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Thursday, June 30, 2022

Staff purges, amnesty, and forgotten people

By: Metod Berlec

After confirmation in the National Assembly of the Republic of Slovenia, Golob’s government focused all its efforts on staffing and revanchist confrontation with all those who did not like it. At the first session of the government, in addition to changes at the top of the police, Sova, and Ukom and the appointment of state secretaries, it also decided to change members of the National Institute of Public Health (NIJZ) and members of the National Laboratory for Health, Environment, and Food (NLZOH). It also accepted the decision to draw up a list of new jobs from January 1st, 2020.

Changes in the supervisory boards of energy companies followed, and more could be listed. It also began to settle accounts with those who are apolitical, but were appointed during Janša’s government, which means that they are “politically contaminated” for the ruling party. A good example of this is the director general of the NIJZ Milan Krek, who was pressured by the new Minister of Health Danijel Bešič Loredan (on the instructions of Prime Minister Robert Golob) as soon as he took office. As Krek did not want to resign and drew attention to pressures and threats, the minister began to explain that Krek did not enjoy his trust. And because the latter did not give up, the government changed the decision to establish the NIJZ. Now, the duties of the professional director will be performed by the acting director until his appointment, and no longer by the managing director. The professional director will not be appointed by the director general, but by the council of the institute, which means that the first man of the NIJZ will be very limited in his competencies.

Krek pointed out that the government was talking about “depoliticisation”, but in reality it was “politicising” all institutions, including the NIJZ, in its winning enthusiasm, with party cadres from the GS, SD, and Levica. As if to say, they won and the people gave them, they are convinced, the right to change everything. “Really? Not really. Just over 60 percent of voters did not vote for the Gibanje Svoboda party. So where does such sublimity come from, given President Golob’s constant mantra that they are humble? At least they are not modest in their demands for resignations. I am not the only one who is being forced to resign. I am also receiving information from other public health institutions that they call the leaders and order them to resign over the phone. Unbelievable! But since I am old enough to have some historical memory, I can entrust you that the Communist Party followed the same routine: it had its own deputies everywhere who reported to the Central Committee, only their members could be directors, with rare exceptions. /… / With all this, the high-sounding words of our Prime Minister and his Minister of Health about ‘depoliticisation’ are completely fading in the wind. I hope they get a nose like Pinocchio’s. Let them stop explaining how they will depoliticise everything. In fact, the opposite is true! They politicise everything, and very quickly. So fast that it is no longer possible to follow it…”

At the same time, Golob’s government has begun a process of pardoning those who knowingly violated protective measures, illegally protested, organised illegal protests, or even violently protested during the new coronavirus epidemic. Last week, the government instructed the Ministries of Justice and Interior to work with the government’s legislative service to prepare an analysis of the legal bases used in misdemeanour proceedings for violations of measures during the covid-19 epidemic by the end of August. At the same time, the government revoked the previous government’s December 2021 decisions to file lawsuits to reimburse police costs at four protest rallies. The working group of the State Attorney’s Office advised the Ministry of the Interior not to file new lawsuits, but to withdraw those already filed. And the ministry has already done so in three cases. In this way, as the former Minister of the Interior Vinko Gorenak wrote that it gave a single message to the perpetrators: “That is, in the time of right-wing governments, be violent, break the law and do everything you can to change the right-wing government, and when we are in power, the left will be acquitted anyway. Inadmissible.”

Well, at the same time, as we point out in this issue of the magazine, the government is deliberately discussing how to help people because of the growing costliness. Probably because there are no real solutions!? And following the instructions of the godparents in the background, it is considering how to jump into the arms of the aggressor Russian Federation…

Metod Berlec is the editor-in-chief of Demokracija.

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