One of the most common things you will notice on Slovenian TV, if you happen to understand it, is how often politicians compare everything to some mystical â€œEuropeanâ€? standard . Mostly, Europe is used of course as a benchmark and something we have to uphold as saint. Of course, Western Europe to be precise, not to be confused with Romania or similar savage places where corruption reignsâ€¦
So, if you basically say: â€œI havenâ€™t heard about any European country that would have done thisâ€¦â€? you kill your opponent in most of the debates. Or at least this is the general perception.
And what is the last example? You have an excellent one with the Prime Minister Janez Janša, who will be chairing the EU in the first half of 2008. The former President of the Republic Milan Kučan responded to the current affair with the secret service SOVA (this affair is getting nice proportionsâ€¦something big enough to be the turning point for this government) saying that he thinks how the government is dealing with it, isnâ€™t right i.e. dealing in public with itâ€™s expenses and making public the work of the secret services isnâ€™t a good idea.
Janša replied (besides saying that Kučan was the head of a totalitarian regime and should therefore stay quiet):
â€?I cannot understand why statements of a former President end up on front pages of the largest daily newspapers. I havenâ€™t heard of any European state where this would be happeningâ€¦â€?
And statements like this actually make people think Europe is a paradise with no corruption (like Belgium for example), no populism (remember Berlusconi), super clean governments (again, my favourite Jacques) and so on and so on. Get serious people, Europe is above a normal political place.