The Centre for Research into Post-Communist Economies


Communists Favour World Disorder

By Ljubo Sirc CBE
May 2003

After the Second World War came an innovation: the Nuremberg Court was set up, and those responsible for war crimes - broadly defined - were tried and sentenced, as good people would hope. The great letdown of the Court was that one of the judges was from the Soviet Union where Stalin still reigned supreme.

No informed person could have any doubt that Stalin's crimes against humanity were just as damnable as those of the Nazis. The excuse for not arraigning Stalin was that the Soviet Union was a sovereign state and endangered only its own citizens, which according to international law at that time meant that outside interference was not considered.

This picture changed considerably when the communist parties throughout Eastern Europe began, with deceit and violence, to take over. Non-communists were removed from power in one country after another. It was no longer a case of crimes taking place within sovereign states as the policy was clearly orchestrated from Moscow, but it was equally clear that Stalin would respond to any attempt at preventing communist takeovers by going to war. Thereafter followed the communist takeover of China, the war in Korea and the defeat of South Vietnam.

The legal situation regarding the Korean War was particularly curious, because the communists in North Korea were thrown back by troops fighting under the United Nations flag. There was, however, a simple reason. The Soviet Union, in a temporary fit of pique, had been absent from the UN, whereas the Kuomintang was still represented.

The Western allies, led by the United States, Britain and France, had occupied almost the whole of Western Europe by the end of the Second World War, but had restored elected governments in due course, including the former enemy territories of Italy, Austria and West Germany. Here, too, there were paradoxes. In Italy the communist party was allowed to develop and turned out to be very strong, and Austria possessed a headstrong neo-Nazi group, but in West Germany totalitarian parties were prohibited.

Fitting political categories to events
It is not difficult to fit political categories into this picture of development in the twentieth century. At one end of the spectrum there are those who believe in great words: history, nation, race, superiority etc. What counts is their superiority and the destiny of their nation, race, and so on, with the result that individuals and their freedoms are sacrificed for this 'greatness'. For the Nazis this amounted to the annihilation of six million Jews - a national and hence a war aim. The Wannsee Conference saw to that. In Professor J. P. Stern's words, the Nazi purpose was conquest and annihilation, and as it turned out, finally resulted in their own annihilation. The vast majority would agree that such an aim was so grotesque and catastrophic as to demand to be halted, and if possible prevented. This position was taken for granted during the Nuremberg Trials.

At the opposite end of the spectrum, there are those who believe that by changing the existing order, the world will be a far better place - a Utopian belief without rational foundation. Yet Marx provided a foundation of sorts for this belief, which he and others have deemed 'scientific', although in reality only ignoramuses with no understanding of science believe that Marxism explains anything and, therefore, forms a blueprint for a better future. (cf. 'Marx after Communism', The Economist, 21 December 2002) Despite this, however, Marxism has had two results. One is that the general public accepts that Marxists strive for a better life for the masses and, therefore, are good people even when committing the worst of atrocities for their confused creed. Two, the adherents of Utopia come to feel, in their ignorance, that they have a recipe for happiness. This illusion makes them feel just as superior as do those of an allegedly superior origin and, therefore, makes them equally ready to eliminate all doubters.

Both extremes must be kept under control - one hopes that all normal people will agree on that. Such control needs to be exercised by those who accept, on one hand, that human beings are equally valuable and should not to be sacrificed for others or for grandiose ideas, and on the other, believe that an improvement of the human conditions - within limits - may be possible, but requires caution and carefully considered moves to go forward. In other words, tolerance and moderation must be defended with determination.

The demise of the Soviet Union marked an historic moment at which the results of these extremes could be tested. In the same way that Hitler's demise demonstrated the vacuity of the �ber-Mensch chimera, the less spectacular end of the Soviet Union illustrated the futility of Utopian recipes. Despite the enormous sacrifices imposed by the communists on the Russian people and their neighbours, living standards were as miserable as at the start of the communist period, while the countries taken over by the Soviet Union lost much of their previous prosperity.

