Slovenian political structures have very close ties with the West Balkan political-criminal structures – interestingly those regimes enjoy strong support from Slovenia.
2017 presidential election in Slovenia: Pahor – a test for Slovenian right-wing parties
The International Institute for Middle-East and Balkan Studies (IFIMES) in Ljubljana, Slovenia, regularly analyses events in the Middle East and the Balkans. IFIMES has analysed the situation in Slovenia in view of the upcoming runoff presidential election scheduled for 12 November 2017. The most relevant and interesting sections from the comprehensive analysis entitled “2017 presidential election in Slovenia: Pahor – a test for Slovenian right-wing parties” are published below.
2017 presidential election in Slovenia:
Pahor – a test for Slovenian right-wing parties
In the second round of presidential election scheduled for Sunday, 12 November 2017, Slovenia will get its fifth democratically elected president since the country proclaimed its independence in 1991.
The run-off will be held between Borut Pahor (Dejan Židan and a group of voters) and Marjan Šarec (Marjan Šarec List). In the first round Pahor received 47.21% of votes and Šarec 24.76% with a rather low turnout (44.23%). There are altogether 1,713,762 eligible voters in Slovenia.
The phenomenon of political start-ups
The political instability in Slovenia caused by Pahor’s government during the period 2008-2011 led to early election in Autumn 2011 whose winner was Positive Slovenia (PS) led by the Mayor of Ljubljana Zoran Janković Nevertheless, after the election Janković did not manage to form the government. Another political party appeared at that time – the Citizens‘ List (DL) led by Gregor Virant. 2014 saw the rise of the Party of Miro Cerar which was later renamed into the Modern Centre Party (SMC).
All these parties represent political start-ups: they are newly-established political parties with innovative ideas and (usually) a short-term strategy created under uncertain circumstances, which ensures good election results. They offer great potential and a shiny future, but they soon disappear from the political scene. This is a similar process as with start-up companies (accelerators) – they are also newly-established companies with an innovative idea (product or service) created under uncertain circumstances and offering great potential and global plans, but they usually do not survive on the market in the long-run. As a rule, start-up companies are backed by investors, while political start-ups are backed by “hidden” investors. Janković’s Positive Slovenia and Virant’s Citizens‘ List have already experienced this scenario, while analysts anticipate the same for Cerar’s Modern Centre Party (SMC).
The phenomenon of political start-ups has revealed the vulnerability of Slovenian not-so-very-young democracy. Political parties that were established practically overnight, i.e. a few months before the election, won strong support among voters. This means that democracy in Slovenia is still in a very vulnerable period of adolescence. Nevertheless, once elected those parties (co)decide about the future of Slovenia, EU, NATO and many other organisations that Slovenia is related to or connected with.
Slovenia is a country characterised by normative idealism and creative interpretation of laws and rules. The legislation is full of grey spots that should be eliminated because they enable various forms of manipulation.
Slovenia needs political stability and professionalism instead of political amateurism that has already placed too many burdens on Slovenian tax-payers. A part of the leading political actors still haven’t stopped with romantic nationalism. Political start-ups have not ensured the kind of future that Slovenia needs. Slovenia does not need insecurity – it needs a reliable future. Many other nations also have their historical divisions, but they rarely stress the past at the expense of their future, as has been the case in Slovenia. This kind of politics has led the country to a “silent” civil war and permanent debt slavery due to irresponsible borrowing decisions taken by the incumbent and past governments. Many political parties have profited from these ideological divisions, therefore this permanent conflict suits their interests.
In the past, it was the social elites that plundered the state, but now the state is plundering itself through its institutions: the Slovenian Sovereign Holding (SSH) for managing state shareholdings in companies, and the Bank Assets Management Company (BAMC), popularly called the Bad Bank, whose task was to relieve companies from the credit burden and to write off and transfer bad debts. Basically this system serves as a new model for plundering the state. After Slovenia gained independence a part of social elites plundered the state through “tycoonisation” and appropriation of a part of socially owned assets. Paradoxically, now the government itself has established the institutions that enable further plundering of the state. By introducing foreign managers and experts in BAMC the interest groups established control over the economy and economic flows.
Foreign policy in a state of confusion
The arbitration decision on the border dispute between Slovenia and Croatia adopted in June this year revealed all the cracks and crevices in Slovenian foreign policy. Although the EU was the guarantor of the arbitration agreement signed in Stockholm on 4 November 2009, Slovenia was left on its own after the arbitration decision was announced on 29 June 2017. The arbitration agreement that was signed by the former Slovenian Prime Minister Borut Pahor and Croatian Prime Minister Jadranka Kosor (HDZ) actually represented the agreement on Croatia’s accession to the EU………………………………
Slovenian political structures have very close ties with the West Balkan political-criminal structures – interestingly those regimes enjoy strong support from Slovenia. The new Cerar’s government was expected to change this relationship in line with the morality and ethics that the new Slovenian Prime Minister has been stressing and advocating. Unfortunately, relations with the regimes in the region have not only strengthened, but even become “brotherly”.
The state of confusion in Slovenian foreign policy is also reflected in the fact that Slovenia has unofficially supported Catalonia’s independence while all EU states have remained reserved and even strongly opposed the creation of new states within the EU. The question is what image Slovenia is creating in the EU, bearing in mind that the EU institutions and the USA oppose Catalonia’s independence.