“The network you mentioned already became a big problem at the time when the new Government was formed. I doubt that these channels are as easy to use now, as they were before, to fill their own pockets. I believe that some were being established for years, decades, and there is a lot of work for the competent authorities here. After all, the commission of inquiry, which was led by Jelka Godec, discovered that money was disappearing into the magazine Mladina, as well as into many other institutions that consider themselves independent. And into the many channels in which the deep state is maintained. Even these institutions, which should have acted, did not act – probably also because of the political will, and now they finally see this will. So they should get to work. The matters are now in their hands, and we are expecting the results as soon as possible,” the Prime Minister Janez Janša said when asked about the annual theft of 400 million euros by the so-called “octopus” of medical suppliers (an interconnected corruption network).
Prime Minister Janez Janša commented on the current political issues in Slovenia on the show A conversation with the Prime Minister, with the host Aleksander Rant, and also answered a few questions from the viewers of Nova24TV. The Prime Minister spoke about the medical supplier mafia, the fight against the coronavirus epidemic, the role of the opposition, the inappropriate comments made by the former European Commissioner Violeta Bulc, double taxation of migrant workers, removal of the label of confidentiality from the documents in the Irangate affair, withdrawal from the Marrakesh agreement, and protection of the southern border and de-bureaucratization.
At the beginning of the conversation, the TV show host Aleksander Rant and the Prime Minister Janez Janša once again touched on the subject of the defeated health crisis: “We won. Everyone contributed to the best of their abilities. Some observed from afar and criticized. But this is also part of democracy. Hopefully, this win is an actual win over the only wave of the epidemic we will have. But there will certainly be more individual outbreaks,” said Janša. He is pleased with the fact that Slovenia has not had a single new case for many days now. But the opening of the border represents a possible danger of future individual outbreaks. Janša also called for all Slovenians to be more responsible.
Optimistic about connecting with the opposition
The Government has offered the five opposition parties a cooperation agreement. In recent days, the opposition’s radical left-wing trio of LMŠ, Levica, and SD, has refused to agree to cooperate. “This is typical for some. They say one thing but then do another. The agreement will be realised, if at least two parties from the opposition decide to cooperate,” Janez Janša said about the offer. He is optimistic and believes that at least two, if not three, opposition parties will join the project. Above all, the Government’s goal is to make sure that many key laws enter into force as soon as possible. “The Government does not think that it knows everything. There are people in the opposition who know a lot. I am hoping that our gesture will move the thinking of some of them forward,” Janša concluded.
The former European Commissioner for Transport Violeta Bulc also got her five minutes in the spotlight on the show. On social networks, she publicly asked if the mentioned donated tourist vouchers could be used for the Botrstvo project or other humanitarian actions. Janša replied, saying that Ms. Bulec, as a former European Commissioner, surely still has some savings left. “She could have simply transferred two hundred euros from her modest savings to a humanitarian organization, which she could have done anyway,” the Slovenian Prime Minister said about Bulec’s comments. The former Commissioner apparently quickly forgot that she earned at least 20 thousand euros every month as a European Commissioner.
For many years now, the migrant workers in Slovenia have been trying to raise awareness about their problem, being the victims of double taxation. Regarding this issue, the Prime Minister regrets that Slovenians even have to work abroad because they can not get a job in Slovenia. “We have already solved this problem in our previous term. By the end of the year, we will propose several changes in the field of taxation, and I believe that we will find a solution to the problem,” the Prime Minister optimistically replied to the question about the problems of migrant workers.
100 thousand Slovenians are victims of mass social injustices from the past; the Government is considering the introduction of universal basic income
The viewers wanted to know when the injustices in the field of social transfers will begin to be remedied. Janša pointed out that social injustice is something that has been happening to hundreds of thousands of people who have worked full time and paid the contributions. “Unfortunately, most of them only get a slightly higher amount of money than those who could have worked, but prefer to lie at home while in their forties, and receive the money from those are working hard or had worked hard in the past,” Janša responded to the severe social injustices.
