Pahor: In July, we paid Kučan an additional gross amount of €1,985

Foto: STA

“The difference paid out in July amounted to €1,985 gross or €1,489 net.”

This was the answer from the Office of the President of the Republic of Slovenia when they were asked what the last pension subsidy of former president of Slovenia Milan Kučan amounted to. This supplement is supposed to provide him with 80 percent of the salary of the president of Slovenia.

What did they fail to answer?
The answer from the Office of the President of Slovenia does not reveal what exactly 80 percent of the president’s salary amounts to. What is supposed to be Kučan’s total subsidised pension? Perhaps they overlooked this part of the question, even though it was highlighted. That is why I requested the information once more. People need to understand the meaning of the law, so I have already summarised this week that president of Slovenia Pahor received a gross salary of €5,938 in July and that 80 percent of this amounts to €4,750. I have also summarised how much of the state budget has been allocated for supplementing Kučan’s pension this year: €22,000.

There is not enough for Kučan in the budget
Judging by the supplementary payment in July, the budget plan for Kučan’s supplements this year is too low. If Kučan receives €1,985 each month, it will amount to €23,823. In other words, the budget will fall short by €1,823. The reason for the mistake is probably that last year politicians increased their salaries in an agreement with trade unions. They announced that the crisis was over and that they no longer needed to save money. As a result, the salary of the president of Slovenia increased as well along with Kučan’s subsidy. The budget plans failed to account for these salary increases. The state will find the €1,823 for Kučan somewhere, but the bigger problem is that salaries increased in the entire public sector as well, including for example health care, where hospitals have ended up in the red and stopped paying bills from suppliers. Details about the problems in health care are available on the following link: ZARADI POVIŠANJA PLAČ BOLNIŠNICE NE PLAČUJEJO VEČ RAČUNOV (DUE TO INCREASED SALARIES, HOSPITALS STOPPED PAYING THEIR BILLS).

What 80 percent of the salary of the president of Slovenia amounts to is an important information since it makes it possible to determine Kučan’s total gross and net subsidised pension. In 2012, when during Janez Janša’s second term most of the nonsensical privileges for former presidents of Slovenia had been cancelled, former deputy of Positive Slovenia Jerko Čehovin voted for the supplement so that Kučan could keep his salary. He claims publicly that I am unprofessional and that I write what I am told since the basis for calculating Kučan’s right, in his opinion, is the net salary of the president of Slovenia.

Čehovin is in the wrong about the calculations
The information concerning Pahor’s net salary is not publicly available, but I do have the information for prime minister of Slovenia Miro Cerar, who has exactly the same gross salary as Pahor. In July, Cerar received a gross salary of €5,938.19, which amounts to €3,483.15 net. If the basis for Kučan’s supplement were 80 percent of Cerar’s net salary, Kučan would have a salary of €2,786.52. The fact that Čehovin is in the wrong is revealed by the publicly available information that Kučan actually already received a much higher salary in 2011, when he disclosed his income to journalist of Reporter Igor Kršinar. At the time Kučan said:

“The pension amounts to €1,623 a month, and the difference to €1,597.96. Close to €3,000 net in total. I’m not hiding this.”

To be completely accurate: the total sum was €3,220.96. Then president of Slovenia Danilo Türk was receiving a gross salary of around €6,400. If we recalculate the sums since Pahor now has a somewhat lower gross salary, Kučan would have received a total net amount of: €3,010. This is much more than 80 percent of Cerar’s net salary.

However, this is a rough calculation that I made myself – I am waiting for the proper one from the Office of the President of Slovenia as they are the only ones that can provide the accurate official numbers and clarifications with regards to the calculations. Is Čehovin’s claim accurate or not?

Papež is mocking the people’s right
Pahor’s people are perhaps evading the answer because it would embarrass director of the Pension and Disability Insurance Institute of Slovenia Marijan Papež and the institute itself since they refused to provide information on the height of Kučan’s pension to the public, claiming it was personal information. This is not actually the case. If the law stipulates that the state shall supplement a certain person’s pension so that they receive 80 percent of the salary of the president of Slovenia, the law also decided that the height of this person’s pension shall no longer be a private matter. Unless they also concealed the additional sum that the person receives out of the budget and what 80 percent of the salary of the president of Slovenia amounts to. But they cannot do this. Because Papež and the Pension and Disability Insurance Institute of Slovenia are protecting something that should be publicly accessible, claiming it is personal data, they are mocking the public’s right to information. About an hour after the article was published, the Office of the President of Slovenia sent an additional clarification about the basis for calculating Milan Kučan’s supplement. They wrote:

“The gross salary of the president of Slovenia for June 2017 amounted to €5,938.19. 80% of the gross salary of the president of Slovenia amounts to €4,750.55.”

Peter Jančič, Spletni časopis