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Is hate speech/racist-xenophobic discourse a wider, more 'mainstream', phenomenon in the political sphere?

Key Area:
Political Parties-organisations - Racist & Xenophobic Discourse
04/01/2012 - 16:15
Short Answer

Yes. It has been generated around adoption of legislation or actions related to status and rights of particular minority groups - communities of other nations of former Yugoslavia (including the erased residents), Roma, Muslims and GLBT. Most explicitly it has been expressed by smaller parliamentary party – the Slovenian National Party, but also  occassionaly  in more subtle way by right-center parties of major influence.

Qualitative Info

Hate speech in political discourse on Roma was expressed in case of adoption of amendments to national legislation on local self-government (2003) through which 20 municipalities in Slovenia with traditional Roma community have been obliged to elect Roma representative in a municipality council. Members of the Parliament from various political parties used expressions through which Roma were racially profiled and denied recognition of their existence, status and rights. Such political discourse followed after the adoption of national legislation also in local political environments, especially in municipality Grosuplje where disrespect for the provisions on obligation to elect Roma representative has been challenged through the courts and finally ended only in late 2010.
The Slovenian National Party and its leader Zmago Jelincic have been involved in expressing most hostile political discourse towards Roma in the Parliament, including the case in 2007 in which the party submitted in the parliamentary procedure a bill denying minority rights to Roma community. The case of forced removal of Roma family Strojan from their settlements in 2006, and the actions of the police and other state bodies in that case initiated lot of political debate and hate speech towards Roma.
Another significant case of hate speech generated by political groups has been the case of members of other nations of former Yugoslavia who were illegaly erased from the register of residents of newly independent Slovenia in early 1992 and for many years tried to use political and legal ways to gain their status and rights recognized again. Their legal battle included several attempts to achive adoption of appropriate legislation to return their residence status, the latest in 2010. The discussions in the parliament around the legislation, interpellation against the minister who submitted the legislation to return the status to the erased, and the national referendum on the legislation on the erased were the cases in which nationalist and xenophobic political discourse were generated in the parliament and in the media by political representatives.

On local level the procedures of adoption of urban plan in the Ljubljana City Council which provides space for building the mosque triggered a political discourse hostile to Muslims. In 2008 a member of the city council Mihael Jarc requested a national referendum on the issue of architecture and size of minaret , but the initiative was refused by the mayor of the city.
Attempts to introduce changes of legislation on family relations, giving equal rights to GLBT, caused hate speech and racist discourse on gays and lesbians by right-centrist political groups, represented in the parliament. The family act adopted in the parliament in 2011 (during the left-centre government) will be challenged on national referendum in 2012, giving space for political debate and hate speech towards sexual minorities.
Recently, the Slovenian Democratic Party, one of the biggest parties, second by number of votes achived at the parliamentary elections in early December 2011, was subject of a criminal complaint for the article published on its web site after the parliamentary elections in which the voters belonging to other nations of former Yugoslavia have been racially profiled.


Intolerance Monitoring Report, Peace Institute, 2002,, Date of access: 4.1.2012.

Intolerance Monitoring Report, Peace Institute, 2003,, Date of access: 4.1.2012.

Intolerance Monitoring Report, Peace Institute, 2004,, Date of access: 4.1.2012.

Intolerance Monitoring Report, Peace Institute, 2005,, Date of access: 4.1.2012.

Registration of same sex unions in Slovenia,, Date of access: 4.1.2012.

Ljubljana Mosque,, Date of access: 4.1.2012.

The Erased,, Date of access: 4.1.2012.

The Scars of the Erasure, Peace Institute, 2010,, Date of access: 4.1.2012.

Roma, Human Rights Press Point, Peace Institute, 2008,, Date of access: 4.1.2012.

Groups affected/interested Roma & Travelers, Muslims, Ethnic minorities, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender
Type (R/D) Anti-migrant/xenophobia, Islamophobia, Anti-roma/zinghanophobia, Nationalism
Key socio-economic / Institutional Areas Political discourse -parties - orgs
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