The Slovenia Times

Dreaming of a Nightmare



As the undisputed history teaches us, Slovenia felt the urge to leave the Yugoslav federation mainly because it got unbearably frustrated by Serb nationalism and their centralist tensions. Not everything has gone smoothly. The clashes with federal army conscripts led by mainly Serb officer staff took dozens of lifes. Defeated at the end, it has decided to leave and not come back. The military campaign of Slovenian independence was smartly designed and led by Janez Janša, today the leader of SDS party. This has gained him eternal patriotic credit, which has grown into a myth some Slovenes worship without reservations.
Zoran Janković is a Serbia-born half Serb, half Slovene. Only after fourth grade primary school he has joined his parents who have already moved to Ljubljana, "seeking a better life..." A self-made man, economist with a proven talent for business. In 2011 Janković wins the elections in Slovenia. He claims that the country can be run in the same manner as a company.
You might imagine, how outrageous this sounds to a breed of emotional, true and pure Slovene "patriots". If not, read the SDS website, which has created the media hit of the month: Namely, the publication reveals a shocking, factually much exaggerated story on how the entire community of non-Slovene nationals with Slovenian citizenship have overflown the polling stations to massively support Janković at the elections. The story also explains that Janković voters have been promised money to vote for him and were systematically frightened they would get expelled from the country if Janša wins. Furthermore it suggests that the same country already made a mistake by granting them a citizenship. Of course it would be wrong to claim that Janković has not cashed in some compatriot sentiments from certain fellow Serbs and other ex-Yugoslavs living in Slovenia (all together around 5% of population), but hardly enough to explain a relatively solid victory, what the article is attempting to.

We have get used to all sorts of weird blog posts and comments on the Internet but this one is exceptional. Exceptional because it was published as a serious election result analysis on the front page of a web site of a party, which was up until two weeks ago believed to be the strongest in the country. And exceptionally worrying, because it tries to apply the worse pejorative immigrant attributes such as illiteracy to practically any citizen who is not a national Slovene. Well, the notorious text actually reveals how badly the election defeat hurts the SDS, how desperately it avoids to see the more real reasons for their failure, as well as that the agony pushes it more and more towards the right wing extreme.

However it is not only Janša who has dificulties in figuring out that the election campaign is over.

While the coalition negotiations are at full swing, the bullying between party leaders goes on. The similarity of programmes indeed makes a good prospect for constructing a functional coalition, but at this stage, everyone is acting extremely cool, as if they expect no less than Janković begging them on his knees to join. The first to discuss forming of the future government was the Social Democrat Borut Pahor, who is considered a nearly self-evident coalition partner. After the first round of talks he has proudly stepped in front of journalists declaring that he doesn't see himself next to the new boss. The liberal Virant was similarly negative saying they would defend their election promises at all costs and pointed at few principal disagreements to Janković's masterplan. Christian N.Si pointed out that their values are simply too far away and the 'rural' People's party said they are open only to the right wing coalitions. It seems that only the Pensioners' DeSus would of love to be in the coalition, but the question is whether the coalition wants it.

Meanwhile, more than one respected voice made it clear that the only functional coalition would be that of Janković's Positive Slovenia and Janša's SDS. They certainly got it right. As right, as it is impossible to imagine Janković and Janša working together. Actually, it seems like a dream.

And what about the titans themselves? Their beginnings can be described as a negative standstill. Janša and Janković were scheduled to meet for talks, but at some point Janša refused to come to Ljubljana Town Hall, where he has been invited to talk like any other coalition candidate. Instead he has asked Janković to come to the parliament. Janković responded by suggesting a 'neutral' territory. This was again, not good for Janša, who for this case in particular presented himself as a man of high political culture, for whom only the temple of democracy is a good enough place to talk. See, it is really going nowhere. But still, It would be an all-national triumph and a catharsis to get them doing something good together.  


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