EU: immigration stories…just don’t blame the EU

More of too-familiar pictures of illegal immigrants seem to fill the newspaper pages recently. As IHT reports, there has been a nasty accident when no EU country wanted to send a ship to save 27 men from Africa floating in the middle of the sea. But note, no EU COUNTRY.

There is one paragraph I love in particular:

“Malta, Spain and Italy, meantime, complain that the EU’s external border control agency, Frontex, has not dispatched enough planes and rescue boats to help them cope with the influx of migrants.” Continue reading

LDS: Getting the first female president?

There are some positive moves among the Liberal Democrats. The party will witness in June first properly contested internal elections. The first surprise candidate is, at least to me and my sources, completely unknown. Katarina Kresal, the deputy director of the Law Firm owned and run by Miro Senica, announced her candidacy. He appears quite genuinely Liberal, at least from her professional background and friends. At least on the surface a welcome move towards a more Liberal LDS, to where the party belongs and has the chance to make a difference. Continue reading

Slovenia: an update on political chaos

I simply cannot follow all the stories that are currently developing back in Slovenia. Among the corridors of power these seem to be decisive times that will produce winners and losers of the next elections. Or at least so my political feelings tell me.

First is the affair with the secret services – SOVA. The government launched an inquiry into how special funds were spent and published few extracts out of which the media published a plane ticket supposedly paid for the travel of an alternative doctor from India (just how bizzare does this sound?!). Continue reading

Slovenia: How to brand everything good as European

One of the most common things you will notice on Slovenian TV, if you happen to understand it, is how often politicians compare everything to some mystical “European� standard . Mostly, Europe is used of course as a benchmark and something we have to uphold as saint. Of course, Western Europe to be precise, not to be confused with Romania or similar savage places where corruption reigns… Continue reading

Slovenia: Pahor is in, will the party follow?

According to vest.si (a freshly mad on-line media, worth visiting) Borut Pahor will run not only marathons next autumn, but also elections. This means, if the news is true, that we have two serious contenders for the President of Slovenia: Pahor and Peterle.

For Pahor this has been described as “the easy option”, while leading the Social Democrats in the next parliamentary elections supposedly the tough one. He is leading in the polls, so winning the Presidential elections should not be too difficult. The only test is the support of his party. Pahor said that he will only run, if he gets it…Well, I’m sure some people would be more than glad if he leaves. Continue reading

Big Brother comes to Slovenia: rubbish

I’ve never spent more than 15 minutes watching any of the editions of Big Brother. The Slovenian edition started earlier this year and I’m more than hapy to have missed all of them and have been ignorant about it until now. I came across the website today and I’m shocked about how hopeless this is…

Take a look at the description Miha, one of the male participants, put about himself on the official website of the show:

“Miha is honest, positive and energetic. He has a small booklet, filled with names of 150 girls with whom he has slept until turning 21.”

(Miha je iskren, pozitiven in energičen. Ima knjižico, v katero je zapisal več kot 150 deklet, s katerimi je spal do svojega 21. leta. )

If this is not rubbish, what is?

Slovenia elected into the UN Human Rights Council – irony par excellence

Ha, another good one. Slovenia was elected today as member of the UN Human Rights Council (the results of the elections here).

There are two superbly ironic elements to the story. Not many people outside Slovenia are aware of the issue of the so-called “erased” – people that have been erased from the population registries in 1992. The story is complex (more on the issue here), but the fact that it hasn’t been solved until 2007 surely says something is wrong. And of course some people suffered and are still suffering from injustice.  So getting into the HRC  is a bit ironic. Continue reading

Slovenia: the “Pact of non-aggression” signed

The conclusion of a funny period in Slovenian EU politics was in the news today. The government coalition parties, the Social Democrats (in the opposition) and the non-aligned MPs signed a so-called “Pact of non-aggression” or “Agreement of cooperation” for the period of the Slovenian EU Presidency. As I argued before I find the whole story odd, although politically smart for all those involved. Continue reading

EU: The obsession with citizens and consultations

Get ready for a long post.

I know, citizens are at the core of politics. Or at least this is how it should be. And yes, I think referendums are appropriate means to answer certain political questions. But when I browse EU’s statements, publications, websites…the obsession with tying everything to “citizens� annoys me a bit (google “EU citizens�..11 million hits and counting). Of course, I also see the frustration of not really getting the right response from someone’s political constituency. But… Continue reading