What is the balance sheet of the ‘extremely successful’ Stožice project, as Ljubljana mayor Zoran Janković called it during the hearing before the commission of inquiry to determine the abuses in the Slovenian banking system and to determine the causes and responsibilities for the already second rehabilitation of the banking system in independent Slovenia, which is led by the SDS deputy Dr Anže Logar? A €135 million bank hole from the failed Grep project, which has been transferred to the so-called bad bank, €17 million worth of unpaid bills to subcontractors by Grep, and €13 million worth of unpaid bills to subcontractors by Energoplan and Gradis skupina G.
“My name is Janković, what do I have to do with this?” was one of the first questions that Janković asked Dr Anže Logar as if he did not know who was supposed to ask the questions at the commission of inquiry and who was supposed to answer. “I don’t understand why I’m here today,” he wondered further.
Later he described the commission of inquiry as a political circus and kept repeating the mantra that he had nothing to do with the bank hole, that it is the fault of the banks and their leaderships for not granting the necessary loans for Grep to complete the project – and this despite the fact that his good friend Zlatko Sraka, director of Grep and Energoplan, had said at a hearing a few days ago that Janković had offered to help convince bankers to continuously grant him new loans, but this had been resisted by then president of the management board of NLB, Božo Jašovič, who had snapped at Sraka during one meeting: “I don’t need Janković here, negotiate on your own.”
At times he became arrogant and visibly upset
Janković arrived at the hearing with a lawyer, who often advised him not to answer a question. Some of Janković’s business transactions are the subject of judicial investigations, and when asked about them, Janković used the already famous sentence of his son Jure Janković, “the answer is identical to the previous one”. “I know we’re here because of the political circus, the election is here,” he said at the very beginning and announced that he would only answer questions that seemed appropriate to him. He provided the commission of inquiry with the complete documentation concerning the Stožice project since 1985, telling them that they will find everything they need in there.
Regarding his political involvement and Positive Slovenia, Janković said that he had a greater influence today in 2018 than he had had in 2010 when Stožice was being built.
Cheated subcontractor exposed Janković’s lies
Ivan Hrženjak, one of the subcontractors in the Stožice project, testified as well, revealing that he had still not received the full payment for the work he had done and that he was still paying off loans because of that. According to Hrženjak, soon after the work was done, and the project stopped, both Janković and the directors of Grep and Energoplan, Uroš Vogrin and Zlatko Sraka, assured the subcontractors that they would be paid. “They walked around the building saying that everything would be paid, they promised everything,” said Hrženjak. And what happened later, what is happening today? “Today they’re no longer available when we call the municipality, they don’t have time to meet with us,” said Hrženjak.
The commission of inquiry, led by Dr Anže Logar, thus completed the hearings. “The change concerning the prime minister’s resignation has slightly changed the work dynamics of our commission. Now we’re entering the phase of concluding and confirming the report within the commission of inquiry, which will be followed by a confirmation at a session of the national assembly,” Dr Logar announced on Friday, also emphasising that the findings of the final report will definitely be a big surprise in some cases since the document will expose the mistakes of Slovenian bankers and also people from other public and less public spheres that trudged through two of the biggest state banks. In the next step, the investigation will be the sole responsibility of law enforcement bodies and the judiciary, Logar added.