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Prime Minister Janez Janša: The police should be commended for their professionalism at the protests

Prime Minister Janez Janša was a guest on the programme A Talk with the Prime Minister broadcast on Nova24TV, where he talked about a number of current affairs and answered questions from viewers.

Prime Minister Janez Janša was a guest on the programme A Talk with the Prime Minister on Nova24TV

Prime Minister Janez Janša was a guest on the programme A Talk with the Prime Minister on Nova24TV | Author Kabinet predsednika vlade

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By way of introduction, he touched on the interpellation of the Minister of the Economy, stressing that he cannot think of a country where an interpellation was addressed to a minister during the first 100 days of government.  He said that the interpellation provided an opportunity for the minister to explain many of the matters that he was previously unable to explain on three or four lengthy TV shows that were broadcast on national television. "He was a target on many Tarča TV shows. He was interrupted whenever he wanted to answer, with false accusations being made against him that were subsequently also discussed in a number of information programmes, and only now did he get the chance to explain things," said the Prime Minister, adding that the results of the voting at the end were more than convincing. "The opposition, which submitted the interpellation, could not even obtain all the votes from among its own ranks, let alone convince others from the majority coalition," said the Prime Minister.

In this regard, the Prime Minister also commented on certain statements made by deputies of the Left Party on that occasion in the National Assembly, saying that some so-called leftists assume the roles of plaintiff, judge and moral authority, even though they have never contributed anything in their lives to make things better or different in this country, not to mention all that they sometimes present as their programme. "They speak about freedom, advocate censorship, talk about minimum pay for deputies, but none of them has done anything of these things since their election to the National Assembly," said Mr Janša, adding that it was the very Left Party that made possible a certain government that was catastrophically incompetent. "Then they basically brought it down themselves, and now they would like to have it back.  This causes a certain confusion, which shifts towards extremes and incitement as they fail to attract attention of the public because of their emptiness. At this point, the National Assembly will have to decide how to proceed in the future," he said. "They have adopted the code of ethics.  I doubt, however, that this will help.  By its nature, and under the Constitution, the National Assembly is a house of democracy, an open house, and it is inappropriate to utter death threats in such a house or anywhere else for that matter," the Prime Minister commented on the words of Left Party Deputy Miha Kordeš. 

Prime Minister Janez Janša also touched on the protests held on Friday the previous week, saying that video recordings show that black-shirted violent members of a left-wing assault squad were at the forefront of the protests trying to provoke an incident with the police.  "There are a few people in between who are there, more or less, because of the folklore, and behind them stand their professors from the Faculty of Arts, the Faculty of Social Sciences, people who conduct public opinion surveys, RTV Slovenia journalists, sons and daughters of well-known politicians from the totalitarian regime, that is to say the second and third generation of first-class citizens who, of course, did not want to be on the front line and who sent their students there instead as they themselves watched from behind; and I saw many video recordings of people smiling happily while their students – who were incited to do so – clad in black clothes and bearing the symbol of an international violent terrorist organisation, pushed against the fence and tried to provoke the police," stressed the Prime Minister, adding that those very people want to bring violence, hatred, and destruction to Slovenia – as we see happening in certain other cities in Europe and also in the United States, where a certain incident is used to cause destruction and talk about a new social order.  "And when, after a few days, you see that new social order in the created autonomous zones, the only thing you see is destruction, raping, robberies, violence."  The Prime Minister has also said that it is despicable that a political party that gained the trust of voters, is a parliamentary party, and has been in power for 69 of the past 75 years relies on the street as the main decision-maker two months after no longer being the party in power. He also commented on certain posts on Twitter where individuals think of themselves as first-class citizens, clearly indicating in their posts that they are the ones who will decide what you will do, regardless of whether they have the majority or not.  They are always the ones who think of themselves as first-class, believing that history gives them the right to decide what is right and what is wrong, to teach others, to consider themselves the ultimate moral arbiter and make threats.

