After the left and its subordinate media outlets stirred up a big fuss because of the letter, sent by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Anže Logar, to the European Union’s Commissioner for Justice, Didier Reynders, Logar, in his sovereign appearance on the show Odmevi at the national RTV, let them know that it was obvious that they have not even read the letter. He emphasized that he had only added a personal letter written for the Commissioner to the report which was sent, as he had also received a personal letter from the Commissioner, himself. “In Slovenia, it is clear that when the issue of justice is raised, part of politics always stands up and starts talking about the pressures on the judiciary,” he said and stressed that in our country, the opposition is more concerned with trying to find disunity within the coalition.
Initially, the RTV journalist Tanja Starič asked Minister Anže Logar about the coordination of the letter and asked why it was not adjusted. Logar emphasized that the European Commission had decided to draw up a more detailed review of the judicial situation in the Member States. “It is a new initiative of the European Commission. That is why the Commissioner for Justice wrote a personal letter to the foreign ministers, asking them to pay close attention to this problem and prepare appropriate proposals. We collected the proposals on 36 pages, and then added a personal letter to the European Commissioner to this review of the judiciary, in the same way as I had received it.”
This was not a public letter, reflecting the positions of the coalition parties
This was a personal letter, not a public letter, but it somehow found its way into the public for one reason or the other, Logar said, stressing that it should be emphasized that this letter does not in any way reflect what individual opposition parties or some coalition partners are singling out. When Starič told Logar about the accusations, saying that he is slandering Slovenia’s reputation in Europe and thus damaging it, Logar replied: “Is Slovenia successful in its prosecution of economic and banking crimes? Are we satisfied with the number of convicted bank criminals?” Starič asked Logar: “Are you asking for my personal opinion on this?” Logar replied: “Yes!” Starič responded by saying: “You, as the Minister, are obviously not satisfied, but the report, prepared by the Ministry of Justice, provided some encouraging information.”
Progress in the judiciary was somewhat stalled in the past
Logar went on to say: “If you have read the letter in detail, it clearly states that there have been cases in the past where the decisions of the Constitutional Court were not enforced, where cases were “time-barred” and were, therefore, not pursued further, and that we are glad that the European Commission is finally dealing with this issue in a transparent, open kind of way. This is the only thing I have summarized in this letter. All those who have read the letter may have noticed that what they are accusing us of, certainly does not apply to this letter. However, it is clear that in Slovenia, when the issue of justice is raised, part of politics always stands up and starts talking about the pressures on the judiciary. Proof that the European Commission will discuss the issues and that we will resolve these issues together, in an open dialogue, fills us with confidence that we will also make significant progress in the field of the judiciary.”
“I would like to emphasize something, at the time of approaching the European Union, Slovenia took a big step forward in many areas, precisely because of this kind of dialogue,” said Logar, and at the same time, made it known that in the field of judiciary, the progress was somewhat stalled in the past. “That is what I pointed out in the letter, so I am looking forward to and emphasizing that we have welcomed the Commission’s intention to carry out the review.”
This type of communication is not uncommon
When Starič asked Logar about the opposition and scratches in the coalition over this letter and the Prime Minister’s letter, Logar replied: “Once again, anyone who has read the personal letter I had sent to the European Commissioner, knows that this is not unusual, among other things, this kind of communication has been used many times before, so anyone could see that these reactions by certain individuals are completely unfounded.” He said that he invites everyone to read the letter, given that it is circulating around, and form their own opinion. “In any case, I believe that an open debate about the problems we are facing in Slovenia is allowed.” Starič could not resist the need to comment and added: “But a Minister’s word has a certain weight. Unlike a simple discussion among the rest of us.”
“Another document, the document about the media, which was also discussed in the Parliament, where you also participated, raised the political temperature considerably. I think both committees have decided that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs should withdraw it. Has this happened already?” Starič continued. “Just as the convening of that particular session was wrong, referencing this decision of both parliamentary committees was wrong. The right address for your question is the Government Communication Office, given that they are the ones giving the initiatives in this direction. We basically forwarded the decision to the Government Communication Office, so that they can decide how to proceed,” Logar said.
“Perhaps we could also talk about another matter, the letter from the Prime Minister, addressing the war with the media, has caused quite a stir. I am interested in your opinion on this. Is this the official position of the Government, is this a war with the media?” The host of the show Odmevi asked. “I would say that more so, this is a search for the cracks in the coalition,” Logar responded, sharing his belief that an open debate on the things that divide and connect us at the same time, should be held once. “In Slovenia, the time for that has apparently come,” he pointed out, adding that we are facing a period of time that will require the nation to unite.
The opposition is more concerned with finding disunity within the coalition
“I can now see that the opposition unites with every letter or statement of an individual politician from the Government. This is good. This should be welcomed,” he said, adding that the only thing missing is for the National Assembly to unite in its view of the measures and in the reactions to the adoption of the Government’s legislative proposals in response to the challenges that await us. He warned of a possible second outbreak of the epidemic when autumn arrives. “I have to say that when I talk to my colleagues from the other Member States, it is clear that in their respective countries, there is some understanding from the opposition. They support governmental proposals. In our country, however, the opposition is more concerned with trying to find disunity within the coalition.” When asked if the Government would extend a hand to the opposition, Logar pointed out that they have always done exactly that. “We also offered the option of a discussion about the first legislative package, but the offered gesture was abused in a way since the proposals which were accepted were immediately criticized in public.”