Today is marking one year since one of the largest financial scandals in the history of Slovenia had its epilogue at the European Parliament. On 28 November 2017, at the initiative of MEP Romana Tomc, the PANA Committee discussed the case of Iranian money laundering in the NLB bank. In connection with the NLB case, the members of the committee heard Anže Logar, SDS Party member and President of the parliamentary commission investigating political responsibility for the recovery of the banking system at the end of 2013, as well as Mladina magazine journalist Borut Mekina.
Romana Tomc recalled: “The introductory presentation detailing the facts discovered by the inquiry commission in the National Assembly shocked the colleagues in the European Parliament. MEPs were equally surprised by the conduct of the Mladina journalist, who was expected to appear in the style of investigative journalists, as we were accustomed to. Unfortunately, his performance was far from this. He was closer to apologizing for the crime than disclosing and condemning the facts”.
The PANA Committee and its sessions have always reaped a great deal of media interest. The Chairman of the Committee, Werner Langen, delivered a clear message after the closing of the hearing: “The Chairman of the PANA Committee summed up that money laundering in the case of the NLB obviously occurred. However, it is now up to the Slovenian institutions to investigate the matter and get to the bottom of things. The Slovene media did not show much interest in discussing money laundering in the NLB. Their reporting was limited to a minimum. The presence at the PANA Committee and the comments were avoided by the Slovenian MEPs from the left political spectrum, who are usually very critical when it comes to condemning events in other countries”, said Romana Tomc.
“I am convinced that the discussion at the PANA Committee contributed to the fact that the European Commission did not abandon its demand for the sale of NLB. The first step in the sale of the bank was implemented in spite of great resistance. Unfortunately, there is no information on whether the investigation on money laundering in the NLB is going anywhere at all, and if it is, on what stage is the investigation. Slovenian taxpayers, who have repeatedly recovered the NLB, deserve to know who took advantage of them. Until such cases are being swept under the carpet, instead of the ones responsible being reached by the hand of justice, we cannot say that the rule of law is effective in Slovenia”, concluded the MEP.