Stories: ANTI-GOVERNMENT PROTESTS 2020
After a center-left government of prime minister Marjan Šarec resigned in the first weeks of the coronavirus crisis, Slovenian politics turned right and continued with the center-right government of prime minister Janez Janša, back in the helm after the 2012 countrywide protests threw him out of office amid accusations of corruption and ideological, undemocratic rule. His cases went to trial and he was jailed. Eight years later he is back and the protests resumed immediately despite the ban on public gatherings during the epidemic. The first two months of his government’s handling of the lockdown were strict, obviously limiting freedom in the country, but they seemed to work. However, confusion, conflicting information, disregarding experts, hasty decisions etc. have caused suspicion that something foul was at play undercover of the lockdown. Indeed, the government replaced almost everyone on major leading functions with Janša’s right-wing party members, and passed undemocratic laws like the one preventing NGO’s from having their say in decisions on interventions into nature. Finally, a whistleblower revealed an extensive top level corruption in purchasing of protective equipment through mediators. The governments response was an attack on the media. Medical experts came forward with their own revelations about respirators, and at least one received death threats. The protests intensified. Thousands of protesters began cycling around government buildings in the capital Ljubljana, because unlike public gatherings cycling was allowed. Meanwhile new revelations of the extent of the corruption were coming out, including the information that Croatia, a country almost three times the size of Slovenia, spent 52 million EUR on protective equipment purchase deals, while Slovenia thus far signed more than 112 million EUR worth of such contracts. The protests continue every Friday.