Janša assured that social protection is a very important issue. “It is part of the coalition agreement. Next week, the coalition will start working on the projects that could be completed this year.” The current Prime Minister is well aware of the seriousness of the situation and the years that were lost in the past. Unfortunately, due to the specificity of the crisis, Janša’s Government has begun to seriously consider the idea of universal basic income, which would replace the current system and make it transparent. “This is one of the possible solutions which would help establish a fairer system of social assistance,” Janša commented on future challenges in the field of social politics.
The Slovenian public is still angered by the undisclosed documents in the Irangate affair, as well as the mandatory monthly payment of the subscription to RTV Slovenia
For quite some time now, the outcome of the Irangate affair has been causing a stir in the Slovenian public. The revelation of the affair showed that the staff of Nova ljubljanska banka laundered one billion dollars of Iranian blood money for the needs of the regime, the strengthening of the controversial nuclear programme, and terrorism. Part of the public is demanding that the Government remove the level of confidentiality from parts of the documents. “The level of confidentiality is not determined by the Government, but by other institutions. In this case, the Government has no jurisdiction. I believe that someday, these documents will be made public. Above all, the work of the relevant authorities is needed, in the sense that the matter is investigated, and not covered up,” Janša said of the Irangate.
Janša also personally believes that most of the Slovenian institutions, with one exception, hid the matter and tried to sweep it under the rug. “I think that the reaction to the obvious money laundering came from 40 countries. Never has there been any evidence as solid as in these binders, for any other case, discovered in Slovenia. SD deputies also voted for the report to be revealed, despite that their Government made the whole thing possible,” Janša said about the covering up of one of the biggest scandals of the previous left-wing governments. And he did not forget to mention that neither RTV Slovenia nor POP TV reported on the news at the time.
Radio Television Slovenia has been causing a stir with its frequent manipulative and misleading display of informative news, which is often, without any need for it, inciteful toward the work and actions of the current Government. Unfortunately, due to the catastrophic attitude of the national media outlet towards those who think differently and towards the Government’s actions, many Slovenian citizens who no longer want to pay the obligatory monthly contributions, have turned against it. The Prime Minister is, therefore, wondering how it is possible that a quality programme is not being offered, despite the 100 million euros from the Slovenian taxpayers. Therefore, he said that regarding the financing of the national media, they would review cases from abroad.
Last week, however, the repentant whistle-blower Ivan Gale surprised with the claim that the Government was changing one of the articles in the Civil Servants Act so that it could dismiss the host of the show Tarča (target) Erika Žnidaršič. “We are definitely not dealing with Erika Žnidaršič. However, I do believe that some left-wing party is dealing with her as a future candidate or president of a party. Usually, the journalists who declare themselves to be independent, professional, end up on the lists of SD, LMŠ,” Janša revealed the truth and hypocrisy of the Slovenian dominant media outlet.
The Government promises a stricter asylum policy and de-bureaucratization of Slovenia
Among other things, the viewers were also wanted to know whether Slovenia would withdraw from the requirements of the Marrakesh Agreement, and how it will protect the southern border. Janša pointed out that he does not even know how Slovenia approached the agreement. “The National Assembly did not decide on this; the Government did not decide on this. Two days ago, I began wondering about this. So I do not even know what to withdraw from. The more important question is, when will Slovenia change its legal framework,” Janša shared his views regarding the Marrakesh agreement.
Regarding the southern border, he said that the Government wanted to give more power to the army, but the opposition did not agree to this. However, they will increase the number of police forces at the southern border. Janez Janša wants the Government to adopt a new law, regulating the field of asylum politics, as soon as possible. “A change is bound to happen here, a very serious one. The law should be presented in the National Assembly before the parliamentary holidays,” Janša was determined.
The viewers wondered if all students would now be given portable tablets for easier learning. The Prime Minister pointed out that this was the idea of the Slovenian Democratic Party in the 2014 elections, but it was not accepted. However, with this, students could avoid having to carry numerous textbooks and workbooks with them to school. “There are no reprints; it is all on the tablet, anyone would be able to download it,” Janša said.
