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, and in the following months new acts of corruption were reported, and democracy continued to diminish under changes that were being made under cover of the coronavirus measures. The protests continue every Friday as the government shifts further to the right.