Thursday

5th Aug 2021

Slovenia in political crisis

  • Jansa (l) pictured with European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso (Photo: Slovenian EU Presidency, Thierry Monasse)

What is a superlative for the phrase "political crisis"?

Many commentators have chosen "total political crisis" or derivatives of the term "anarchy" to describe the current political vacuum in Slovenia. In a single weekend, the country saw both the ruling coalition party and main opposition party plunged into disarray.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

Barely a month ahead of the EU elections, Positive Slovenia (a member of the European Liberals) and a governing party, has split into those who support Prime Minister Alenka Bratusek and those who support the mayor of Ljubljana, Zoran Jankovic.

The divisions came after Jankovic was elected as the new party leader at Positive Slovenia's congress – Bratusek previously said she would step down if she did not have the party's support.

In a normal "crisis" Jankovic would become the new PM, but coalition parties reject Jankovic as their leader because of several unfinished criminal investigations against him.

To make matters more complicated, the former friends, now adversaries, will stay on the same EU election list – since it is already too late to make changes.

Positive Slovenia's main political opponent, the SDS Party (a member of the centre-right EPP), did not have much time for schadenfreude however, because the next day (28 April), its party leader Janez Jansa was found guilty of corruption.

The court found the former prime minister guilty of trying to take bribes for the SDS party in 2007 from the Finnish military company, Patria, which was selling armoured vehicles to Slovenia at that time.

This week judges rejected Jansa's appeal and decided he must go to prison for two years.

One solution to the situation is to hold early elections.

Alenka Bratusek, still Prime Minister, on Tuesday (29 April) held talks with the state president Borut Pahor and coalition parties on when to organise a vote – either in early summer or in early autumn. In any case it would be the second snap poll in the last three years.

However, many doubt elections could bring a legitimate government because both the main actors, Janez Jansa and Zoran Jankovic, are not prepared to step down in the face of accusations.

Jansa, for example, has insisted he will remain SDS chief even if he goes to jail.

For now the SDS Party is still polling as the strongest party ahead of the coming EU elections.

But the political upheaval has unsettled the country which has only recently managed to stabilise its banking sector and public finances under the premiership of PM Bratusek.

Analysis

Slovenia's convicted ex-PM: down but refusing to be out

Slovenia's ex-PM Janez Jansa is supposed to go to prison on 20 June. But he continues to be coy about his political future with the country's laws not ruling out that he can run in next month's elections.

Schinas spars with MEPs over migration job title

A number of MEPs pressed Margaritis Schinas to drop the "Protecting the European Way of Life" title of his portfolio, which deals with migration. But Schinas refused, claiming it needs protecting from terrorists and populists. He failed to convince.

Poland's 'vague' nominee flops in EU hearing

Poland's nominee for agriculture commissioner, Janusz Wojciechowski, is likely to face a second hearing after MEPs from top political groups lambasted his "vague" performance on Tuesday.

Analysis

How MEPs will quiz the next commissioners

The EU parliament will organise public hearings to assess the future commissioners' suitability for their job and their knowledge about the portfolio they had assigned, before the new EU commission takes office on 1 November.

News in Brief

  1. EU secures deal with Novavax for potential Covid-19 vaccine
  2. France fined €10m for failing to tackle air pollution
  3. Fire near Athens forces thousands to evacuate
  4. EU to Lebanon: 'deliver results' on Beirut blast probe
  5. Belarus opposition leader demands regime end
  6. Croatia's border-monitoring of migrant rights 'falls short'
  7. Court stops Austria's Afghan deportation, as conflict worsens
  8. 'Missing' Belarus exiles group chief found dead in Kyiv

Parliament outmanoeuvred in EU top-post game

The European Parliament on Tuesday lost a years-long power struggle, and gave up winning more influence on European politics via the so-called Spitzenkandidat process it had championed.

Who is the new EU parliament president, David Sassoli?

The 63-year-old centre-left Italian MEP was elected president of the European Parliament, with 345 votes. A former journalist, Sassoli has experience as a vice-president of the parliament, but is little known.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNineteen demands by Nordic young people to save biodiversity
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersSustainable public procurement is an effective way to achieve global goals
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Council enters into formal relations with European Parliament
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersWomen more active in violent extremist circles than first assumed
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersDigitalisation can help us pick up the green pace
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersCOVID19 is a wake-up call in the fight against antibiotic resistance

Latest News

  1. Italy seeks EU help on migrant boat arrivals
  2. WHO calls for vaccine-booster pause to help poor countries
  3. Romania selling on its jabs, despite low vaccination rates
  4. Cyprus' Varosha is Erdogan's canary in the coalmine
  5. Europe sees drop in Covid-19 cases
  6. Burkinis and 'soul caps' - policing Olympic women back in fashion
  7. Telegram groups lure migrant hopefuls to Lithuania
  8. Third-time lucky for one Syrian grandmother in Denmark

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us