The Slovenia Times

Patient: Slovenia - Age: 23 - Disease: Political Cancer - Symptoms: Lack of Boldness, Lack of Vision, Negative Selection, Incompetence, Bureaucratic, Cowboy Business Practices, Calimero Complex, Irresponsibility - Treatment: Common Sense Implantation



Citizens, businessmen, students with optimism have finished their summer vacations. Finally, we can smell more optimism in the economy. Slovenia is growing again, unemployment figures are going down, Slovenia was seventh in the World Basketball Championship in Spain; Maribor are "kicking ass" in the Champions League and on top of that, we expected a new government team which can finally pull Slovenia out of the stagnation maze.

Because of therapeutic reasons we must still cherish realistic optimism. Prime Minister Cerar is definitely trying hard, he was at least wise in his choice of Finance Minister, but reasonable doubt has blanketed the land in respect of the new and in many cases, just recycled, political elite. At the beginning we were tolerant that the new coalition was a little surprising with the Pensioners Party being the second largest coalition partner, that the Coalition Agreement was a very general and unrealistic wish list, that the government has an unclear, basic economic programme. We acknowledged that it is a brand new political party, we understood that the "construction" of the government was slow, but better slow than incompetent we said. We also understood that the main opposition party is somewhat unhappy because their president is in prison but we expected that they would slowly understand that the rule of law is the basis of our country and if Janez Janša was wrongly accused, he has the option to appeal also at the European Court of Justice.

To be fair, in assessing the new government, we will still wait a few months, but for now we can only determine that we still don't have a clear economic strategy, ministers are caught in their plot-gardening logic, the PM is again burdened by affairs of his party, some of his closest colleagues obviously didn't understand what moral integrity means, what honesty means and some ministers obviously don't know as much about their sector as they read on a one page reminder of their political godfathers. The parliament is endlessly debating the artificial dilemma of whether the imprisoned opposition leader can sit in the parliament - can you imagine Angela Merkel running the government from prison! The public sector trade unions are again preparing for the fight against more "savings" cuts in the public sector, ignoring the fact that the EUR 1.2bn hole in the budget is the biggest threat to the development of the country and is eating away the core of the welfare state.

It seems, for now, that we are still caught in an ambitionless "go with the flow" politics. The quality and mentality of our ruling bureaucracy was clearly unveiled by the former PM and EU Commissioner candidate, Alenka Bratušek, following her controversial self-nomination for the post (which is not such an acute problem) but which transparently showed the world that she is just not fit for the job. And our biggest development problem is the "armada of Alenkas" who corrode the development potential of the country.


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