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Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Where are we sailing?

By: Dr Vinko Gorenak

The first days of the new year 2023 are politically expected in one way or another, but they may have come earlier than expected after the April elections to the National Assembly in 2022. Each time the government tries in its own way to be liked by the people in one way or another, after all it is the people who make or break it.

In doing so, I am completely ignoring the incredible influence of the media on the installation and removal of the respective authorities. This is especially true during the time of the previous government, when the dominant media were often critical of the authorities, and the current government, when the dominant media are literally servile to the authorities.

The President of the National Assembly with a falcon to Vienna

The year began with the famous flight of President Urška Klakočar Zupančič to Vienna, where she attended a famous concert by the Vienna Philharmonic. She was invited by the president of the parliament there. Nothing special to say. In principle, the media questioned such a short flight on a government plane. I would not even problematise it myself. Regardless of the fact that I have never travelled on the Falcon government plane, not even when I was the interior minister, Klakočar’s flight to Vienna is not that problematic to me. However, her behaviour and pretence at this is problematic. If her party, Gibanje svoboda, advocates a transition to a carbon-neutral or at least a better state, then she should not be able to afford such a flight at all. Last but not least, the trip to Vienna and back would be much cheaper, not to mention the emissions of carbon dioxide into the air in the case of using an airplane. But that is not all. The most problematic is her lying that it was a state visit and several hours of talks with the Austrian parliament president and the like. This is completely unacceptable and completely inexcusable. Klakočar Župančič is of course not the first or the last Slovenian official to be invited to the New Year’s concert of the Vienna Philharmonic. Despite her claims. Of course, this is also a lie, in the time before Slovenia’s first presidency of the EU, the Prime Minister at the time, Janez Janša, was also invited to this concert, but it never occurred to him to travel there by private plane, the government’s Falcon was rented at the time in the USA. And today everything was quiet, you could say, as far as media coverage is concerned. Can you imagine that at that time Janez Janša would be the president of the National Assembly and he would travel to Vienna with Falcon? I can roughly imagine it. There would be thousands of protesters on the streets of Ljubljana, and the bikes for cycling would run out anyway. What hypocrisy of leftists!

Zemljarič is not going to heaven

In the first days of this year, Janez Zemljarič died. My boss in a way. I joined the then police (militia) in 1977 as a teacher at the Cadet School in Tacno. At that time, Zemljarič was the head of the State Security Service or UDBA (secret political police), which at that time not only terrorised people and violated human rights massively, but also carried out secret killings. And Janez Zemljarič was also responsible for this. At that time, he was also the Minister of the Interior (at that time it was called the Republican Secretary of the Interior), so he was also my boss, at least indirectly. Of course, nothing ever happened to him in independent Slovenia. Today, he is represented as the builder of the Cankar’s Hall and the University Clinical Centre in Ljubljana, and as the initiator of the construction of the highway cross in Slovenia. What merits he has or does not have for these projects could be problematized.

What stands out and is completely unacceptable from a human point of view is the decision of Robert Golob’s government to bury him with military honours, in mockery of hundreds of people whose human rights he violated or who were even killed based on his decisions. Here we really have to ask ourselves what we are doing in Slovenia. Years ago, the then president of the country, Danilo Türk, awarded a high state award to Tomaž Ertl, also a former Minister of the Interior and head of the UDBA. At that time, on my way to Cankar’s Hall, when I learned about the aforementioned award, I marched home in protest and left the Sever Association. In the democratic world, of course, nothing is the same as it is in almost socialist Slovenia. Former East Germany also had its UDBA (STASI) boss. When he died, they buried him in the Berlin cemetery, without writing on the grave who rests there. In Germany, he is considered a criminal and nothing else. Monuments are not erected to criminals in the name of the state. In our country, however, we arrange a funeral with state honours for equivalent criminals who violated human rights. Understand who can, but I cannot.

Within 30 days to a healthcare specialist

Sure. This was just a pre-election campaign by the Social Democrats, and it should be clear to all of you who voted that “you were fooled”. In Ljubljana, people line up in the evening to see a personal doctor the next morning. There was no such thing even during the time of deep socialism. It is true, however, that the situation is not so bad everywhere in Slovenia. A few months ago, due to the retirement of my personal physician, I was also looking for a new personal physician. I got a personal doctor without any problems. But this is clearly not the case in Ljubljana. The basic concern for the Health Centres lies with the local community, i.e., also with the Mayor of Ljubljana, Zoran Jankovič. This one, however, defends the head of the Ljubljana health centre and informs the Minister of Health that she must not be replaced, even though she is basically responsible for many resignations of family doctors. There will be an interesting argument between the mayor of Ljubljana and the minister of health, which time will bring.


Just a year ago, we were living in the time of “Janša’s dictatorship”, as you know, cyclists and protesters in Ljubljana told us this every day. But that was a time when the officials of the government and the National Assembly did not fly with Falcon to a concert in Vienna, it was a time when we did not bury with military honours those who in the former regime terrorised people and massively violated human rights and executed or order secret murders, nor did we wait hours in queues to see a specialist doctor or to see a GP. All this is happening to us today during Golob’s “Freedom”.


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