The Slovenia Times

Pensioner rally turns on journalists

A rally of pensioners organised by the Voice of Pensioners initiative and 1 October Institute.
Photo: Boštjan Podlogar/STA

The latest in a series of monthly pensioner rallies led by Pavel Rupar, a former MP for the opposition Democrats (SDS), saw some of the protesters insult and threaten journalists at the headquarters of the Slovenian public broadcaster.

Like the months before, the rally was centred in the large square outside the parliament building in Ljubljana, but part of protesters first gathered in front of RTV Slovenija.

Several journalists said the protesters harassed them on entering the building, insulting and threatening them, which they reported to police.

The RTV teams of journalists, trade unions and the works council strongly condemned the incident and called on the RTV management to protect employees and publicly condemn the incident.

"Such aggressive behaviour is the result of a deliberate incitement of intolerance and hostility towards journalists and other employees of RTV, which is why similar incidents are becoming increasingly frequent, which is unacceptable," wrote the journalists of the MMC portal, the news programme of television and radio, the in-house trade union and the works council.

Given that Rupar publicly called on protesters on social media to gather in front of RTV, they wonder why the management did not take additional security measures to protect employees.

They said one of the protesters snatched away a journalist's work card, calling her "red scum". He then gave her back the card, telling her she should not record the protest, and "you are not ours, you are lying".

Commenting for the N1 news portal, Rupar said that there was no incident at the time when he was outside RTV himself. He urged for recordings of the incident to be released if it indeed happened.

"If the incident in fact happened, I regret it and I apologise on behalf of the unknown protester ... If the incident did not happen, the madam should apologise," he said. He was critical of what he described as unfair reporting.

In his address in Republic Square Rupar thanked those RTV staff who he said had been enabling pluralism at the broadcaster recently. He expressed hope this pluralism would continue also after the amended RTV law entered into force in line with the most recent decision by the Constitutional Court.

He urged pensioners not to pay the RTV subscription fee for at least three months if this should not happen.

The rally again called for higher pensions with Rupar criticising the €100 million package that the government promised to pensioners as insufficient.

The association organising the rallies is planning to table its own bill to raise the monthly pensions which are lower than by €1,000 by 20%, those up to €1,500 by 10% and those over €1,500 by 5% until a new pension reform is passed.


More from Politics