By: Gašper Blažič
I never thought that in all these years of following political events, I would ever praise the face of the (radical) Levica party, Luka Mesec. And if I am honest with myself and others, I have to do it today. I attended the press conference on the anniversary of the appointment of the current government, where, in addition to the leader of the Levica, the other two presidents of the coalition parties were also present: Foreign Minister Tanja Fajon (SD) and Prime Minister Robert Golob (Gibanje Svoboda). Mesec spoke first and technically speaking, came across as a gentleman (although his content was typically socialist and boring, full of self-praise), but his “gentlemanly” approach only truly emerged when Robert Golob took the stage. Golob was once again ostentatiously brutal in his performance.
However, I am used to that from him. And it was worth attending this press conference, even though I had never been accustomed to the journalistic protocol in the government building, which I last saw from the inside in 2011, during the time of the Pahor’s government, when Demokracija journalists asked rather provocative questions, including about his relationship with cocaine. But Pahor did not let himself be disturbed even by uncomfortable questions. He did not lose his composure, although his answers were often unconvincing. Well, at today’s press conference in the packed press centre, despite the fact that I made a slight breach of protocol by trying to reach the microphone for journalists asking questions and thereby interrupting the Prime Minister’s self-praise (maybe he got a little scared?), the employees of the Government Communication Office were very understanding, and the event could continue. Personally, I had four questions prepared, one of which was particularly sensitive for Prime Minister Golob. Since all three government representatives mentioned the “depoliticisation of the RTV”, I tried to get a comment from Golob, among other things, about the recently published photos of Marcel Štefančič and Tina Gaber socialising over coffee, suggesting whether this was also part of the mentioned “depoliticisation” strategy. Well, I made a minor protocol error because, due to nervousness, I forgot to introduce myself at the beginning, which usually does not happen to me, but it turned out that this small mistake was quite useful. Mainly because of Golob’s expected reaction, as he, of course, knows who I am since I have not asked him questions for the first time.
Of all the questions, the Prime Minister was only willing to answer the question regarding the costs of renting the so-called replacement aircraft during the time when the government’s Falcon is under maintenance. And the rest? Golob considered the question about Tina Gaber and Marcel Štefančič mere insinuations. So, if I understood correctly, my question was not a question but a provocation with insinuations? Fine. However, I gave Golob the opportunity to comment on the matter. Maybe I caught him off guard, and he really did not know that it was an interview with Tina Gaber for Mladina (as the Mladina website revealed after the publication of the photos). But he was betrayed by severe nervousness, and I cannot quite explain whether it is due to personal matters or concerns caused by Anže Logar’s new civil platform, which was established about an hour before the government’s press conference (and members of coalition parties are involved in this platform, causing alarms to go off in the coalition – let’s remember the contemptuous attitude Golob’s government showed toward Logar last autumn. Golob’s arrogant response – which did not surprise me, as I had already experienced something similar when I asked uncomfortable questions about Gen-I’s business in the Balkans during the coalition summit at Brdo pri Kranju – is also indicative of the speculation about Tina Gaber’s true role. Is she just a regular starlet or, as some malicious tongues would say, a gold digger, a paid escort, or perhaps Golob’s “Doctor Rasputin in a skirt” (a term we used in Demokracija about twenty years ago for the then-right-hand woman of Rop, Marijana Kanduti), or has she been appointed by the puppeteers to control the unpredictable Golob, who is still technically married? Time will tell, but it is worth noting that Bojan Požar was the one who pointed out how sensitive Golob is to media reports and questions about Tina Gaber. This raises speculation that their relationship is not just a private affair but a political project. And even if Marcel’s interaction with Tina was truly just an interview, it is clear that Tina Gaber has an increasingly prominent role in Golob’s political agenda.
It is also necessary to highlight the extreme foolishness and deception of all three leaders of the coalition parties, claiming that they will completely depoliticise the public broadcaster RTVS. Golob spiced it up by explaining that the government coalition will completely withdraw from decision-making in the public institution RTV. But who is fooling whom here? During the previous government’s time, there were no members of political parties in positions at RTV. The only difference is that Uroš Urbanija, Andrej Grah Whatmough, Jože Možina, Igor Pirkovič, Jadranka Rebernik, and Peter Gregorčič do not support the agenda of the transitional left. And that is it. To talk about the departure of these individuals bringing a completely politically unbiased set of people to power at RTV is akin to comparing wood to iron. We know that the activists who went on strike at RTV are highly politically biased. After all, their strike was also supported by the Minister of Culture and prominent member of the Levica party, Asta Vrečko. Before the so-called Grim’s Law abolished the former RTV Council and introduced the RTV Programming Council, the former president of the SD (or United List), now deceased, Janez Kocijančič, was the president of the RTV Council for many years. And just before that, the “non-political” composition of that RTV Council twice dismissed Žarko Petan from his position as the Director-General of RTV for political reasons. And now Golob expresses his desire to bring back the Studio City show while imagining that his personnel will liberate Kolodvorska Street 2-4 like a partisan army. If the matter were not so serious, many would burst into laughter right now, especially considering how the party (ZKS) can govern “non-politically”.
Therefore, the press conference was a good “stress test” that put the self-praising Prime Minister in an extremely awkward position – in his opening speech, he even boasted with statistical data that Slovenia has the cheapest electricity in Europe. It is only a matter of time before Golob completely breaks down due to nervousness and reacts explosively like a bull in a China shop. The rumours that the “uncles” are already looking for a replacement for him are not entirely unfounded. However, it is not insignificant that they will try to find this replacement without new elections. And the game will continue uninterrupted.