Slovenian Ambassador Apologizes For Signing ACTA [Updated]

from the now-what? dept

Well, this is getting strange. The Slovenian ambassador to Japan, Helena Drnovsek Zorko has apparently issued a public apology for signing ACTA last week. There aren't many details, unfortunately, and I don't see the statement on the English-language Slovenian Japanese embassy website, nor on the Slovenian government's news page. Still, it makes you wonder, if she's sorry just a week after signing, why did she sign it in the first place? Did she not do the research? And what happens now? Can she retract the signature?

Update: As a few of you have sent in here is a Google translated version of her "apology." The translation isn't great... but it appears she's saying that the government told her to sign it, and she didn't know if she could push back, but now that she understands ACTA, she doesn't like it, and she appears to hope that people will protest ACTA and stop it from getting implemented. If anyone has a better translation, please let us know...

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  • icon
    TriZz (profile), 1 Feb 2012 @ 10:40am

    Forgiveness vs. Permission

    This all goes back to that age old saying: "It's better to ask for forgiveness than to ask for permission."

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 1 Feb 2012 @ 11:06am

    Politician

    I'll bad mouth you in public, then 'accidentally' sign your bill when I trip over the piles of money.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    A Guy (profile), 1 Feb 2012 @ 11:06am

    Is there any legal force behind the signature of someone who is neither the head of state nor a part of the legislature?

    I could sign ACTA too, but it wouldn't mean much.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Beta (profile), 1 Feb 2012 @ 12:02pm

      Re:

      Yes, an ambassador is plenipotent; she can speak with the full authority of her government and sign a treaty that binds her country.

      But that cuts both ways: what she says in her official capacity is on her country's behalf, so she should express her government's position, not her own. When her conscience won't allow her to play that part any longer, she should put her objections in a letter of resignation.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Glen, 1 Feb 2012 @ 11:11am

    I guess it is better to ask forgiveness than approval?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    ike, 1 Feb 2012 @ 11:12am

    She posted her personal opinion on a private blog ran by some of her friends, yet signed it in her official capacity. I can provide a translation if you need it.

    The ministry is so far refusing to comment on it, but I'm guessing she should be recalled soon.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Chuck Norris' Enemy (deceased) (profile), 1 Feb 2012 @ 11:18am

    Definition of politician

    So, sort of like Obama and the NDAA? Except he said veto first and signed later...which makes you a liar instead of either incompetent (didn't understand what she signed) or trying to save public opinion of her.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 1 Feb 2012 @ 11:36am

    "The hacker group Anonymous has meanwhile announced attacks on the Slovenian government's website."

    Oh look, here come the angry children again.

    Fuck me, this is getting stupid.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      The Groove Tiger (profile), 1 Feb 2012 @ 11:50am

      Re:

      What's with the obsession with children?

      Oh right, you're a pedophile apologist.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 1 Feb 2012 @ 12:04pm

        Re: Re:

        I love how you guys try to defect.

        Don't you think it is incredibly stupid that every time anything happens even slightly negative, that anonymous feels the need and the urge to spank those people involved? Do you not think that their actions are not just another form of censorship, of yelling and screaming to shout down anyone that doesn't agree with them?

        They are acting like children - and I call them children. And the "fuck me" has nothing to with sex, it has everything to do with me being frustrated how the internet is quickly turning into a daycare for arrogant children.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          crade (profile), 1 Feb 2012 @ 12:37pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          lol, they certainly aren't censorship. Telling someone you dissagree with them is not censorship. It may be stupid, but so what? What do I care if people want to act stupid? As for the internet turning into [insert ridiculous thing you think it's turning into here] it isn't. The internet is good for whatever you use it for. If you use it for work it's good for work. Teeny boppers gossiping about justin beeber on the phone doesn't turn the phone network into a justin beeber gossip network. Get real.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          The Groove Tiger (profile), 1 Feb 2012 @ 12:41pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          Ah, more lies from the lying liar that lies.

          From your previous posts, it is plain for everyone to see that you defend those that would abuse children. And then you engage in guilt projection blaming the children for said abuse, calling them names and claiming they're just angry.