The Prime Minister also touched on the letter he sent to European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and the letter sent to him by European Commissioner Gentiloni.  "As for the letter of the Italian Commissioner, it is highly likely that he signed what his office staff wrote. A well-known leftist, the daughter of the owner of Dnevnik and Nedeljski Dnevnik newspapers, works there, and we all know the newspaper's political orientation, and I do not wish to comment on these ties with the Social Democrats, which are more than obvious," he said. The European Commission's lawsuit against Slovenia, however, is a more serious matter, he says. "This lawsuit was brought because, during the left-wing government before the last one, the police walked into the Bank of Slovenia and confiscated a server with all its data, including data from the European Central Bank, which is subject to rules from the treaty establishing the European Central Bank to which Slovenia acceded, undertaking to protect this data," said the Prime Minister on his letter to the President of the European Commission. He pointed out that the European Central Bank protested over the investigation at the Bank of Slovenia. "As arrogant responses were coming from Slovenia, the ECB filed a lawsuit through the European Commission that is the guardian of this regulation" said Prime Minister Janša, adding: "Of course, because the lawsuit was filed, because the procedure was clearly not conducted properly, this investigation is also a dead end since the server is sealed somewhere at the Prosecutor's Office and we are now waiting to see what will happen. It is also in the interest of those who actually want to investigate the matter that was the subject of this police investigation at the Bank of Slovenia to unblock and unseal this server, to exclude the data owned by the European Central Bank, while the rest is a matter of procedures conducted in accordance with our legislation," the Prime Minister said. He went on to say that he was notified by the competent ministry, where the letter in question was written, and that he signed the letter himself after speaking to the minister and the Advocate-General, indicating that the way out of this lawsuit was uncertain for Slovenia. "According to the extensive materials I managed to read, there have been seven cases where the national police force investigated bank crime in various countries and encountered a similar problem, but an agreement was always reached, under which a team of experts from the European Central Bank would come and say which data were irrelevant to the investigation and were to be excluded; Slovenia's case was the only one where the European Commission was forced to take legal action," said Janez Janša, adding that Slovenia was now blacklisted with the European Central Bank "because we are acting in contravention with or because they believe we are acting in contravention with what we undertook to respect."  In light of all of this, the Prime Minister has decided to ask whether the European Commission is prepared to drop its lawsuit and whether it is still possible to do the same as in other cases, where the European Central Bank would exclude its data and let procedures before our bodies continue. "If anyone at the Slovenian Prosecutor's Office thinks to investigate the European Central Bank, they are not living on the moon but far out in space. Different powers and different rules apply here, and I believe that the whole thing is simply about not doing anything when it comes to bank crime," said the Prime Minister bluntly, adding that the capital shortfall remains unresolved to this day. 

Prime Minister Janez Janša also talked about the following seven-year Multiannual Financial Framework or EU budget and the recovery and resilience facility, which provide additional potential funds that will enable Europe to recover from the epidemic. "I have to say that, this time, the European Commission has come up with a good proposal, one that is realistic in the sense that it does not involve new instruments that would take years to harmonise or ratify in the parliaments of the 27 Member States, but concerns tested mechanisms of drawing significantly increased resources, particularly in the first years to come," said the Prime Minister. He added that the epidemic has also affected all the countries that are part of the common market and that there is an ongoing search for an instrument that would allow us to emerge from this crisis together, which is an important step.

Later in the programme, the Prime Minister took questions from Slovenian citizens. With regard to the construction of new homes for the elderly, he said that the previous Government had spent EUR 75 million just on a study on building homes for the elderly, but they did not actually build a single one. "This is a priority. A few homes will be finished this year and most of what has been planned will be built next year, which will be partly financed by EU funding," said the Prime Minister, adding that the homes would be built in such a way as to prevent problems that occurred in some places due to the coronavirus. Concerning the social welfare system in Slovenia, the Prime Minister assessed that, if the coalition remains as strong as it has been, there will be a comprehensive reform, one that will actually demonstrate solidarity with those in need of assistance, "but will not allow the abuse of this instrument or the mockery of those who work hard all day and get the same amount of money just for being first-class." He also talked about the resolution of the Swiss-franc borrowers issue, the war veterans allowance and protests abroad.

Last but not least, Prime Minister Janez Janša said that many remember the street violence at the end of 2012 and the beginning of 2013, as well as the hanging of puppets, the visits to the homes of Maribor City Council members, the granite cubes and Molotov cocktails being thrown in Maribor and Ljubljana. "No sane resident of this country wants this to happen again," said the Prime Minister, commending the Slovenian police officers for their professionalism at all protests. According to the Prime Minister, it is probably difficult to endure all these provocations, but there have not been any serious incidents so far.  The Prime Minister also assessed that these provocations from the protesters were deliberate and designed to provoke a reaction from the police.  "The bodies responsible for law and order in Slovenia have all the necessary powers to take action," said the Prime Minister. Finally, he called upon everyone who is thinking about governing from the streets to reconsider the government's offer of cooperation in a partnership for development. "They would achieve much more, and I believe that their voters would end up rewarding this constructive behaviour to a much greater extent and in larger numbers than violence and destruction", concluded Prime Minister Janez Janša.

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