Yugoslavia, which changed to a different collectivist system, adopting a kind of market system in spite of Marxist strictures, fared somewhat better but hardly advanced in spite of substantial Western aid. True, the transition - an attempt to pass from a communist-inspired political and economic system to a system patterned on real-life success in the countries of Western Europe and North America - has not produced the expected results.

Reform required that these transition countries reconnect with their past, undoing what the communists introduced, and in many instances including the abandonment of their false starts. But to a large extent the beneficial results that had been anticipated failed to occur because the communists remained in power or returned to power under various guises, refusing to give up their grip on property etc.

It is clear that the only way forward is to continue with or return to a capitalist economy including free markets and governed through consent and debate. At the historic moment of the collapse of communism it seemed obvious that the road forward - the road to freedom and prosperity - was to continue following the way of Western Europe and North America.

What one feared was that the communist fantasists would not let go and would try yet again to divert the development into a blind alley. It is now difficult for the failed Left to come up with the same Soviet-style planned economy, or something similar, and to present this as a solution for the world's ills. Yet one remembers the old Leninist deception in which the Left adopts a widely popular aim as the means of guiding people away from the path to freedom and prosperity, seeking to take over power without quite knowing what to do with it once they have it. Looking around the world today with this in mind, one wonders how 'dead' communism really is.

International Order
The Nuremberg Trials and the Korean War were two instances where some pointers towards an acceptable international legal system - one not based on national sovereignty - appeared. But the Soviet Union and China soon put paid to this development. It took several years for the United States and Western Europe, united in NATO, to stare down the Soviet Union and to free Eastern Europe. They would never have succeeded if the European Left with its peace campaigns had had its way and if the communist economic systems had not been at such a tremendous disadvantage.

The disintegration of the Soviet Union and arrival of a seemingly democratic Russia again opened the prospect of an international society within a legal framework. China was still in the grip of totalitarian rule, but its experiments with a kind of capitalism, reminiscent of Lenin's New Economic Policy, engendered hope.

It was not to be. In the 1990s too much attention was paid to Europe and not enough to the rest of the world, where the remnants of the non-aligned movement still festered. In 1948, Stalin in his vainglory turned on his most successful disciple, Tito of Yugoslavia. Tito, in his self-assured obduracy, fought back, despite being faithful to Marxism, socialism etc. The United States led the West in supporting him, but did not demand concessions in return. This made it possible for him to organise, with Nehru and Nasser, a second international socialist group, i.e. a group of countries cautious of the Soviet Union while at the same time vehemently opposed to the West. Tito's and Castro's socialist leadership finally eliminated any hope of rapid economic development in the less developed countries of the group, whereas South Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong and Taiwan all became prosperous. This stagnation amongst the non-aligned countries was, and continues to be, blamed on 'exploitation by the West'.

The collapse of communism in Eastern Europe did not result in the punishment of communist leaders for mass murder, let alone for stunting economic progress. On the contrary, communist leaders were treated with leniency and allowed to reappear, to a great extent, as a political force still in command of property and mass media. A leading American political scientist and government adviser wrote to this author that the communists must be treated leniently, because otherwise they would never become democrats. No one ever thought of making democrats out of Nazis by allowing them free rein.

The KGB officer, Vladimir Putin, was greeted as a long-lost brother by western intelligence services which ignored the fact that the KGB was a political police force like the Gestapo. The German government, in particular, f�ted Putin as a new ally and invited him to speak to the Reichstag, which he did in the German learnt while policing East Germany for the KGB. The German government favoured Eastern European communists because, apparently, they agreed to German reunification.

The Council of Europe has admitted countries from Eastern Europe; regardless of whether they remain dominated by communists, and hence not abiding by the Council's Resolution 1096. The danger is that the European Union is similarly unreflective in failing to ensure that potential members fulfil the so-called Copenhagen criteria, especially with regard to the rule of law.

