Slovenian Democratic Party deputy Žan Mahnič, who was attacked by Slovenian politicians, including the prime minister of Slovenia, Cerar, and the president of the national assembly of Slovenia, Brglez, has become a star of the Croatian political weekly Globus. The front cover clearly states that Miro Cerar is actually the one who threatened Croatia with war.
How lies and imputations can return like a boomerang is seen on the example of SDS deputy and president of the committee on defence Žan Mahnič, who has become a real star in Croatian press even though the Slovenian press declared him to be an aggressive person wishing for war. A silly tweet from Social Democrats deputy Jan Škoberne had created a chain reaction; it was embraced by the even more inexperienced Miro Cerar, and the unprofessional press became involved as well, proclaiming Mahnič to be a bloodthirsty deputy who wants war with neighbouring Croatia by any means necessary, with the Slovenian government unable to implement the arbitration agreement with them.
That the story is completely ridiculous, belonging in the category of “fake news”, was determined two weeks ago on the Croatian television RTL, where they reported that it is actually just a cheap way for the Slovenian government coalition to acquire political points before the upcoming election. Mahnič was also interviewed in the high-profile Croatian weekly Globus, where they reached similar conclusions, and the Slovenian deputy mentioned politicians on both sides that had been sabre-rattling – Croatian president Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović in Croatia and Slovenian prime minister Miro Cerar and foreign minister Karel Erjavec in Slovenia.
When asked about the fundamental reasons for calling a session of the committee on defence, its president explained that ever since the arbitral judgement there has been talk from the Slovenian coalition that it is necessary to respect the decision and that Cerar and Erjavec will force Croatia to respect international law even though Croatia had already stated that it is departing from the decision after the eavesdropping affair between Simona Drenik and arbitrator Jernej Sekolec, which had compromised the agreement. “I’d like to mention that in July Croatian president Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović said that Croatia will not allow a unilateral implementation by Slovenia and that Croatia is determined in this regard since it has the power and resources. How is it possible that back then no one said that she was sabre-rattling and calling for war? If the same criteria were used for everyone, this would have been done,” Mahnič stressed for Globus.
Cerar and Erjavec responsible for sabre-rattling
Recently, it has become evident that Cerar and Erjavec are losing patience and that there has been enough diplomacy since Croats only understand threats. According to Mahnič, Erjavec even publicly discussed that it is necessary to buy two new police boats and send them to the Gulf of Piran, which now belongs to Slovenia according to the arbitration.
Mahnič said that he had decided to call the “controversial” session of the committee on defence due to information that after the arbitral decision ships of armed Croatian forces had moved towards Istra. “Someone tell me how anyone can see a declaration of war or threat with weapons here,” the young deputy asks and adds that he understands the seriousness of the situation. All he wanted at this session, which was closed to the public, was an answer or explanation from the government on how they would carry out a unilateral implementation of the arbitration, which Croatia would never allow. He also wanted to know whether this would mean incidents in the Gulf of Piran and how they should proceed in such a case. Because according to a new act, the Slovenian army can also have police powers for controlling and protecting the national border in peacetime. “This is all it was about and nothing else,” is the clear statement from Mahnič, who adds that prime minister Miro Cerar, with help from the coalition and the press, was the one launching false information that there had been threats with weapons: “If there’s anyone doing this, it’s him when he talks about a unilateral implementation of the arbitral decision.”
Mahnič also explains that the government side simply had to come to the committee on defence, present a plan for the implementation of the arbitral decision, and say that they do not expect any incidents and that help from the army is not required. “Miro Cerar didn’t dare say that because he doesn’t even know what will happen, and he’d forbidden his ministers to come to the session,” Mahnič added.