Slovenia takes over EU presidency amid authoritarian drift –

Slovenia takes over from Portugal in the rotating presidency of the EU on Thursday, as its Prime Minister Janez Jansa leads it into an illiberal drift, closing in on Viktor Orban’s Hungary.

While Slovenia commemorated the 30th anniversary of its independence on Friday June 25, it will take the rotating presidency of the European Union on July 1 for the second time.

In 2008, Slovenia was seen as a model student of Europe and the presidency was celebrated as a milestone on the road to independence for this country which emerged from the former Yugoslavia.

Conservative leader Jansa was already at its head. Since then, he has distanced himself from liberal values ​​and his detractors accuse him of copying the authoritarian style of his sovereignist ally Viktor Orban.

Moreover, every Friday for more than a year, hundreds, sometimes thousands of Slovenes have gathered in front of the Parliament of Ljubljana to demand his resignation.

Protesters ride bicycles through the streets of the small Slovenian capital. [Jure Makovec – AFP]

To get around the ban on static gatherings in force during the confinement, the demonstrators then cycle through the streets of the small Slovenian capital.

An ally of Viktor Orban

The richest republic of the former Yugoslavia, Slovenia had embarked on a process of democratization led by civil society in the mid-1980s, in contrast to the authoritarian nationalism of Serbia under Slobodan Milosević.

At the time, Janez Jansa was one of the main figures of dissent before embarking on an increasingly nationalist path once he came to power.

Today, the Slovenian Prime Minister appears as an ally of Viktor Orban, while advocating the most extreme firmness towards migrants and refugees.

Jean-Arnault Derens with afp / lan

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