The Twin Towers Outrage
Islamic fundamentalists suddenly disturbed this idyll in September 2001 with their attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. In the wake of these attacks, America suddenly realised that she was in a hostile world, no matter how much she had done to make that world better and richer. One thing is certain, though - the communists were not responsible. On the contrary, the KGB offered help in tracking down terrorists in Chechnya who were also thorns in Russia's side. The Russians had a good laugh when the Americans went to war in Afghanistan, remembering America's earlier support of the Mujahedin in repulsing a Russian / Soviet communist invasion.

Why did the fundamentalists turn against the United States? In the first place, presumably, out of fundamentalism itself. Religion does not necessarily lead to humility and brotherly love, but can instead be a source of feelings of superiority. Possibly any religion can engender this sort of feeling in some people, and circumstances may do so in many more, particularly if their circumstances are difficult: 'Why are we so helpless and desperately poor, despite our superiority? Why is our oil worth anything only if bought by the infidels?' This must be fertile ground for non-aligned mutterings about exploitation. The rational answer, of course, is to follow America's example in becoming prosperous, but it is much simpler simply to hate those who 'exploit' you.

We note that the Nazis treated the Jews criminally and the West shunted them off to Palestine in a somewhat perfunctory way. It is true that some wanted to go to their Promised Land, but the Palestinians were already there. Now the Palestinians are treated very badly and the Muslims, particularly Arabs, bitterly resent this. What is the solution to this moral and political question?

The Security Council
After the Twin Towers outrage, the Americans understandably wanted to prevent further disasters rather than simply waiting for them to happen. After attempting to confront Al Qaeda in Afghanistan, they turned their eyes to Saddam Hussein in Iraq. He had invaded two countries; he had gassed his Kurdish citizens and the Marsh Arabs; his posturing spelled menace. And in 1991 America had let him off the hook.

America, the unique superpower since 1989, wanted to investigate Saddam's regime. The UN Security Council agreed by voting for Resolution 1441 but then procrastination set in and Saddam was able to poke fun of everyone, especially the Americans. The Security Council, particularly France, became uncooperative. Russia followed suit, soon followed by China. It was clear that they and Germany, with Joschka Fischer, were only interested in taking the United States down a peg and in branding the United States an aggressor. Genuine dangers no longer mattered, nor did the cruelty of the Iraqi regime. The game was to frustrate the might and the ideals of the United States and Great Britain, the two reliable democracies that have seen off both Nazism and communism and which continued to show the world what free economies can do.

By a fluke of past compromises, France, Russia and China have the right to veto any decision at will without having to quote any predetermined legal rules. While it was disconcerting to see a Soviet judge at Nuremberg, it is outrageous and worrying to find two countries with regimes that have engaged in mass murder pretending to lay down the law. Furthermore it is of grave concern that France enticed them into this position. This was not de Gaulle's France, but rather that of Marshal Petain and Admiral Darlan.

A strange collection of supporters of arbitrary rule assembled round the slogan of 'peace, not war'. The communists - who use violence at the drop of a hat - adopt this tactic when it suits them as a rallying point for themselves as well as for 'useful idiots', faint-hearted and gullible people. Vaclav Havel, a very wise and experienced man, commented, 'pacifist policy can lead straight to hell'. And he added, 'our states have learned by experience that violence, totalitarianism and dictatorships have to be fought from their inception.' (Interview on Slovene Television, 18 March 2003)

Certainly, Havel realised that resisting violence can also claim its own victims. A determination to keep these to a strict minimum is essential, so that few as possible suffer as did Ali Ismail Abbas, a little boy whose arms were blown off and who lost most of his family in the Iraqi campaign. (The Time, 8 April 2003)

But human suffering may not even be the first consideration in opposing war. Havel rightly diagnosed the French-German double act regarding a European Army and so forth. 'It is all an attempt by France and Germany to dominate the common union'. On the German side Joschka Fischer, the Trotskyite violence-monger and the inheritance of Hans-Dietrich Gentscher, are a sufficient guarantee that something is very wrong.

