What Mladina & Demokracija Are Saying This Week: Epidemic Failure vs Janša's Rule of Law Letter

The covers and editorials from leading weeklies of the Left and Right for the work-week ending Friday, 27 November 2020. All our stories about coronavirus and Slovenia are here

Mladina: Govt botched crisis due to incompetence, lack of trust in people

STA, 27 November 2020 – The latest editorial by the left-wing weekly paper Mladina says that the government has botched the fight against the epidemic, identifying problems in the issuing of quarantine orders and the 80% instead of full coverage of pay for quarantined workers as the main mistakes.

Looking at infection trends per 100,000 people around the EU in the second wave, the paper says that Slovenia is the only country that has not only failed to reverse the growth but has even seen a deterioration even though major restrictions in different form have been in place for over five weeks and are among the strictest in the bloc.

Mladina says the system for quarantine orders failed in October, “which is why those who were sick and those who had had contact with those who tested positive were not staying home but continued to go to work. Why? If there is no order there is no pay compensation”.

“After the start of the epidemic and until 1 October we had 6,104 confirmed infections in Slovenia and during this period the state issued 80,600 quarantine orders. Since 1 October and until this week no fewer than 60,976 infections were confirmed, but the state issued only 11,847 orders for pay compensation.

“Since we know that each infected individual comes into contact with at least one person, it is clear that a significantly larger number of quarantine orders should have been issued. This data shows that people in Slovenia are going to work even though they had contact with an infected person and spread the disease,” Mladina says, adding a survey had indeed shown that the majority, over 25%, got infected at work.

The paper claims this is happening because the government’s compensation system. “When an individual in Germany of Austria comes into contact with an infected person and needs to isolate they automatically get 100% pay compensation. In Slovenia, such a person is automatically punished, getting only 80% (and the same share is paid back by the state to the employer).”

Mladina argues such measures are pushing workers to continue working despite the circumstance and employers to force them to ignore dangerous contacts.

According to the paper, the government’s approach is the result of the way the current decision makers are perceiving people – with disdain. The feel that providing full compensation would result in workers cheating.

“They were saying that they are simultaneously saving the economy and lives but in fact they deepened the crisis by dragging out a hard lockdown while completely losing control over the virus. There are waiting lines in morgues today,” Mladina says in the commentary headlined Incompetent and Greedy.

Demokracija: Left  understood Janša’s rule of law letter, EU didn’t

STA, 26 November 2020 – Demokracija, the right-wing weekly, writes about reactions to PM Janez Janša’s letter to EU leaders in the latest editorial, asserting that the leftist opposition in the country failed to understand what German Chancellor did as she described the letter as a call for compromise to resolve blockade by Hungary and Poland.

The right-wing weekly finds the left is prone to forgetfulness and double standards, recalling how “the leftist elite” – gathered at Stožice Arena in 2013 to celebrate the “soft coup and Alenka Bratušek’s enthroning as the prime minister” – called the EU a “band of thieves” in what was a time that saw a culmination of “the ridiculing of the ‘core’ member states and the rule of law”.

“You would think all of them went to special needs schools (…) It appeared to them again there was water in the pool. There may have been, it is only that German Chancellor emptied the pool with her statement that Janša’s letter is a call to a search for compromise to unblock funds for the post-pandemic recovery”.

The paper says that it is clear politics cannot decide on the rule of law by an outvote, noting that in 2014 Janša’s mandate was taken away by politics, an abuse later quashed by the Constitutional Court, without anyone being held accountable for that abuse.

The paper also uses the empty poll metaphor to describe the attempts by the centre-left opposition to form an alternative government under the economist Jože P. Damijan, saying they appear to be seeing the water as a mirage in the desert.

Damijan “can in no way explain his maths in enlisting support among MPs”, he “appears to have serious problems himself as well as with others otherwise the far left Mladina magazine, which is unconditionally devoted to him, would not have called for prayer”.

In conclusion, the piece says that while the right uses common sense, the capacity of candidates of the left is deteriorating, and appears to have reached a new low with Damijan: “You begin to wonder about the intellectual capacity of the deep state’s master-chefs (…) wondering where the hell did they find such a substandard fellow”.

All our posts in this series are here

Read original article here.