MEP Sophie int Veld calls the rumored Soros tweet by Slovenian Prime Minister Jansa an example of polarization in Slovenia. Politicians, and certainly leaders, have a great responsibility for the tone and the way it is debated, said Int Veld at the conclusion of a visit to the country.
Int Veld (D66) led a delegation from the European Parliament who conducted research in Slovenia in recent days on the state of the rule of law and freedom of the press. This prompted the Slovenian Prime Minister to send out a tweet with an image of Int Veld and other Dutch (former) parliamentarians called “puppets of George Soros”.
Hungarian-American businessman George Soros is the butt of nationalist politicians in Central and Eastern Europe, among others, because he is an outspoken opponent of nationalist and authoritarian governments. The criticism of Soros often has anti-Semitic undertones.
Prime Minister Rutte called his colleague Jansas tweet tasteless, which provoked another reaction in the Slovenian Republic in which he admitted Rutte on Twitter that he was better together with Sophie int Veld to ensure “that journalists in the Netherlands are not killed in the streets”. He was referring to the murder of Peter R. De Vries.
Less worrying than other countries
On the situation in Slovenia, Int Veld said at the end of the visit that it “is not as worrying as in other countries I will not mention here. Here the social institutions function properly and that creates trust.”
The delegation does have concerns about the arbitrary funding of some institutions, such as the Slovenian news agency. “We also think it is high time for Slovenia to appoint a prosecutor to the office of the European Public Prosecutor and worry about the hardening and polarisation of the public debate and the role of the government in it,” says Int Veld.
According to Int Veld, the investigation by the MEPs was not intended to overturn the government. For the time being, she sees no reason to ask the European Commission to take a harder approach to Slovenia. However, she wants to keep an eye on the situation in the country with the European Parliament.