In the Council of Europe, the Austrian Chairman, Peter Sieder, attacked America and Britain - the countries which had made this Council possible - for having destroyed international law by not abiding by the veto of two countries which, after all, had engaged in mass murder. Is there not a formal Act on the prosecution of those who engage in genocide? Before we discuss their formal rights in the UN Security Council, we should know why no one in Russia or China has been prosecuted.

Who sits in judgement?
The fault for the imbalance in the public perception of right and wrong rests in part with the passivity and neglect of the so-called free countries. Whereas the communists and their 'useful idiots' never tire of repeating that exploitation is the source of all evil, it is precisely this 'exploitation' that has, for all practical purposes, led to a much better world in economic terms. Many who enjoy these advantages will fall for communist promises of a better world round the corner if they are elected. These people may not support the revolution but they join in whitewashing the harm done by past revolutionary changes in the past.

In contrast, the 'free' countries, the 'free' governments or, better still, the 'free' parties equivocate: yes, of course, Nazism was bad and those who sympathise with that wicked creed should not be allowed their say even now, but nevertheless we are expected to be kind to communists.

Knowledgeable people such as journalist Daniel Finkelstein, whose father and other family members perished in the Soivet Union, are desperate. His mother talks to schoolchildren on Holocaust Memorial Day, but he still asks 'where is the anger for my father? Where are the museums, the trials, the restitutions, the guilt, the apologies, the lessons in schools, the Spielberg films about his suffering and that of his family and, more important still, the suffering of the millions who did not make it, the millions Stalin murdered?' (The Times, 3rd March 2003)

Not only are the stories of the millions killed by Stalin and his Soviet secret police rarely told in programmes on the BBC and other television channels, especially when compared with the treatment of anti-Nazi stories, but the British University products who spied for Stalin and caused the deaths of many honest Russians are being transformed into heroes! The Cambridge Spies, according to a BBC spokesperson, make us see and understand why it was that these young people were so implacably opposed to fascism and how communism was the only legitimate response. Add to these aberrations of the media all the pictures of Clinton and Blair cavorting with Putin, a long-time KGB man, and the outcome is hardly surprising.

The result is that whilst in Nuremberg there was a judge from the criminal Soviet state sitting in judgement over Nazi criminals, there are now two communist judges, Russian and Chinese, attempting to sit in judgement not over Saddam Hussein, dictator and mass murderer, but instead over Bush and Blair - the very men who want to punish Saddam and free Iraq of this monster.

We ought to know the communists for what they are and understand the danger they present as they have in the past. We should not blame the French and the Germans. A country that can elevate Joschka Fischer to be a decisive player should be laughed at and neutralised. What about the present aberration in France? There is hope the French will return to rationality and develop some common sense. It could be said that the French obstruction was not doctrinaire but a consequence of awkward pride.

Changes required
In short, because the free countries do not prosecute the totalitarians, the totalitarians have started persecuting, and possibly prosecuting, the moderate. After the terrible events of twentieth century, it is time to realise that genocide - mass murder- is a crime. Movements such as Nazism and communism, for which mass murder is a part of their ideology, are obviously criminal movements.

If at all possible, governments and organisations that support show trials and mass murder must be removed. The words 'if at all possible' are used at present because the inept behaviour of moderate governments has allowed criminal regimes to establish a foot-hold. We must wait until the right moment for their removal, seeking to avoid excessive sacrifice or - better still - hope these regimes bring about their own downfall.

It would be tragic if formal rules, such as a possible veto in the UN Security Council, should prevent this. It is ludicrous to say that ignoring a veto in the Security Council is illegal while it is legal to stop the punishment of mass murderers. And if this is ludicrous, it is even more so to see that the countries using the veto are countries which have not yet dealt with mass murder that has taken place within their own borders.

