With a twitter photo, Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Jansa has aroused the anger of European Commissioner Frans Timmermans. They immediately didnt want to take Jansa on the group photo on the occasion of Slovenias entry as EU President.
Timmermans, President Ursula von der Leyen and quite a number of other European Commissioners are in Slovenia because that country is the turn to take over the EU presidency for six months. Jansa showed his guests a photo showing two Slovenian judges and some social democratic politicians, saying that these “communists” would infiltrate the judiciary into his country, initiates say.
That “unacceptable attack and slander over two judges and two Social Democratic MEPs”, Timmermans went too far. “I simply couldnt be on the same stage as Prime Minister Jansa,” he says. It would have “disputed the integrity” of the judges just “because they were in the same picture” as the Social Democrats.
The usual ceremonial that followed was less festive than usual. Von der Leyen took the opportunity to call Slovenia to order on two issues affecting democracy and the rule of law. She requested the newly fangled EU President to reopen the money crane to the national press agency. And hurry to deal with the appointment of prosecutors to the European Public Prosecutors Office (EOM).
“We believe Slovenia should ensure independence and appropriate funding for the national news agency,” Von der Leyen warned. “So we expect a quick fix to release the funding.”
The Slovenian government hasnt paid the news agency for months. According to the news agency, she wants to put pressure on the new leadership of a government-resident.
In addition, Slovenia must appoint prosecutors for the new EOM “with the greatest urgency”, Von der Leyen underlined again. The EOM must combat fraud with European grants. Slovenia has still not appointed prosecutors because the candidates did not like the government. That makes the country a big risk for spending EU money like the billions from the Corona Recovery Fund, says the EOM boss.