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Friday, March 1, 2024

We could have expected all of this

By: Dr Matevž Tomšič

Lately, the criticisms against Prime Minister Robert Golob have been escalating, coming from his own political and ideological circles. It appears that the government he leads is losing support, facing opposition from business leaders, trade unionists, and even some non-governmental organisations that once supported it and were considered its staunchest allies.

The central media have primarily turned against Golob; those who loudly praised him before last year’s parliamentary elections, and after the elections, they concealed or at least minimised all his slips, mistakes, foolishness, and openly controversial and harmful actions, both by himself and his ruling clique. Assessments from journalists, editors, and opinion leaders are piling up, stating that this government is a significant disappointment, that its president is not up to his role, and even – which is the worst possible label from the perspective of Slovenian leftists – that he is no different from his predecessor Janez Janša.

In fact, this government is catastrophic in all areas. It seems to mess up anything it touches. Some accuse it of not implementing any of the announced reforms. However, in Golob’s direction and his team’s direction, we can only fear these “measures”. Their “actions” do not solve problems but create them.

One such current absurdity is the detailed recording of working hours, through which the government is reintroducing a version of mandatory “clocking in”, reminiscent of the previous system. This introduces additional unnecessary administration burdens on both employers and employees, with practically no tangible benefits. Such a method is entirely out of sync with the modern nature of work in most fields. The argument that this regulation provides greater protection for employees is outright distorted, and this issue should concern employers alone.

In order for employers to keep track of working hours, employees will have to record every step at the workplace (when they clock in, when they take breaks, etc.). In addition to performing their actual job responsibilities, they are burdened with activities that are a complete bureaucratic nonsense. How could the relevant ministry know this, whose leading figure, Minister Luka Mesec, had not a single day of work experience before entering politics? This person, who is practically unemployable outside of politics, is supposed to dictate how work activities within companies and institutions should be conducted?

The ruling coalition not only causes damage domestically but also in international relations. Slovenia is, in fact, the only member of the European Union where those sympathising with terrorists are part of the government. In the current crisis in the Middle East, the coalition party Levica has clearly sided with the Islamist movement Hamas. How else to interpret the participation of the mentioned minister in a protest rally calling for the destruction of the state of Israel?

However, all of this could have been anticipated. Robert Golob has not changed at all since becoming prime minister. Before the elections, he labelled political opponents as fascists and threatened to shut down media that did not align with his views. An intense showdown with anyone he considered an enemy was expected. From the beginning, it was known that he was a significant egotist, with a belief in his own exceptionalism (he even compared himself to Steve Jobs), a belief in stark contrast to the actual situation (he was, in reality, a state manager with fairly average achievements). When surrounded by a group of political cronies, and adding extremists from Levica to the government, it was a recipe for disaster. Such a government could not disappoint anyone, as a serious person could not harbour any special hopes for it.

But that did not bother all those on the left, especially the media protagonists who these days are “discovering” what is wrong with the rulers. The fact that they are now attacking Golob so fiercely only proves that the transitional political backstage has written him off.

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