processed policy did not go smoothly for the Glorious Leader, and it showed.
With 5000+ people protest-biking in the capital according to police estimates (press reports put the number at twice the range) and hundreds more in several other towns across the country, Muddy Hollows on Friday saw the largest anti-government protest since the Winter of Discontent.
It was an outpouring of anger and frustration that had accumulated during the lockdown and are now boiling over. In part this is due to repeated executive overreach but mostly it was revelations of corruption and ineptitude at the highest levels of the government with regard to procurement of personal protective equipment and medical ventilators needed to curb the Covid-19 epidemic.
Slovenian parliament is debating a massive legislative package today, aimed at mitigating effects of the covid-19 lock-down is having on the economy and jobs.
But in what is apparently becoming a world-wide trend, the powers that be stuffed in a couple of provisions expanding police surveillance and investigative powers while circumventing judicial oversight. All in the name of curbing the epidemic.