Ljubljana – President Borut Pahor has decided to call a general election on the first possible date, 24 April 2022, “but if he expected to calm down the increasingly tense situation in the country, he was very wrong”, the newspaper Večer says in Saturday’s commentary under the headline No Reprieve.
“Slovenia is still deep in a health, political and social crisis with no light at the end of the tunnel on the horizon,” the paper says, adding the coronavirus situation is alarming, with the Janez Janša government being shaken by one scandal after another.
Večer highlights the latest scandal surrounding Minister Andrej Vizjak and his statements in a 2007 conversation with tycoon Bojan Petan. While he apologised for the statement that the government would “squeeze a judge’s balls” if necessary, he did not take political responsibility and resign.
“Just as has so far not resigned any minister, pardon me, jewel, in the Janša government,” Večer says in reference to Interior Minister Aleš Hojs.
The paper does not name him but says “you know which minister, the one who called protesters and senior EU officials swines, and police trade unionists lazy bones. But a fish stinks from the head down, and nobody can pretend anymore that this is not the case.”
The paper says the key to an early election is still held by Janša and his coalition partners, wondering how New Slovenia (NSi) will act now that it has become clear that Vizjak had indeed said those things to Petan in 2007.
“Whether we go to the polls before 24 April will perhaps be clear after the country’s EU presidency ends. The wave of dissatisfaction will not subside by then, if anything, the situation will become more tense. Pahor’s decision will not calm down the people, and the hard-awaited reprieve is nowhere on the horizon.”