“Tasteless”, Prime Minister Rutte judged about the tweet in which Van ‘t Veld, but also other Dutch politicians, including former European parliamentarian and ex-minister Cora van Nieuwenhuizen and the deceased VVD member Hans van Baalen, called ‘puppets’ from the Hungarian philanthropist George Soros.
Soros is seen by Janša and political allies like Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán as the mastermind behind a progressive conspiracy.
“I am as far away from that as possible,” said Rutte about the twitter behavior of his Slovenian colleague. The cabinet has called the Slovenian ambassador in The Hague to account in response to Janša’s twitter tirade. It is exceptional for a quarrel to arise at this level between two EU Member States.
D66 member Sophie in ‘t Veld is in Slovenia with a group of colleagues to investigate the state of law and freedom of the press. Concerns have existed for some time about the situation in the country, now temporary EU president.
Peter R. de Vries
The delegation has talks with representatives of the legal spokes, journalism and the government, among others. The incumbent prime minister is not waiting for the visit and has opened the attack on the Dutch delegation leader. The Slovenian prime minister sees unwanted interference from a left-wing club that would be out to blacken him. “Who are you? How many times have you visited a German Chancellor, a Dutch Prime Minister or a French President?” he wrote on Twitter earlier on Thursday. “By the way, the last time a journalist was murdered in the EU was in the Netherlands,” said Janša, referring to the murder of Peter R. de Vries.
There is also anger in the European Parliament about the Slovenian ‘Twitter Prime Minister’. “This is an insult to hard-working democrats and in particular to our late chairman (Hans van Baalen ed.)”, responds VVD delegation leader Malik Azmani. He demands an apology from the Slovenian prime minister on behalf of the liberals. “There is no place for such despicable comments in European politics.”
Parliament Speaker David Sassoli has called on the Prime Minister to stop provocations towards MEPs. “Attacks on members of this house are also attacks on European citizens,” the Italian said.