“Journalists noted efforts to investigate and publish stories about local corruption cases was particularly challenging because of economic and political pressure”, the report said.
It found that the “reduced protection for journalists” combined with these pressures resulted in “the Slovenian Association of Journalists and media analysts [observation] that standards of journalistic integrity suffered.”
Although defamation laws exist, “an opposition member of parliament sent a series of tweets implying that two TV Slovenia journalists were prostitutes and the public broadcaster a brothel.”
It added that the journalists involved in the defamation suit each received 6,000 euros ($6,600) in damages.
“Bribery” and “corrupt practices” still serious issues
The report said public perception of corruption improved slightly over the last two years, yet “public perception that bribery and corrupt practices were a serious issue…was still 40 percent.”
“Although the criminal justice system continued its efforts to detect, investigate, prosecute, and adjudicate high-level corruption cases, the law lacked proper enforcement mechanisms, and the criminal justice system lacked resources”, the report stated.
“The Commission for the Prevention of Corruption (CPC) focused on the fight against systematic corruption as well as preventative anticorruption measures”, but last February the report said that the CPC garnered concern from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Working Group on Bribery.
It said that OECD “stressed” the CPC’s “need for independence, adequate funding, and human resources.”
Several “untouchable” confiscated properties
The State Department report noted delays in property restitution, even reporting that “some cases involving [properties] seized during World War II and the communist era remained unresolved.”
One particular case, ongoing since 1993, involved a family’s claim for restitution of ancestral land property from a “major mineral water producer partially owned by the government.”
“Several remaining confiscated properties appeared to be untouchable because the parties occupying the sites were politically influential and thwarted attempts to reach negotiated settlement”, the report added.