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Friday, March 31, 2023

A letter to prominent journalists of RTV, why they are silent about the business of the company Gen-I, which is already reported by the entire Western Balkans

By: Domen Mezeg (Nova24tv.si)

When it comes to investigating Janša or SDS, RTV journalists are the first on their feet. Now, when Golob’s controversial deals are being reported on by the entire Western Balkans, we can see considerable reluctance. When the alleged lender of SDS was investigated, the “professionals” quickly rushed to Bosnia and Herzegovina. We would expect the same now that they rush to Serbia and Kosovo. It is their duty to the taxpayers. The Coordination of non-parliamentary parties and newspapers – KNSL and the Civil Initiative DEM – Committee for Democracy of Equal Opportunities responded with a letter of protest to RTV Slovenia’s non-reporting of Golob’s Balkan deals. The content of the letter was first summarised by the Prava portal, but we highlighted some key points in the article. The letter was sent to prominent journalists and public service employees. More here.

If the late Jože Mencinger divided Slovenian voters into “normal” and “right-wing”, it seems that Marko Milosavljević’s caste system contains “experts” and “right-wingers” (recent interview on RTV Slovenia). This is clearly another example of throwaway ideological racism. It places great emphasis on the professional form, but neglects one of the key components – that RTV Slovenia, as a public media, is committed to true objectivity. It is not fair that television at a “high professional level” sells us a distorted view of the world, occasionally even propaganda. Such reporting has concrete consequences for society and politics. When will we see more criticism of totalitarian symbols at state celebrations, to the abolition of museums that commemorate the brightest event of our common history, to the funerals of Yugoslav state officials (Janez Zemljarič) with military honours, to the new faces of the political left (unless they are just before a political funeral) etc.?

Such “impartiality” reeks of other, non-democratic times… With its biased reporting, Public Broadcasting Slovenia is a co-author of all kinds of socio-political anomalies and prolongs the agony of the transition. We definitely agree with Milosavljević on one thing – that (fossil) RTV Slovenia is in dire need of changes. The question is if we imagine them in a similar way… For a public service journalist, not only the relevant competences are crucial, but that he has an ear for all viewers. That there are no first-class and second-class… The portal Prava.si also recently wrote about double reporting standards, which highlights the example of Prime Minister Robert Golob’s Balkan dealings. The matter is extremely alarming, as it is not only “obscure right-wing portals” that are devoted to it, but the entire Western Balkans!

The “highly professional” journalists of RTVS are little more than nothing… When it comes to Janez Janša, almost everyone is on edge. The majority of taxpayers are interested in what the prime minister does with their money… The mentioned portal points out the letter of the Coordination of non-parliamentary parties and lists – KNSL and the Civil Initiatives DEM – Committee for Democracy of Equal Opportunities about the failure of RTV Slovenia to report on these controversial deals, and at the same time it cites several other obvious examples of double reporting standards of the public service. The letter was received by several prominent personalities of RTV Slovenija, including the management and journalist Erika Žnidaršič, host of Tarča show. As an example, the letter cites the great fanfare surrounding the overnight stay of former Minister of Agriculture Aleksandra Pivec.

Hysterical reporting on Simonovič’s diploma and avoiding reporting on Masleša’s education

On the other hand, we witnessed extremely reserved coverage of the visit of the President of the National Assembly, Urška Klakočar Zupančič, to Vienna. Something similar was the loud discussion of the diploma of the former MP Branko Simonovič, on the other hand, the extremely cautious reporting on the education of the former supreme judge Branko Masleša, who allegedly violated human rights in the former regime. Disproportionately favourable reporting is also observed when it comes to “civil society”. The March 8th Institute had a big advantage over the Committee for the Family on the Republic Square, although in the first case a handful of people gathered, and in the second several thousand people were present. The virtuous “professionals” of RTV Slovenija immediately rushed to Bosnia and Herzegovina in order to discover the lender of the SDS party, and “dragged the information on and on”.

We should now rush to Serbia and Kosovo with similar zeal to present the truth to the taxpayers. In the past, there was a similarly curtailed report when it came to the laundering of Iranian money in NLB. Finally, a few words about the Gen-I affair, where Prime Minister Golob was employed as the chairman of the board (before he ventured into state politics). Journalist Perš, who thoroughly investigated the case, found, among other things, that the subsidiary company GEN-I (GEN-I Beograd) carried out two banking operations with the Kosovo umbrella company of the Kosovo ambassador to Croatia, Martin Berishaj MB Consulting, in the years 2015-2022 and its Montenegrin subsidiary. “During this time, he withdrew cash with several cash withdrawals, thereby turning traceable money into untraceable money.”

“Professional” RTV journalists are obliged to investigate Balkan affairs!

The fact that it is a very important member of the ruling party of Kosovo, the Prime Minister of Kosovo, Albin Kurti, is important.” Based on the data of the online application Erar, Perš understood that in the years 2015-2021, just under 81 million euros were transferred from the Slovenian umbrella company GEN-I to subsidiary companies in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Serbia. He says the problem is that neither the state nor anyone else actually has control over where that money has gone. However, there are many doubts and questions about what the money was used for. “Kosovo and Albanian media claim that part of this money landed in Kurti’s election campaign,” he added. Let’s remember that Gen-I is state-owned, and taxpayers have a right to know what is happening to their property!

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