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Wednesday, October 4, 2023

The Ministry of Culture, during flood recovery efforts, announces a new call for NGOs

By: T.B. (Nova24TV)

Taking from the pockets of taxpayers and distributing among certain groups is the top priority of the current government. As we know, retirees are the last on their list, while the first are non-governmental organisations (NGOs), to which the government will distribute a whopping 600,000 euros once again. The Ministry of Culture has recently announced a (rather creative) public tender, specifically “to strengthen the supportive environment in culture, which will support the implementation of support projects in 2024 and 2025.”

The Ministry of Culture has announced a public tender, for which they have come up with a “rather creative title”. It seems that they have run out of rational reasons to justify taking money from taxpayers, so they have resorted to a more creative approach. The public tender is intended for “strengthening the supportive environment in culture, which will support the implementation of support projects in 2024 and 2025”. The tender is open until October 9th, 2023, and selected applicants will receive a total of 600,000 euros over two years from the Ministry of Culture.

Golob’s government continues to reward NGOs, this time through a public tender for a purpose that seems far from sensible and understandable, especially considering what is most glaring at this moment. Golob’s government is introducing solidarity Saturdays, which are essentially a new tax. They are looking for ways to impose new taxes and indirectly demanding that people cover the costs of flood damage and recovery, while simultaneously announcing a tender worth 600,000 euros, which will (once again) be allocated to NGOs.

There is enough money; it is just going into different pockets

On the Ministry of Culture’s website, it is stated that the “tender addresses the long-standing needs of the cultural sector for systematic development of the support environment. In this sense, it is an upgrade of this year’s pilot tender”. They explained that the tender is divided into four categories and that “according to the Law on Non-Governmental Organisations, thematic networks have the option to apply”. It is also worth noting that “the tender allows for up to 100% co-financing of projects”, which suggests that there is enough money available – for NGOs.

The mentioned tender is truly illogical and goes against all common sense, as highlighted by opposition leader Janez Janša with his statement “Is the Republic of Slovenia serious?”

Reactions to the distribution of money to specific NGOs on social media are extremely negative, and people are losing patience with how Golob’s government is handling their money. One user commented on Twitter, “Do not forget that the minister of this department is Asta Vrečko. She is the new coordinator of @strankalevica… This is how they perceive ‘cutting’ budget funds for people affected by floods… @LukaMesec says on @TarcaRTVSLO that there is no money… #wasters.” Another user’s comment was, “What the fuck??? Can you not wait with these unnecessary projects until the flood aftermath is taken care of???” The absurdity and lack of sense in the description of the tender is evident from the fact that one Twitter user made a joke about it: “Support projects for the supportive environment for the implementation of supportive projects to support supporters….”

This is not the first “creative” tender for allocating funds to NGO

The mentioned tender is just another in a series of ways to distribute money among NGOs. Let’s recall a tender from March, when the Ministry of Public Administration announced a public tender to strengthen active citizenship rights and empower NGOs because, according to their statement on the government portal, NGOs were the most affected during the pandemic. The value of the allocated funds for that tender was a staggering 10,645,000 euros. They claimed that the reason for creating that public tender was “undemocratic practices during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the purpose of the tender was to empower citizens with knowledge and competencies to prevent such practices from happening again”. Of course, they want to portray NGOs as victims of the previous government – “victims” who, unlike the working population, had time to protest in the streets during working hours while others were actually earning their money.


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