The world should change its approach. It will be necessary to introduce a way of dealing with substantive crimes, and to abolish procedures that could delay or even prevent a solution. Fortunately, at present, the world's military power rests with governments that can be trusted by moderate and tolerant citizens. Therefore, reforms have to be introduced now. It is essential that mass murder and the ideologies that sponsor it must be taken seriously. Governments that are apologists for mass murder must be dealt with firmly, albeit with circumspection when they are dangerous. There is no room for benefit of the doubt.

In particular, there must be no excuse for leniency towards political police of any description. These are not intelligence services but rather organisations whose sole purpose is the removal - by terror, imprisonment or killing - of anyone who objects to their totalitarian approach. Their members become criminal suspects by joining political police organisations. The old adage gladius legis custos should not be forgotten in times when might can defend substantive law based on morality. This stance demands philosophical and political engagement, and the free countries of the world should not shirk from it.

Appendix I:
The Choice of Ex-Communist States

In the wrangle between those on the United States-United Kingdom ticket and those on the France-Germany-Russia one, it was notable that the ex-communist states, or Donald Rumsfeld's 'New Europe', supported the United States and the United Kingdom. Surprisingly, at least three countries had ex-communists signing the so-called Vilnius statement. This is intriguing, since the vast majority of left-wingers opted for no war on Saddam. Another odd factor was the support of some prominent (ex) communists for joining NATO.

To try and penetrate the intricacy of this conversion I shall describe the Slovene case. It may not be the most important but it may help to establish a pattern of what is going on. The communist journalists and public opinion makers who still dominate the media attacked Rupel, the Foreign Minister, for signing the Vilnius Declaration:

"The anti-war coalition has sent a communication to the government, the public and the media in which it warns that obfuscation and lying by the government has not ended regarding the money offered us by the United States. The Anti-War coalition is convinced that the government should inform the people that it has renounced the Vilnius Declaration; that it is in no military coalition with the United States and that, in consequence, is not prepared to accept any money from the United States for this. The Anti-War Coalition further demands that Slovenia should expel the official representatives of the United States in view of its extortion and violation of international law. Anything less means that the Slovene authorities side with a world crime and should resign. "At peace demonstrations on Saturday a civic initiative was formulated for collecting humanitarian aid for Iraqi children. It is based on the conviction that the only efficient action against terrorism is an action which eliminates its true causes." (Slovene Press Agency Report, Delo, 1 April 2003).

Clearly, for the Slovene Left it is important to label the United States as a criminal country. Furthermore, it must be stressed that terrorism, which brought down the World Trade Center, is caused by world poverty for which the United States is responsible. Professor Zoran Kanduc of Ljubljana University's Faculty of Law made the last point even more starkly: 'NATO [which is equated with the United States] does not in any way raise objective security in the world, but rather endangers it, since it is a tool for the defence of the rule and hegemony of capitalist structures'. This point closes the circle for the communists: the United States = NATO = capitalism. This is why it must be proclaimed criminal both in Slovenia and in Iraq.

Despite such attacks, the Slovene referendum on joining NATO was won by those in favour (66%), which means that at least half of government supporters (members of the communist successor parties) voted against it. This happened although communist opinion formers such as the current and previous Slovene Presidents, together with leading managers, defended entry into the NATO. What does this mean? The first conclusion is that the revolution's foot-soldiers are either well trained in their reactions, or possibly received direct orders. But why, then, did their leaders vote the opposite way?

Maybe a reasonable-sounding interview given by the former president, Milan Kucan, to Slovene Television on 20th March provides a clue. In this interview he said that protests are useless, that dictators will no longer be permitted to murder their own people, that humanitarian intervention should be allowed, and that national sovereignty should be recognised as an obstacle. Furthermore, he said that world governance was in crisis and that Slovenia should propose initiatives to formulate responsibility for governing with legal and ethical foundations. For these reasons Slovenia should join NATO and the European Union.

