PM accuses EC of lying about rule of law in Slovenia

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Janez Janša
Source: Kenzo Tribouillard/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo

Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Jansa, accused the European Commissioner Crisis Management, Janez Lenarcic, of lying in the annual report on the rule of law in the EU, which warned about the problems with democratic standards in that country.

The European Commission (EC) report said Slovenia was lagging in the field of media freedom, and pointed out intimidation and threats to journalists, and expressed concern over the refusal of Jansa’s government to finance the state news agency STA this year.

Jansa accused Lenarcic, a Slovenian, of acting against state interests, alleging that there were concerns about the situation in the area of the rule of law in Slovenia.

„He is lying. We expect him to initiate court proceedings; we will present our documents there,“ Jansa wrote on his Twitter account.

Arriving at an EU meeting in Slovenia, Lenarcic dismissed the allegations.

„Those who undermine the rule of law and media freedom do more damage to Slovenia than those who warn of the problems of such behaviour,“ he said.

He also rejected accusations by Jansa’s right-wing government of advocating the restriction or withdrawal of European funds from Slovenia.

Jansa has long been plagued by accusations of growing authoritarianism, similar to that of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, his political ally.

Critics say that Jansa’s government is putting pressure on the Slovenian media, inciting hate speech and mismanaging the country in the conditions of the coronavirus pandemic.

On the other hand, Jansa claims that the EU applies double standards regarding the rule of law and has a more lenient attitude towards Western members.