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How Golob Paid The Journalists

(Photo: Montage Demokracija / STA / FB)

By: Peter Jančič / Spletni časopis

We have still not gotten an explanation as to why the Gen-I energy company, while being run by the current Prime Minister Robert Golob, financed the company SEE M. & C., which was founded and, for a long time, also run by Vesna Vuković, and liquidated just a few weeks ago by Primož Cirman. Namely, Gen-I transferred 103,000 euros to the company in question. In addition, the current Minister of Finance, Klemen Boštjančič, also wired money to this unusual company. Meanwhile, it is already clear how much the Freedom Movement party (Gibanje Svoboda) is paying Tomaž Modic today, the third journalist from the Vuković-Cirman-Modic group.

Tomaž Modic is paid around 2,000 euros every month to advise Mojca Pašek Šetinc (an MP from the Freedom Movement party – Gibanje Svoboda), who heads the Commission of Inquiry to monitor the misuse of the media for propaganda, according to the Erar web application for the portrayal of public money use in Slovenia, of the Commission for the Prevention of Corruption. Namely, Modic was paid 2,196 euros in November and 1,757 euros in December for his work for the Freedom Movement MP.

The contract with Modic for professional assistance to the Chair of the Commission of Inquiry, Mojca Pašek Šetinc (Freedom Movement), was signed on the 29th of June 2022, and is valid for the period from the 1st of August, until the termination of the Commission. The opposition Slovenian Democratic Party (Slovenska demokratska stranka – SDS) had proposed that Modic should be disqualified as a consultant due to a conflict of interest, as Modic should also be investigated due to suspected illegal state funding of propaganda in the media that happened before the elections. However, the majority of Robert Golob’s coalition MPs rejected this proposal. They do not intend to investigate how Golob financed his propagandists among journalists.

As a result, Modic, a journalist of the “Necenzurirano.si” (Uncensored) web portal, now receives two thousand euros a month from the National Assembly in order to advise the Freedom Movement MP, at the suggestion of the Freedom Movement, to help the party whose politicians he reports on.

In its proposal that Modic should not be allowed to advise Pašek Šetinc due to a conflict of interest, the SDS party noted, among other things, that “The fact is that Tomaž Modic is a director and co-founder of the company Providenta, d. o. o, a journalist of the Necenzurirano.si web portal, and the Director of the company TM, Media Production and Advising. As a journalist and director of the company, he worked with the Siol.net web portal, which is owned by TSmedia, d. o. o., and TSmedia is owned by Telekom Slovenije, d. d., a state-owned company. The Commission of Inquiry will investigate, among other things, the operations of Telekom Slovenije d.d., and, consequently, Tsmedia d.o.o. Tomaž Modic was previously a journalist at the newspaper Dnevnik from February 2007 to December 2015. Today, he is a journalist at the web portal Necenzurirano.si, which is under the umbrella of the media tycoon Martin Odlazek. According to some media reports, there are also financial and content links between Necenzurirano.si and state-owned companies. And let’s not forget about the media reports about how Robert Golob, through the state-owned company GEN-I, which he headed, financed the journalist Vesna Vuković, the third member of the Necenzurirano.si team, alongside Tomaž Modic and Primož Cirman. In 2019, Robert Golob’s GEN-I concluded a contract worth 103,000 euros with SEE M. & C., a company founded and also run for a long time by Vesna Vuković.”

Modic works for a media outlet that is synonymous with propaganda activity for centre-left parties and Golob. This week, the propaganda activity they did for Golob was diverting attention from his mistakes by suggesting that the main problem is Janez Janša, to ensure that Golob would not have to explain the transfers from the Gen-I energy company to Kosovo – and they did that by writing an article entitled: “The Vučić-Janša pact, formed to hunt down Golob.”

In addition to Modic, Vesna Vuković and Primož Cirman were also part of the Necenzurirano.si team in the past. But Vuković is at least officially no longer there, because right after the last elections, Robert Golob officially hired her as the main PR manager of the Freedom Movement party, and the government also hired the Radio-Television Slovenia journalist Petra Bezjak Cirman, who is Cirman’s wife, as the head of the Government Communication Office (UKOM). At the end of last year, as we have revealed in the media outlet “Spletni Časopis”, Cirman liquidated the company founded by Vuković in 2017, to which Robert Golob’s company Gen-I had paid 103,000 euros before the beginning of last year, according to a contract concluded on the 22nd of July 2019. In 2019, the journalistic trio of Cirman, Vuković and Modic, was employed at the state-owned Siol.net. There, the payments to a parallel company were also not disclosed. SEE M. & C. was also financed by today’s Finance Minister Klemen Boštjančič, who transferred 34,000 euros through his consultancy centre Brio, in addition to the 60,000 euros he transferred to Gorenje, and another 73,000 euros that he wired to Adventure Investments.

Before last year’s elections, Golob and Gen-I were not willing to explain why they had transferred 103,000 euros to the company, which Vuković headed as its director until the 10th of May 2021, and similarly, the journalists of the Necenzurirano.si web portal did not want to explain this. When Vuković took over as the main spokesperson for the Freedom Movement party, she announced that she would finally explain within two weeks why the company she founded and ran was receiving money from state and parastatal companies. However, she did not follow through on her announcement. To this day, we still do not know the real reason behind the money transfers.

What we do know, however, from the way the company was liquidated, is that it was not unconnected with the Necenzurirano.si web portal, because the ownership of this company, which was renamed, was eventually taken over by Primož Cirman, who liquidated it personally.

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