The Prime Minister also mentioned a public administration reform as one of the most important projects of the future. He pointed out that modern technologies allow for easier and faster implementation of procedures and that Slovenia needs capable people who can master these processes. Janša believes that after the establishment of the Government Council for the de-bureaucratization, they will be able to simplify the procedures of 21 thousand by-laws and 30 thousand other regulations, “which is a corpus of rules no one can really master.”
The viewers asked about the European Union presidency, cycling protests, and many other current affairs
Once again, our media outlet made it possible for every viewer to call in and ask Prime Minister Janez Janša about current affairs. The viewers asked him about the preparations for the European Union presidency, Slovenia’s self-sufficiency, the use of tourist vouchers for the poorer part of the population, cycling protesters, and the debt that Janša’s Government supposedly created in the period between 2004 and 2008.
When asked about the European Union presidency, Janša said that there was active cooperation between the correlations of the countries Germany and Portugal. He also wrote to both heads of state. In his letters, he advocated for two strategies. “The first is to draw a strategic plan for the European Union to tackle the epidemic. In Europe, when a crisis passes, we all forget about it. The second is making a plan against cyber-attacks, which is realistically a much more serious threat than the epidemic,” Janša warned of future dangers.
Once again, Janez Janša had to respond to the nonsense conveyed to the public by the show Tarča, claiming that the Government was buying wine in order to prepare the disinfectant. “As far as I know, the state had not bought wine. In order to make something of it, disinfectant, that is not true. We are still looking for a solution to help the winemakers. But it will certainly not be the processing of wine into a chemical,” Janša once again rejected the obscure accusations.
He went on to agree that a crisis is what truly shows the extent to which an individual country is self-sufficient when the borders are closed. Janša also pointed this out, as he believes that food is one of the most important goods. “When the crisis comes, when this becomes an issue, as the borders close and the trucks are not driving. We had enough stocks, but if we had not had them, every Slovenian would have been made aware of the fact that food is a good of strategic importance. More strategic than oil or other energy sources,” Janša concluded. One of the viewers described her sad fate during Pahor’s Government when her farmer’s pension was taken away. Janša pointed out that they are actively searching for the solution, one of them being the introduction of universal basic income.
A lady from Ljubljana was interested in what those who cannot afford a holiday due to their financial situation will do. Janša pointed out once again that this is not a social transfer but aid for the industry, which is among the most important ones in Slovenia. “A regulation will be prepared in a few days, which will define the use of these tourist vouchers more precisely. The possibilities for transfer are quite wide. Those who will not be able to use their own vouchers will be able to transfer them to one of their relatives. Tourist vouchers are intended to fill up tourist capacities. The intention is to help an industry which was among the most affected during the epidemic,” the Prime Minister answered the viewer’s question.
A viewer from the Dolenjska region wondered for how long Slovenia will continue to tolerate the violations of the law by the cycling protests. He was also interested in when a rally in support of the Government would be organized. In recent days, Janša has said several times that he is not bothered by the protests, but that he is bothered by the violation of legal rules by some Slovenians at Friday’s protests. “The violation of rules must be sanctioned. I hope that the authorities will treat everyone equally, without dividing them into first-class and second-class citizens I have a feeling that if the protest is being reported on by the dominant media outlets, then the authorities treat it differently,” Janša said about the first-class and second-class citizens.
At the end of the show, the Slovenian Prime Minister answered the question related to Slovenia’s debt, which the current Government will supposedly cause. Janša said that he has been hearing the accusations about this since the time he led the Government in the period between 2004 and 2008. “When our coalition ended its mandate in 2008, Slovenia had a debt of around 8 billion euros. We were the second least indebted country, after Luxembourg. They all used our country as an example. Then came the left-wing Governments, and Slovenia’s debt rose to 32 billion euros,” Prime Minister Janša said of the harmful actions of the left-wing governments of the past decade.