More than €1.5 billion and two new taxes. All this for 27 kilometres of railway track, which Slovenia urgently needs, but everything has its limits. Meanwhile, the Slovenian political leadership sits on the best seats while watching the Slovenian heroes at the EuroBasket final, even though the latter would really need the support of the loyal, enthusiastic supporters who were disappointed when they were presented with a ticket that they had not ordered.
Let us again recall the developments on Sunday, or rather the developments ahead of Sunday. Slovenian basketball players have brought back the gold, but a lot was happening in the background of the historical achievement that had some supporters return home with something of a bitter taste in their mouths. Now another Sunday might also leave a bitter taste if Slovenians do not get together, just like the supporters did in the EuroBasket final.
Story of Slovenian supporters
Even before the victory on Sunday, messages which had spread rapidly on Facebook claimed that the Slovenian political leadership with prime minister Miro Cerar had appropriated 200 tickets from Slovenian supporters, who thus got worse seats in the venue. The government denied this, and the Kompas agency that was responsible for the confusion simply stated that there had been a booking error. But the fact is that dozens of fans bought a ticket for the final match between Slovenia and Serbia for section two, since they wanted to be as close as possible to the Slovenian players and show them the support that they deserve. At the venue they then got different, worse tickets and some money.
If it were not for some individuals and the strong team spirit of Slovenian supporters, it is doubtful whether the Slovenian basketball players would get such a strong support from the stands. The drums and big flag would have been left on the bus since there is no room for such props in sections three and four. They paid no heed to anyone but simply got together and occupied seats in section two and then cheered, cheered, cheered. We know what the result was, and Slovenia will talk about it for many years.
Story of Slovenian taxpayers
And now another Sunday is before Slovenians. A Sunday on which the same people that were jumping with the supporters on the stands are trying to convince Slovenians that it is right to pay more than €1.5 billion for 27 kilometres of track and on top of all burden taxpayers with two new taxes.
Are two percent of the entire Slovenian railway corridor really worth that much? What about the rest of the railway infrastructure? Perhaps it seems difficult to vote against something that Slovenia needs so urgently, but it must not be forgotten that it is primarily the manner of construction and financing of the second track that is so controversial. “We are convinced that the entire investment has been managed irregularly and that the price of the project provided for by law is too high and harmful to taxpayers,” the largest opposition party SDS often stressed during the campaign.
It is also problematic that the difference between estimates of the value of the project which have been presented by representatives of the ruling coalition and what is presented in the government law is huge, amounting to hundreds of millions of euros. Representatives of the ruling coalition are being flippant and irresponsible. There is still no financial arrangement, or rather finished financial arrangement, for the project.
The problematic nature of the second track project has also been noted in the Assembly for the Republic (Zbor za republiko), and precisely because of the unclear financial arrangement and incompleteness of the project for constructing the second track, this project has not received support from any Slovenian monitoring institution. The unclear financial arrangement of the project has been noted by both the Fiscal Council and the Court of Auditors.