An urgent joint meeting of the Committee on Foreign Policy and the Committee on Culture was held at the National Assembly, to discuss the Government’s response to the Council of Europe’s accusations of alleged pressure on journalists. According to the Minister of Foreign Affairs dr. Anže Logar, he was obviously invited by mistake, as the Government did not respond to the warnings of the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights. As he pointed out, the basis for calling the emergency session was the reporting of the Necenzurirano (Uncensored) web portal, whose writers violated the code of journalistic ethics when writing the article. Logar had to explain to the functionally illiterate members of the opposition what an official dispatch is!
On Tuesday, an urgent joint meeting of the Committee on Foreign Policy (Odbor za zunanjo politiko – OZP) and the Committee on Culture (Odbor za kulturo) was held in the National Assembly to discuss the Government’s response to the Council of Europe’s accusations of alleged pressure on journalists. The President of the Committee on Foreign Policy Matjaž Nemec, a member of the Social Democrats (SD), which is the legal successor of the Communist Party of Slovenia, said on behalf of the proposers of the session that the official dispatch was a one-sided political pamphlet. Complications started at the very beginning when the President of the Committee on Culture Violeta Tomić refused to let the Minister of Foreign Affairs, dr. Anže Logar, speak. “I do not want to interfere, but I was also a leader of a working body in the past, and back then, it was clear that the first to speak were always the invited members of the Government of the Republic of Slovenia,” he had to tell her.
Logar was invited by mistake
“Let me first say that I was clearly invited to this extraordinary session of the Committee on Foreign Policy by mistake, as I have practically nothing to do with the issues that were presented by the OZP’s President, which were also the reason for the request to convene an extraordinary session of the parliamentary body,” Logar said in his introduction. Despite having virtually nothing to do with the subject of the session, he responded to the invitation because he highly appreciates the Parliament as an institution that provides and facilitates argumentative debate with the intention of taking the best possible decisions for the benefit of all Slovenian citizens: “But since I was already put on the spot, let me clarify some things.”
“The very title of the request for the convening of the point that will be represented today, which says, ‘a harmful response for the reputation of the Republic of Slovenia by the Minister of Foreign Affairs to the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights’ warnings regarding the restriction of free and independent journalistic work in the Republic of Slovenia.’ This title alone is already based on two provably made-up premises,” Logar continued.
“Firstly, you wrote ‘response to the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights’ warnings.’ This is also something you, Mr. Nemec said, and it is not true,” Logar explained, adding that the Government had not responded to the warnings of the Commissioner for Human Rights. “If you made the same mistake in the material for today’s session, you could have looked into the matter before this point was presented. The Government did not respond to the warnings that you are highlighting. It might still do so, and if it will, the Government Communication Office will do it on its behalf,” he further explained.
The other unfounded point is the accusation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for its supposed detrimental response. According to Logar, the Slovenian Government responded to a different matter, published on the Council of Europe’s web portal, alleging that Prime Minister Janez Janša was pressuring journalists: “The people who wrote the request for the extraordinary session have obviously mixed up these two events. The matter of the Prime Minister’s alleged pressure on journalists and the press release of the Commissioner for Human Rights, Mrs. Mijatović.”
The basis for calling an extraordinary session was the reporting of the fraudulent web portal owned by the crook Martin Odlazek
The basis for the main reason for the calling of the extraordinary session is, according to Logar, an article on the Necenzurirano web portal: “The main argument in today’s session is based on a single article, published on the Necenzurirano web portal. I do not want to evaluate the credibility of this article. I believe that there are other people who will be much better at this than the Minister of Foreign Affairs, but given that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is the main focus of this article, and that in it, I was ‘found guilty’ as the Minister, I would like to make a statement on behalf of the Ministry, in order to protect the reputation and the good name of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.” As previously reported on Nova24TV, the Necenzurirano (Uncensored) web portal is a new media project, owned by the already convicted Martin Odlazek. “This article concludes its reasoning on the basis of two untruths that could easily be verified by anyone in this chamber, especially the President of the Committee on Foreign Policy, and could also be checked by anyone, should they wish to do so. All of the lies and allegations of the proposed request for the convening of an extraordinary ZPN session are drawn on the basis of these untruths, which I will later highlight,” Logar said.
The functionally illiterate MPs of the opposition did not even know what an official dispatch looks like
“Claiming that the text which was sent to the Council of Europe is an official dispatch is, as I have mentioned before, a lie. Mr. OZP President, you yourself have also used the word ‘dispatch’ as the narrative and introduction to the discussion. Anyone who is at least a little bit familiar with the work of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs could neither write nor say something like that,” Logar said. A dispatch, as a matter of law, means: “A documented message of a uniform form and content, prepared by the working body for the purposes of the body’s operation.” Further, Logar showed the deputies what an official dispatch looks like and compared it to the text that the MPs of the opposition referred to. “The media that you are using as the main source for interpreting the letter goes a step further, marking this document, which does comply with the rules for a uniform document, Logar’s official dispatch. Let me make this clear: there is no Logar’s official dispatch. Logar’s official dispatch does not exist. Period,” Logar was clear.
Odlazek’s hack-writers ignored the code of journalistic ethics entirely
The other lie on which the article was based, and the request for the extraordinary convening of the session was made, is that according to the journalists’ information, the document was prepared at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Logar said. “For the purposes of this discussion, I read the Code of Journalistic Ethics. ‘The journalist should check the accuracy of collected information and be careful not to make mistakes. In the event that he/she makes a mistake, however unintentionally, he/she should admit it and correct it,’ as written in the first article of the code of ethics of journalists,« he said. As Logar explained, the journalists did not ask the Ministry of Foreign Affairs a single thing.