The mainstream media immediately labels anyone who passes by Trstenjak street as a prominent member of the SDS Party, eagerly attributing to them any irregularities, and inflating the stories to epic proportions. But this changes significantly when members of other political parties are involved. The mainstream media, in their style of “objectivity”, ignores or minimizes the fraud, so as not to accidentally dirty the name of any coalition party. This is confirmed by a recent case concerning the fundraising for a girl’s operation in which the money has mysteriously disappeared. Obviously, this is not presented as a problem since Darinka Bukovnik was involved in the fraud. Bukovnik was until recently a member of the Council of the Alenka Bratušek Party (Stranka Alenke Bratušek – SAB), a position she was removed from just as the affair broke out.
The association Iz srca dam, kar imam, led by Bukovnik, was raising money for the operation of 6-year-old Maša Kraljevič with a congenital hip dysplasia. The girl and her family necessarily need money, namely for unforeseen expenses, which will be incurred in the course of at least three months of ongoing treatment in Florida.
The mother of the 6-year-old, Natalija Zorman, did not receive any money from Bukovnik until Monday morning, but she will have to travel with her daughter for treatment in the US on Friday. Considering this, Natalija Zorman decided to visit the police and inform the authorities about the irregularities that occurred with the fundraising for her daughter’s treatment. It was only after journalists started inquiring and calling Bukovnik, however, that she responded and payed Zorman just over 900 euros. Obviously, this is far from the total amount that good-hearted people donated to pay for unforeseeable costs, which, according to the experiences of parents who took children to treatment abroad, can be sky-high.
The 6-year-old Maša was born with a two-sided hip dislocation, which is also causing her left leg to be five inches shorter. After ten operations in Slovenia and Germany, at just six years old the girl is still walking on her toes due to a shorter leg, with a consequently curved spine. Despite the fact that an operation in the US, worth about 200,000 euros, will be covered by the Health Insurance Institute of Slovenia, Maša’s family needs additional money desperately.
Bukovnik told 24ur news that Zorman should call the donors and ask them how much money they donated, adding that she paid off all that was donated. However, according to the data published by daily paper Večer, 1,000 euros were transferred from the bank Gorenjska banka alone. The amount paid is therefore far from real. The account also made a considerable amount of remittances from individuals in the total value of 320 euros. According to the statement of account, Bukovnik’s association constantly paid the bank for the purposes of enforcement, as well as the bills for the gas company Plinarna Maribor, indicating that the difference between the money paid to Maša and the money paid to the family was intended for the repayment of debts of Bukovnik’s association. And it should be noted that several companies assured Zorman that they have indeed paid for the treatment of her daughter Maša. So, where is the money and when will she get it, if at all?
In any case, this is a kind of unprecedented scandal. The right thing would be for this news to be one of the headlines in all media until justice is served. When will we stop allowing our citizens in distress to be made fools of? Where are the non-governmental organizations when Slovenians in need search for help?