“I am able to describe someone as a pig,” Hughes said this morning in response to journalists’ questions at the start of Slovenia’s EU presidency. Not someone demonstrating in a square, but someone who occupies a high position in the European bureaucracy. But I will keep this a secret for some time.
The minister later denied on Twitter that he was referring to the Timmermans.
But according to those involved, Höggs showed his dismay at the note about the “family portrait incident”, which overshadowed the start of the Slovenian EU presidency on Thursday. A visit to the full commission of the new EU president is usually a festive occasion: a pleasant lunch full of compliments, promises and ambitions. Things were different in Brdo near Ljubljana.
For example, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen drew a line in Jansa’s attack on the rule of law. Von der Leyen urged the Slovenian prime minister, who had been cutting off the flow of money from the STA news agency, which he had not liked for months, to resume funding “very quickly”. “A free and well-funded media is essential to democracy,” von der Leyen told the prime minister.
Jansa also said judges should be fired if they have a party color he doesn’t like. The Timmermans was so angry about this that he refused to be in the traditional family picture with the Slovenian government. “I simply could not stand on the same stage with Jansa after this unacceptable attack on the judges,” Timmermans said.
During Thursday’s press conference, Jansa pretended that his nose was bleeding. His regards to von der Leyen were wonderful. Praising her role in curbing the coronavirus pandemic, he praised her listening ear when he called for help because Slovenia lacks masks and other protective equipment.