By: Andrej Žitnik / Nova24TV
Prime Minister Robert Golob’s visit to Berlin was marked by yet another slip-up on the international stage. Namely, Bojan Kumer, Minister of Infrastructure, had the Gen-I energy company briefcase with him on the trip. This is evident from a photograph taken at the moment when he shook hands with the German Chancellor. But let’s ignore the fact that shaking hands with a high-ranking statesman while holding a briefcase is disrespectful. Let’s also forget for a moment that the Slovenian Minister comes off as a complete amateur because of the promotional briefcase he brought to the meeting. What is really problematic here is the conflict of interests.
Namely, Bojan Kumer was a long-standing employee of the Gen-I energy company – he was employed in the umbrella company GEN, which was headed for many years by the current Prime Minister Robert Golob. This immediately led to insinuations online that the real purpose of the entire government of Robert Golob was the final privatisation of the state energy sector. However, the post published by Bojan Požar is nothing new. It was widely rumoured before the elections already that the privatisation of the strategic sector was the sole reason for Golob returning to politics.
“Apparently, the Minister cannot leave the house without his Gen-I sponsor bad, not even when he is meeting the German Chancellor. When Prime Minister Robert Golob and his Minister of Infrastructure simply cannot hide their own goal: privatisation of part of the state energy sector,” Bojan Požar commented on Twitter. Editor Mirko Majer made a similar comment, writing: “This is such a pity – even though they do not know the standards that apply to public officials and do not understand what the appearance of a conflict of interest means, these representatives apparently do not want to take advice from anyone. Robert Golob has said in the past that he does not work with communication agencies. If the trend continues, he can only hope that the agencies would be willing to work with him.”
How would the media react if a different government were in power?
A Twitter user that goes by the name “Maya” pointed out that the media reaction would be completely different if a different government were in power. “What would the reaction of the mainstream media be if we saw a minister from the previous government holding a sponsor briefcase (for example, from Petrol)?” And another user with the jokey name “Le Brane – take it with grano salis” responded to her post, writing: “Are these the representatives of the Slovenian government or the (Gen-I) energy lobby?”