The president of the European Parliament, David Sassoli, slammed Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Jansa on Thursday after he shared a tweet spreading an antisemitic conspiracy theory.
Slovenia is currently holding the rotating EU presidency,
and Jansa’s tweet was in response to a visit to Ljubljana by the European Parliament’s justice committee to get an idea of state of press freedom and the rule of law in the country.
Jansa refused to meet with the delegation and shared the tweet accusing several MEPs, including some from the delegation, of being “Soros puppets.” The Slovenian prime minister later deleted the tweet.
How did the EU react?
Sassoli responded on Twitter, saying: “We urgently call on Janez Jansa to cease the provocations against members of the European Parliament. Attacks on members of this house, are also attacks on European citizens.”
“A constructive collaboration with the rotating Council Presidency can only be based on mutual trust and respect,” he added.
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte gave a similar response, adding that his government had also spoken to Slovenia’s embassy. Three of the individuals from the delegation were Dutch.
“Tasteless tweet by Janez Jansa about MEPs. I condemn it in the strongest possible terms. The government just conveyed this same sentiment to the Slovenian ambassador in The Hague,” Rutte wrote on Twitter.
Jansa claims bias against him
Jansa accused the EU delegation of being biased in its scrutiny of Slovenia’s affairs, asking: “How many times have you visited a German chancellor, a Dutch PM or a French president?”
The far-right politician has provoked criticism in the past for his false claims and spreading of conspiracy theories.
He had initially agreed to meet the MEPs on Thursday afternoon, but then later called off the meeting, Politico reported.
While Jansa is a close ally to Hungary’s far-right leader, Viktor Orban, his Slovenian Democratic Party sits with Germany’s center-right Christian Democratic Union in the European People’s Party (EPP) bloc in the European Parliament.
ab/wmr (dpa, EFE)