Annual Review of Slovenian Domestic Affairs

Ljubljana, 9 December - After the landmark election of 2004 which swept long-ruling Liberal Democrats (LDS) from power, the political landscape in 2005 underwent significant change. On the surface of it, many new faces appeared, some of them full-fledged newcomers, others familiar but long forgotten.
        Quite understandably after a decade in the opposition, the ruling Slovenian Democrats (SDS) led the charge in consolidating and fortifying the coalition's power base. This resulted in wide-spread allegations that the government was engaged in politically-motivated purges. Nowhere was this more clear than in the corporate sector, where many old bosses at part state-owned companies had to go, and at the public broadcaster, RTV Slovenija. The coalition pushed through with the new RTV Slovenija act, which set the stage for the first major political confrontation of the year and a referendum that saw the act squeeze through with the narrowest of majorities.
        More profoundly, though, the focus of political debate shifted to reflect the priorities of the right-of-centre coalition parties. Surrounded by up-and-coming economists, the government thus embarked on a bold liberal-minded reform agenda in the face of allegation that it was betraying the cherished principles of the welfare state.
        Moreover, ideologically charged debates re-ignited on the interpretation of recent history, most notably the post-war summary killings of civilians and the guilt of alleged Nazi collaborators. The stage is set for three more years of fierce confrontations.

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© STA, 2005