On the show A Conversation with the Prime Minister (Pogovor s predsednikom vlade) on Sunday, the 17th of January 2021 on Nova24TV, the Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Janša and the host of the show Aleksander Rant talked about the beginning of the end of the COVID-19 epidemic, the course of vaccination, the work of the government during the crisis, which is further being made difficult by the representatives of the left-wing opposition in conjunction with the mainstream media and, lastly, about the death threats and violence towards the right, which is only escalating, due to the support from the state institutions. In the interview, the Prime Minister and the host also touched on the unfortunate vote of no confidence against the current government, which was, after several months of being announced, finally filed with only 42 signatures from the MPs – it was not even supported by all of the members of the opposition.
Prime Minister Janez Janša initially said that the European Commission had provided enough vaccine for everyone. “And the vaccine that is coming is safe,” the Prime Minister said. “How quickly will we be able to use the vaccine depends on how quickly we will organize ourselves and how much do we trust science,” Janša continued, emphasizing that we should not fall for the conspiracy theories or believe the charlatans who keep claiming that there is no virus.
“We are fighting for additional supplies of vaccines, and when the vaccine is available, it will be used on the basis of priorities, without clientelism and without any fast lanes,” Janša assured. According to certain forecasts about the supply of the COVID-19 vaccine, we could return to normal life without the measures that are currently restricting our freedom of movement and normal life as early as June.
A lot of interest in vaccination
Following the early experience we have had with the vaccine, at least two-thirds of Slovenians want to be vaccinated. So far, according to the latest data, more than 40 thousand people in Slovenia have already been vaccinated.
However, Janša said that the time remaining before we will finally be able to return to normal could even be shortened by at least one month with additional supplies of the vaccine, which would also mean that some of the measures that are currently in place would no longer be needed. In order for this to happen, though, the virus would have to be eradicated, Janša pointed out. “It is important that it is not just us who do this, but our neighbouring countries as well, the whole of the EU, the entire continent, the whole world, because otherwise, the virus will reappear.”
The Prime Minister also touched on the situation in healthcare and pointed out that we will have to make up for great delays and that the Slovenian healthcare system needs to be strengthened. “There has been extremely little investing in healthcare in the last 15 years. There was practically no investing in the healthcare capacities, nothing has been done in order to improve the salary system in healthcare, nor to build new nursing homes.”
The seriousness of the situation in the country is shown by the fact that Slovenia has the eight oldest population in the world, which is also most endangered due to COVID-19. As many as half a million people need to be vaccinated. Fortunately, there is a lot of interest in vaccination. Slovenia represents 0.49 percent of the population of the European Union, and accordingly, it is also receiving the same share of doses of the vaccine, which were ordered within the common European supply scheme.
Prime Minister Janša also said that the opposition used the epidemic as a political weapon, but emphasized that throughout Slovenian history, “pursuing political goals regardless of the number of victims has never turned out too well. The political successors of those who used to do this are using the same formula today.”
The left-wing opposition is playing a dirty game
“The opposition is playing a dirty game amid the epidemic, following the formula of: the worse for the country, the better for the Constitutional Arch Coalition (Koalicija ustavnega loka – referred to as KUL),” Janša pointed out. With this, the President of the LMŠ party, Marjan Šarec, the President of the SD party, Tanja Fajon, the coordinator of the Levica party, Luka Mesec, the President of the SAB party, Alenka Bratušek, as well as the old-new President of the DeSUS party, Karl Erjavec, have shown that the power matters much more to them than the people. At any cost, even if the people suffer as a result.
When asked whether the government is really not listening to the experts, Janša said that “We do not listen to the experts that were pushed to the forefront by the previous government, for example, people like Nina Pirnat, who said that when it comes to coronavirus, we should cover our sneezes using our sleeves. If we listened to her, our healthcare system would have already collapsed in March.”
Janša then pointed out that they prefer to listen to the serious Slovenian and European experts, as well as the experts from other places; he mentioned Taiwan as an example. Slovenian Prime Minister also pointed out that the EU has pooled its knowledge potential regarding the coronavirus. On Nova24TV, we have previously already reported on Taiwan’s successful fight against the covid-19 pandemic. The island nation learned its lesson years ago, with their experience with the swine flu. As soon as the firsts signs of the potential of COVID-19 becoming a worldwide pandemic emerged, Taiwan closed its borders. Quarantine has been ordered for anyone entering the country and violators face draconian fines. They also strictly monitor the contacts of those infected. And the results speak for themselves. For the vast majority of the people in Taiwan, life continues normally.
Regarding the vote of no confidence, which was filed on Friday, the 15th of January 2021 by the representatives of the left-wing opposition with the President of the DeSUS party Karl Erjavec, Janša said that they could also write the following in the text of the vote of no confidence: “We, the first-class, believe that power in Slovenia is only reserved for us, we are born to be in power, and anything that hoes against that, is a threat to democracy.” The Prime Minister also said that the vote of no confidence In such a form was “a brutal, pathetic outpouring of ideological hatred against those who think differently.”
Double standards are killing Slovenia
In addition to all of this, there are also the double standards which are obvious in the work of the state institutions. “If somebody sends death threats to the chancellor in Austria, he goes to prison for two years, when somebody threatened Borut Pahor at the time when he was still the Prime Minister, he got eleven years in prison.” However, when it comes to death threats that are being sent to Janša, the police can react, but the prosecution will stop everything, they will immediately view the whole thing as a matter of freedom of speech. “I was threatened by a police officer, who was defended by the left when he was faced with sanctions, and the court then returned him to his position,” Janša shared one example.
“In the last two weeks alone, I have received several hundred death threats on social media, from people with first and last names. Some of the threats are being investigated by the police; however, the prosecution is systematically blocking any sanctions,” Janša pointed out. No wonder that as a consequence, there is a constant escalation in the hate rhetoric and the leap from words to deeds. After all, it is the prosecution that supports this with its way of (non) work.
“Double standards are one of the key problems of the Slovenian democracy,” Janša believes. He also emphasized that even in the parties from the left-wing opposition, there are certain MPs who do not approve of the double standards but are being silenced and pushed into ideological hatred.
“Everyone condemned the violence at the Capitol in America. However, serious violence in Slovenia is only being condemned by the democratic side, the caviar left are trying to pass the violence off as freedom of speech,” Janša said.
“If the institutions and the mainstream media support the double standards, they are directly killing the democracy, and in Slovenia, this is even happening amid the epidemic,” Janša pointed out. “At a certain point, things will surely blow up in Slovenia, and I hope that when that happens, this will be resolved with democratic approaches and not with the use of what they have already used in Slovenian history, the tragic consequences of which can still be felt today,” the Prime Minister added.