The Slovenia Times

Parties relieved radicalism has not prevailed in EU


The right-wing Democratic Party (SDS), which won the election in partnership with the People's Party (SLS), is hoping for a grand coalition, one that would be "more symmetric" from the outgoing one, one that apart from the European People's Party (EPP) and the socialists would be also include the liberals.

"We would now need an even stronger coalition that would include another right political group," Milan Zver (EPP/SDS), who was re-elected on the joint ticket as one of Slovenia's eight MEPs, commented after the vote.

Tanja Fajon, who like Zver won her third term as MEP, running for the Social Democrats (S&D/SD), is hoping for a majority of progressive forces. "I hope that together with the Greens, the left and possibly the liberals we may achieve for the progressive forces to make this shift and get the president of the European Commission."

Fajon believes the most suitable candidate for the post is Frans Timmermans, who she said proved to be an excellent Spitzenkandidat in the campaign and also won strong support in the election in the Netherlands. "It'll all depend on what we decide in the coming days and weeks," Fajon added.

Her party boss, Dejan Židan, also hopes for the progressive group to have a majority, although he admitted that at the moment it did not appear they could. However, a majority could be formed by the S&D, ALDE and an EPP "cleansed" of radical forces, Židan proposed.

"The populists have not prevailed, which is the main thing," commented Foreign Minister Miro Cerar, whose Modern Centre Party (SMC) performed disastrously at the polls. There are "quite a few" such radical forces in Slovenia, which want to close down the borders, he said, adding: "This story will obviously not succeed."

Cerar also noted gains for the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE), the group that his SMC party is affiliated with. "It's a good guarantee that we will be taking Europe forward together," he said.

Ljudmila Novak, who is returning to the European Parliament after a two-term hiatus, having been elected on the list of the conservative New Slovenia (EPP/NSi), said it was good the far-right or far-left parties did not prevail "because that could destabilise the EU".

"We don't want a revolution. There's enough problems, enough tasks that the EU must complete, we have enough work, so we don't need extremism of the left or the right," Novak commented.

Franc Bogovič, who won his second term (EPP/SLS), is happy that the projections are showing a coalition building majority for pro-European parties - the EPP, the socialists (S&D), the liberals and the Greens. "I'm glad that those who are coming to the European Parliament on order to break up the EU will remain on the margins."

NSi leader Matej Tonin finds that it is a part of a normal political process that the balance of powers is changing. "The political group of the EPP has been in charge of key political posts in the EU for quite a while. It's part of a democratic system that your're going up once and down another time."

Judging by the first results, Tonin said it would be "rather complicated and difficult to form a firm European coalition, so MEPs and European leaders are looking at a rather difficult summer".

The first task at hand will be finding a consensus in the president of the European Commission, which will be a difficult task considering the balance of power in the parliament," said Tonin. As an EPP member the NSi supports Manfred Weber for the job.

The NSi is not willing to cooperate with utopian socialists or radical leftists, nor with intolerant nationalists. "We can talk, think about the EU's future, but we'd still like to link with the political forces that want to enhance the EU, rather than destroy it", Tonin said.


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