If one did not know Kucan, one might think that he had changed course. Thinking in terms of communist double-speak, though, the opposite has to be considered: the 'ethical and legal foundations' may be Marxism-Leninism and 'humanitarian intervention'. In short: 'if you want to beat them, join them' with foot-soldiers at the ready to ram the fortifications. The indoctrinated hard Left is the driving force behind the peace coalition, not only in Slovenia but even more so in the West. On 22nd March, the Daily Telegraph stated that anti-war demos had given Marxists a new lease of life.

Whilst the foot-soldiers get ready to storm citadels of capitalism, the well-placed leaders of the Left do their best to infiltrate these citadels. Milan Kucan, the last Secretary General of Slovenia's Communist Party, is all in favour of NATO and the EU, which he hopes to reform. He is co-president of a College for Ethical, Political and Scientific Questions, whose membership included Michel Rocard, Richard von Weizsacher, Vaclav Havel and Mary Robinson. This college favours a greater role for the United Nations and the Security Council in the rebuilding of Iraq. (Delo, 7 April, 2003)

Havel, at least, should know what a communist secretary-general could contribute to resolving ethical questions, since after the Second World War the party presided over the mass murder of between 100,000 and 200,000 men, women and children. (Source: Delo, 11 March 2003, reported that Slovenia is densely covered with mass graves. Two experts have so far investigated 196 mass graves, but at least 187 more await investigation.) The party handed power to each secretary-general without a break down to Kucan. A secretary-general cannot be trusted even if he converts, which Kucan did not.

Similarly, communist leaders in Hungary and Poland played a decisive role in their countries' entry into NATO and the EU. The Hungarian Prime Minister, Peter Medgyessi, worked for the communist counter-intelligence service, but claims that his task had been covertly to ease the Hungarian path towards the IMF against the wishes of the Soviet Union. (The Times, 11th April 2003) The problem is that communist counter-intelligence services were nothing of the kind, but rather political police like the Gestapo, and of course Medgyessi would say that he was deceiving the Soviet Union.

According to The Economist (19th April 2003), the Polish president and prime minister - both from the ruling ex-communist Democratic Left - are supposedly mixed up in corruption scandals. Even if they are not, they were once leading communists and should have been lustrated in line with Resolution 1096 of the Council of Europe. Instead, the (ex-)communist parties were welcomed as members of the Socialist International, with Tony Blair on cosy terms with Medgyessi and Kwasniewski.

Why precisely are the (former) communists expected to be the good guys and friends of the West? Some may be, but they are communists and not to be trusted as their very ideology demands they practise deceit. Surely non-communists could have been found to do the job?

Continued oppression of anti-communists
If this problem is not addressed it looks very likely that communist leaders from the new member states will be sitting in NATO and EU Councils and offices, while their supporters - the electorate - will act as communist storm-troopers against these organisations. What is more, working together, they could oppress the rest of the population and subvert both NATO and the EU. In Slovenia, skilful manoeuvring by the communist leadership - notably the pro-NATO Kucan - succeeded in retaining almost all property in communist hands. Voucher privatisation, on one hand, made it possible for those with access to banks to buy shares cheaply from the workers while on the other, shares owned by investment agencies are controlled by communist managers. This arrangement, linked with exceedingly slow restitution, leaves the nomenclatura in charge of the entire economy. This almost complete economic dominance enables the communists to control the media as well. Thus they prevent almost half the electorate from having any say, and, moreover, most senior judges, and the majority of civil servants were appointed in communist times.

The opposition demanded that the government establish a level playing field - a point dealt with in Appendix II. This demand, however, does not include faster restitution which would contribute considerably towards this level playing field and enhance economic and political progress. Possibly the Opposition considers that restitution is so unpopular that they dare not mention it. Influenced by communist propaganda, the population may perhaps oppose restitution while remaining unconcerned about the communists' large-scale embezzlement of property. Yet without restitution there can be no real transition.

