Friday

3rd Feb 2023

Opinion

Claiming righteousness but being a hypocrite will not convince voters

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Our opponents are mouthful when it comes to reproaching us, the European People's Party (EPP).

They charge us for breaching the rule of law, liaising with undemocratic forces, oppressing the freedom of speech and media. They not only manipulate reality, but also, at all cost, refuse to turn inwards, apply self-criticism, and see the bias: their own double standards.

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Why is it acceptable for the European socialists to shield their Maltese friends linked to the assassination of a journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia? And why do they keep a blind eye for the mistakes of Slovenian socialists and extreme left, who amongst other blame the USA and NATO, rather than Putin, for Russian war in Ukraine?

Our friends from other political parties and groups in the European Parliament are well too aware of their inconsistencies. Nonetheless, they have made it their mission to hide behind populism, newspaper headlines and easy political spins to shame us. They claim righteousness but are hypocritical.

It takes little effort and a small glance outside the box full of their shallow accusations to see the EPP is not the enemy. In Slovenia, for instance, a coup is underway. Under the pretext of depoliticising national television and defending the freedom of speech, the extreme left government's ruling garniture is changing laws to allow scrupulous appointments.

The changes, that would completely behead the current management of Slovenian national broadcaster, are designed to exclude voters from participating in the management of the public TV. Their involvement is not direct, but through a vote of their elected representative in a democratic Parliament, Slovenians have had the chance to keep national broadcaster in check and balanced. With the changes adopted by the ruling parties, this is about to be taken away from them, whereas the obligatory monthly fee they pay to watch the program, is to stay.

We therefore ask ourselves, is freedom of speech only the right of leftist political forces?

We, as the EPP, want and will always encourage changes to any behaviour, composure or law, for that matter, if undemocratic, but those changes must be based on public discussion and social dialogue.

When decisions, as the one concerning Slovenian public broadcaster, are done hidden from the public's eyes, through an urgency procedure, foreseen exclusively for cases of natural disasters and war, one cannot help oneself to worry. Whose freedoms are those elites defending? It certainly isn't the freedoms of more than 50,000 people who signed under the Slovenian EPP opposition's decision to challenge those changes in public, in a so-called referendum.

Maybe a reminder is in place. If we completely let go of introspection, self-control and self-criticism, we might as well need to denounce our right to criticise, nevermind trash, our opponents, as well.

Author bio

Romana Tomc is a Member of the European Parliament from Slovenia. She is a member of the Slovenian Democratic Party, part of the European People's Party (EPP).

Disclaimer

The views expressed in this opinion piece are the author's, not those of EUobserver.

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