          Nothing more than pedophilic apologism from the usual pedophile apologist.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          The Groove Tiger (profile), 1 Feb 2012 @ 12:43pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          And just FYI, your plans for running a daycare for children (where undoubtly you'll invite your NAMBLA friends for fun times) has been reported to the authorities.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      techflaws.org (profile), 2 Feb 2012 @ 2:16am

      Re:

      Fuck me

      Thanks, but no thanks.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Ima Fish (profile), 1 Feb 2012 @ 11:42am

    "but now that she understands ACTA"

    Apparently she wasn't invited to all of those secret meetings where it was worked out and discussed.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 1 Feb 2012 @ 12:08pm

    Not happy she signed, but she has my respect for at least speaking out about it and not keeping quiet about it, especially considering she's gone against the opinions of her government

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Matija, 1 Feb 2012 @ 1:22pm

    Translation

    Below is a quick translation by me. Google Translate sucks for Slovenian.


    Why I Signed the ACTA treaty

    On Thursday, 26 January 2012, I signed the The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) in accordance with the instructions and authorization given by the Government of the Republic of Slovenia. A slightly longer explanation can be found in the Press Center of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which explains both the Ministry’s role as well as mine as the Ambassador to Japan. The explanation explains that I’ve signed the treaty as the government authorized me to do it and it is a part of my job.

    Anyway, why did I sign ACTA? Every day, I get questions through Facebook and by e-mail from mainly friendly and appalled people, who cannot understand what I was thinking to sign a treaty that is harmful to the country and its citizens. With this response that reflects my personal opinion I wish to respond to all friends, acquaintances, anonymous people and my children.

    My signing ACTA is a result of civic negligence. Simply put, I did not link the treaty, for which I was authorized to sign by the government, with the treaty that I believe limits and restricts the freedom of using the largest and the most important network in humanity’s history and as such puts limits on future generations of our children. I indulged in a period of civic carelessness, I took a vacation from media reports from Slovenia, I took a break from Avaaz and its inflation of petitions - put simply, I’ve taken a break. In my defense, I say that I really needed this break and that I still have difficulties recharging my energies for the new dragon’s year. At the same time, I am trying to perform work that is increasing in volume. All in the name of the motto “Less is more” that has not been limited to diplomats in recent years. Less money and less people for more work. And then you overlook what it is that you are signing. And you wake up the next morning carrying the unbearable lightness of some signature.

    The first thing I did was to apologize to my children. Then I tried to respond to the first queries from friends and strangers that asked questions and were appalled. Because the number of these questions has grown so much, I am now responding publicly. I wish to perform for performing my job but not my civic duty. I don’t know how much choice I’ve had not to sign it, but I could have tried. I did not. I did not take the opportunity to fight for the right of us, bureaucrats, to conscientiously object.

    There is another very important reason to write this. This campaign is demonizing an “idiot”, namely me, who signed something in secret in Tokio. This stance was heard in the Slovenian parliament and the Slovenian media and is spreading online. This is dangerous, because it obscures the responsibility of those, who had the power to decide and actually decided for Slovenia to join ACTA. This decision was made by the Slovenian government and the Parliamentary Commission for EU matters. Even before that, Slovenia has participated in treaty negotiations. None of this was done publicly enough, if we can judge by the shocked responses after the signing. Slovenian media did not demonize these decisions to the same degree and in the same way as they are demonizing my signature. At the same time, this means that it was not just my lapse in attention and that we, the citizens of Slovenia, collectively neglected our civic duty. And it means that some of the more obscure parties in Slovenian politics missed an excellent opportunity to get some votes in the pre-election process.

    On Saturday, 4 February 2012, a rally against ACTA will be held in Ljubljana. The real concerns and determination of Slovenian citizens that the treaty must not be ratified will be reflected in the number of those who join the rally. One of the concerned people writing to me, asked me what the late Janez Drnovšek, my brother, would think about me signing this document. The fight for civil liberties is definitely in the spirit of his legacy, much more so than a removal or non-removal of some statue. The Saturday rally is a small part of this fight that goes on every day and never ends. Let my example be a warning of how easily we can make mistakes, if we let things slide. If nothing else, it stops us from sleeping.

    Helena Drnovšek Zorko

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 1 Feb 2012 @ 2:14pm

    It looks like there was already a translation - see
    http://metinalista.si/why-i-signed-acta/

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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