Expansion of network of League of Communists: delegate of Central Committee Ciril Baškovič becomes new president of RTVS programme council

Ciril Baškovič (Foto: STA)

Ciril Baškovič has become the new president of the RTVS programme council. He was appointed at the council session on Monday. The “ultra-communist” has now succeeded Miran Zupančič, who is a man with a similar profile. It was the Social Democrats (SD) who had nominated him for president, and him assuming this position had already been discussed in 2014. It seems that the left has now finally managed to pull all the strings and appoint the delegate of the Central Committee of the League of Communists of Slovenia as president. Apparently, Slovenians have still not outvoted the communist forces.

At Tuesday’s session, the programme council of Radio-Television Slovenia (RTVS) elected Ciril Baškovič as new president of the council. The councillors gave him 19 votes, and no one voted against him. Thus, a sworn communist and delegate of the Central Committee at the last congress of the League of Communists succeeded Miran Zupančič. The latter had resigned from all functions because the RTVS programme council had not supported the dismissal of television director Ljerka Bizilj. Councillors Sašo Hribar and Domen Savič did the same.

Baškovič is one of the RTVS councillors that had been appointed by the National Assembly of Slovenia on a recommendation from political parties. He had been nominated by SD, and he was the only candidate. He will now lead the programme council until January 2018, when the term of the 21 councillors expires and a new council is constituted. He admits that he has “big shoes” to fill, but expects that they will manage to complete the key task, i.e. adopting the RTVS programme and production plan for 2018, without any major complications. Kadunc pointed out at the session that Slovenia “hasn’t been concerned with ensuring a good public service broadcasting for decades” and continued that RTV Slovenia “has been able to cope with the burden only by selling its assets, and now there isn’t enough left to continue such a practice”. According to STA, he pointed out that RTVS is in a fight for survival and will not manage without support from the state.

Former state secretary and secretary general will be expected to do more than just occupy position
Baškovič is a political scientist who worked as state secretary and secretary general at the Slovenian Ministry of Science and Technology between 1992 and 1997. At the end of 2000, he became the state secretary at the Slovenian Ministry of Culture and occupied the position for four years while Janez Drnovšek and Anton Rop were in power. He had also worked there as secretary general and a so-called chief of staff. Time will tell how he will handle his new position. Even though he will only be president for about three months, he is expected to do more than just occupy the position.

Allegedly, he was already the main candidate for president of the RTV programme council in 2014, when the left was holding on to its majority more and more firmly. It has pulled the strings and eventually provided Baškovič with the promised position.

Will he be tempted by old communist habits?
We have already seen what the thieving gang of communists did years ago and we will see how one of them will lead RTVS. We can only hope that his communist nature of boundless manipulation will not emerge. And seeing how the Slovenian state does not punish left-wing leaders very often, while impoverishing taxpayers, such a leader is not a reason for joy. Years ago, Slovenians demanded a democratic country and a secession from the totalitarian and communist Yugoslavia, but it seems that with every new major event, appointment, or action of their leaders today, Slovenia is returning there. It is true that back then communist dictatorships were falling, but Slovenia still feels the consequences and will keep feeling them as long as Kučan’s supporters have any influence.