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Monday, February 6, 2023

And So It Begins: Politicians Are Already “Depoliticising” Radio-Television Slovenia

By: Sara Kovač / Nova24tv

Sunday’s referendum result has made a lot of people so excited that they have already started openly “depoliticising” Radio-Television Slovenia even before the new law has actually come into force. One such person is Nina Mauhler, former State Secretary in Marjan Šarec’s government and member of the board of the state-owned Company for the Development of Infrastructure (Družba za razvoj infrastrukture – DRI). “I hope this is the last time that I see Vida and Nežmah on national television. Voluntarily,” she said.

The government coalition sold its Radio-Television Slovenia Act to the public under the claims of depoliticisation of the media outlet – it was already clear to many before the referendums that it would be anything but that, and many people will realise this very soon. But there are clearly also people who already knew this but voted for the law anyway – perhaps with the very intention of returning public service broadcasting entirely to the hands of the ruling politicians. “The first measure of making the situation at Radio-Television Slovenia normal again: bring back Studio City with Marcel immediately, please. Coalition, put this on your urgent to-do list,” said Tine Vučko, social media editor and a big fan of the left-wing activist Nika Kovač, urging the government coalition to get started on this as soon as possible. Responding to this, journalist Petra Sovdat reminded him with her question that the results of the referendum meant that politics should not interfere in RTV.

Sovdat also pointed out the double standards – so it is just one side of politics that should not interfere in RTV, but the other side is allowed to do it? “Only that will be illegal now, you know, of course we need to respect the law, no matter who it was written for,” she added, and Vučko responded nonchalantly, “They will find a way to do it subtly enough. If anyone can do it, it is our politics that can.” So, was he praising the ruling politicians for being subtle enough to evade the letter of the law? Unbelievable. And he even said it publicly, completely unashamedly. Because “their politicians” can do anything they want. Luka Culiberg, a professor at the Faculty of Arts, agreed with him, as he interpreted Vučko’s call as a fulfilment of a promise made by the politicians with a commitment to depoliticisation.

“The coalition should bring Marcel back to RTV? Are you kidding me? For half a year now, I have been hearing all about how politics is being removed from RTV. So this is just another hoax,” another social network user responded to Vučko’s comment. Meanwhile, the President of the Association of Journalists and Publicists (Zveza novinarjev in publicistov – ZPN), Matevž Tomšič, pointed out that the adoption of Golob’s Radio-Television Slovenia Act, which will be adopted because the referendum against it was not successful, sets a rather dangerous precedent for the future – a view shared by political scientist Dr Miro Haček, who added that from now on, any government with an absolute majority will be able to change the law on anything it wants, not just on the national media outlet, Radio-Television Slovenia. He also pointed out that this is certainly not something positive for the Slovenian legal order, and it is also not a good thing for the predictability of the Slovenian legal order. In his view, the adoption of the law is a major concern for a country that is considered to be democratic.

Mauhler should resign
Haček also responded to a tweet by the former State-Secretary at the Ministry of Infrastructure, Nina Mauhler. She is also the person who, two years ago, disrespectfully climbed into a chapel, put her legs up high, and wrote: “Mary, help me.” She also leaned her bicycle against the wall of the chapel. The former member of the Party of Alenka Bratušek (Stranka Alenke Bratušek – SAB), who has been in charge of the HTZ Velenje company since 2020, recently also replaced a board member at the Company for the Development of Infrastructure – DRI, which oversees all major construction projects in the country, including the second track of the Divača-Koper railway line. Apparently, climbing into the chapel earned her quite a comfortable position.

After the results of the referendum were announced, Mauhler tweeted: “I hope this is the last time that I see Vida and Nežmah on national television. Voluntarily,” after which Haček reminded her that such a statement made by anyone from the previous government would have led to the opposition at the time demanding their resignation – and rightly so. “You are held to higher standards, which you have failed to meet with this statement,” he added.

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