Protests and Political Instability in Slovenia Before EU-Western Balkans Summit
In the past three weeks, three protests with a record number of protesters in Slovenia's history, took place in the country. The demands were early elections and the abolition of binding measures regarding COVID-19
Prime Minister Janez Janša said the government would “not cave to pressure” after Zoran Stevanović, the leader of the protests against the Covid pass mandate, called on the government to resign or face new protests, including a blockade of the upcoming EU-Western Balkans summit. He called on the competent authorities to take action.
The more trouble protesters make, the more the EU will understand and support the government’s measures, Janša said in a text circulated on social media on Sunday.
“Look around and you’ll see that across the EU there are quite a few people similar to you who exploit people’s anxiety, hamper health measures, foment unrest, and claim that the earth is flat.
Janša also took a swipe at the media, noting that “nowhere else do mainstream media turn them into heroes,” adding that this was why Slovenia has a vaccination rate below the EU average and was paying a higher price in the battle against the epidemic.
“We’re all hostages to you and people like you who are in a clear minority despite rowdiness, and who declare yourselves 'the people.'”
The prime minister went on to say that Slovenia is suffering significant economic damage as a result, as mass gatherings not in compliance with restrictions spread the virus across the country, causing disease and death.
He said the conduct caused by Stevanovič and his announcements for the future indicate he may be in violation of three articles of the criminal code, including provisions that make it a criminal offense to incite hatred and violence, and violence against the representatives of foreign countries.
“The competent authorities are obligated to act in accordance with the law, or else they will share responsibility for the consequences you are causing,” Janša said.
The statement came after Stevanovič led mass protests by a crowd estimated by police to number 10,000 that blocked Ljubljana for several hours. Police used a water cannon to try to disperse the crowd.
After the protests, Stevanovič urged people on social media to block the EU-Western Balkans summit, which starts at Brdo pri Kranju tomorrow evening with dinner by EU leaders.
The protest party Resni.ca provided Novinite.com with a comment regarding the events that transpired.
After announcing a new protest, which will take place on Tuesday, 5 October 2021, when the eyes of Europe will be on Slovenia due to the EU summit, President of Slovenia Borut Pahor invited the president of political party Resni.ca Zoran Stevanović to a meeting today at the Presidential Palace.
The conversation between the president of our political party Resni.ca Zoran Stevanović and the president of the Republic of Slovenia Borut Pahor took place without obligatory masks (two hours after the meeting the government informed the people via social media that masks are no longer obligatory if everyone in the room is sick or vaccinated - testing is no longer valid).
Stevanović proposed to the President that he defend himself at least once and call on the Government to resign and abolish binding measures. The president said he would not interfere in the work of the government. The outcome of the meeting was expected, as the president has not once stepped in front of the people or expressed his support in any other way in the last year and a half of terror. As the demands were not complied with, the next protest will take place as planned, i.e., tomorrow, Tuesday, 5 October 2021, at 3 p.m. in capital city Ljubljana.
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