Even worse, in Slovenia the communist police, responsible for the violent deaths of tens of thousands and the imprisonment of many more, are still being praised for these misdeeds. In 1994, both the then-president and prime minister (the latter is now president) published an obituary for Viktor Arbelj-Rudi, who as deputy head of the communist police in 1947 shared responsibility for the worst massacres of his fellow citizens and organised one of the most infamous show trials. The obituary ended: 'Glory to his memory!'

Similarly, in 2003, the government signed an obituary for Franjo Turk-Gorazd, a political police investigator in the 1940s when friends of the West were being secretly killed - 'Glory to his memory' was invoked once again, implying that the communist successor parties consider massacres, show trials and other totalitarian methods as legitimate, not to say, praiseworthy political acts.

An even more vivid endorsement of totalitarian methods came to light in Slovenia in April this year. Dusan Lajovic, who settled in Australia after persecution in his native country, obtained access to the Slovene political police archives and published them on the Internet. The archives include almost one million names (the present population is under two million) of political policemen, their informers and their victims. It is true that the archives cover a period of about fifty years, but the enormous number of people registered is understandable only if one knows that the communist police tried to force everyone to inform on everyone else, thereby nipping in the bud any tentative opposition. George Orwell's 'thought police' are not a writer's fantasy but actually existed in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. In reality, communism was not so much an attempt to satisfy everyone according to his needs, which is blatant nonsense, but rather an attempt to make everyone an informer, allowing communist leaders to lord it over their people.

The archives' appearance caused consternation in Slovenia, but the communists launched a counter-offensive, declaring that state secrets were being divulged. Note that political police files from totalitarian times are still defined as 'state secrets' in democratic Slovenia. Apparently, the government made a complaint to Interpol, asking that these state secrets be protected. It appears that the post-1989 authorities are not going to prosecute mass-murderers and those who organised show trials, despite international law on genocide. Needless to say, it will make life even more difficult for those who are trying to unmask communist crimes.

Appendix II: Update on events
in the Republic of Slovenia, 6-10 January 2003
The following are the Coalition Slovenia's demands to the Slovene authority.

Coalition Slovenia, including the Social Democratic Party of Slovenia (SDS) and New Slovenia (NSi), are deeply concerned about the state of democracy in Slovenia. While Slovenia has a formal democracy, all centres of power are occupied by the communist elite. This imbalance is particularly evident in the media sphere, where the former elite still controls more than 90% of media power. The new democratic forces are thus marginalised in the business sphere and in the media. Without a balanced democracy to ensure approximately equal starting points for all political options at the next election, monopoly and corruption will reign in Slovene society.

In order fully to entrench democracy, Coalition Slovenia put forward the following demands to the authorities:

� The Government must prepare and the governing coalition must adopt the amendments to the law on RTV (Radio and Television Slovenia) and other related acts in a fast-track procedure that would enable, without increasing costs, the setting up of two autonomous and independent programmes. In accordance with the ratio of government and opposition parliamentary seats after each election, the Government will thus have a predominant influence on one programme with the opposition from the other. � RTV Slovenia must immediately start transmitting broadcasts of parliamentary plenary sessions and sessions of the most significant working bodies. � The Government must provide funds to assure true pluralism in the media, which will free the media from governing parties and their funds. This will enable the establishment of a new independent review and newspapers. � The Government must enable fair distribution of the property of former socio-political organisations (the former Communist Party, communist Trade Union and other communist institutions) among all parties that took part in the last parliamentary elections. � At least one third of members proposed by the parliamentary parties that did not support the government, must be nominated to all supervisory boards of public and state-owned enterprises set up by the government, parliament or ministries. Such nomination will enable the opposition access to data, a minimum of supervision and rational use of taxpayers' funds in the public sector. � Considering the political consensus on Slovenia's accession to the EU and NATO, nominations and appointments of representatives of the Republic of Slovenia to the EU and NATO institutions must be transparent, professional and accessible to everyone on equal terms. Regarding nominations, the opposition must have the same opportunities as the governing parties.