He would like to rule over us again: Janković has burdened Mercator and Ljubljana with debts, now he wants to do the same to Slovenia

Zoran Janković (Foto: STA)

Ljubljana Mayor Zoran Janković has recently indirectly announced his candidacy for Prime Minister of Slovenia at the next parliamentary elections, which has already been facilitated by two members of the regime media, Mladina and Ona Plus (newspaper publisher Delo), and we can expect many more to follow. Essentially, they published identical PR interviews since Janković is supposed to become Cerar’s successor. After having failed in 2011 when the Ljubljana Mayor did not succeed in forming a government despite his victory, the men in the background will again attempt to take advantage of the bad Slovenian collective memory in order to retain power in Slovenia. The mandate would obviously pay off for Janković. He owes the state several million euros, and by leading it, he could potentially avoid paying off all his debts. Bojan Požar writes on his blog about the political background of Slovenia that there is a great conflict of interest in this case, stating that despite everything, Janković still presents himself to the Slovenian public as a capable and excellent manager. Since voters in Slovenia and particularly Ljubljana have often been deceived by him in the past, Slovenians must again fear for the fate of their country.

Official data from the Financial Administration of the Republic of Slovenia (FURS) also indicate that Zoran Janković is not nearly as successful a manager as he claims to be since companies of the Janković family owe the state several million euros, reveals požareport.si. The big tax debtors in Slovenia include Electa, d. o. o., Electa Holding (both companies owe the state between €300.000 and €500.000), and Electa Naložbe, d. o. o., which owes the Financial Administration several million euros according to the data.

Quadrupled the debt of the Municipality of Ljubljana
Janković’s companies owing money to the state is far from the only problem of a potential candidacy of the current Ljubljana Mayor at the next parliamentary elections. Zoran Janković has also burdened the City Municipality of Ljubljana (MOL) with a serious debt. MOL already had a debt of €219 million during the penultimate elections in 2011 when Positive Slovenia had been catapulted onto the Slovenian political scene, while the total debt of 211 Slovenian municipalities was at €836,7 million.

Zoran’s Mercator: From €30 million to a debt of €626 million
The most spectacular example of Janković’s ability to increase debt was his presidency of the Mercator management board, which was headed by the tycoon between 1997 and 2005. Mercator did grow into the largest Slovenian retailer under Janković, but this happened with political support and an aggressive policy of acquiring other retailers, the most prominent acquisitions being Emona Merkur and Živila. Some time ago, Finance wrote that at the turn of the millennium Mercator had to promise to the Slovenian Competition Protection Office to decrease the number of its stores in particular areas, which it did by closing most of the stores.