Two people called Marko Bitenc – namesakes, who are being used in the fight against SDS

Marko Bitenc, biotechnologist, entrepreneur and co-owner of the GenePlanet company, and Marko Bitenc, renowned physician-surgeon. (Photo: STA)

It is not often in life that two people who share the same name and surname, find themselves in the midst of the same storm. Well, in recent weeks, two persons named Marko Bitenc have found themselves being dragged by certain media outlets. A lie, as a strategic tool for manipulation, clearly knows no bounds.

In recent weeks, certain media outlets have been building a variety of stories related to the procurement of protective equipment. The idea that they have been trying to make everyone believe in, in recent days, is that the Minister of the Economy, Zdravko Počivalšek, has advocated for Marko Bitenc, the director and owner of the biotechnological company GenePlanet, because he is supposedly from the SDS party, and Počivalšek, therefore, helped him secure a deal with the state. But this story has a weak point. Namely, there are (at least) two people named Marko Bitenc in Slovenia. And Minister Počivalšek only knows one of them.

A lie, as a strategic tool for manipulation
The first one is Marko Bitenc, a renowned physician-surgeon, who has worked with the SDS for many years. He is the former president of the Medical Chamber of Slovenia, as well as the Grand Master, so the head of Slovenian Freemasonry, a very influential person in the Slovenian health field, and a member of the advisory group of experts for the fight against the coronavirus, which was appointed by the Health Minister Tomaž Gantar. In recent days, he had been photographed with Minister Počivalšek, Minister Gantar, and Joc Pečečnik when medical equipment had arrived at the Brnik Airport.

The other is Marko Bitenc, a biotechnologist, entrepreneur, and co-owner of the GenePlanet company, one of the suppliers of medical protective equipment for the fight against coronavirus. The general public had probably never even heard of him, nor of his company before the recent affair, since the company mostly operates abroad. Bitenc has supposedly never even seen Počivalšek in person and has never met any of the employees from the Agency for Commodity Reserves.

Two different people, whose only mistake is that they stand out because of their virtues, expertise, and dedication. The mix-up of the two, which was caused because they have the same name, has unnecessarily put them at the center of an affair – if we can even call it that. Both are respected professionals, one of the rare few who are willing to expose themselves for the good of their environment and their country. They certainly do not deserve the lynching of the past fourteen days at the expense of the authorities and the revenge-driven former government representatives, who used the confusion as an opportunity to bring them down.

Andrej Žitnik