By: Sara Kovač / Nova24tv
The people elect their representatives so that the latter can represent the former’s interests. But obviously, this is something that two deputies from Golob’s Freedom Movement party (Gibanje Svoboda) do not understand, as they have not yet managed to utter a single word at the sessions of the National Assembly. Apparently, the main thing for some people is that they get the parliamentary salary to their accounts, while the interests of the voters are of secondary importance to them.
The elections to the National Assembly were held on the 24th of April, and on the 13th of May, with the 9th convocation of the National Assembly of the Republic of Slovenia, the National Assembly as we know it today was officially established. Although eight extraordinary sessions and six regular sessions of the National Assembly are already behind us, where, among other things, votes were taken to the detriment of the citizens (for example, in the case of voting against free meals for schoolchildren or in the case of voting against the Income Tax Act amendment, which would have enabled young people under 26 to save some money), two of the deputies from the Freedom Movement party, namely, Andreja Rajbenšu and Rastislav Vrečko, were left speechless. Therefore, it is not at all surprising if you have not even heard of them before now.
Since both MP Vrečko and MP Rajbenšu were elected on the election ticket of the Freedom Movement in Maribor, the local web portal “Lokalec” is quite angry about their inactivity. “Deputies from Maribor are staying silent both in parliament, as well as when they are asked important, substantive journalistic questions related to the development of Maribor,” the portal critically stated in one of its posts. If we look at the web portal “Parlameter,” which shows statistics about individual MPs, including the number of words spoken, we can see that MP Rajbenšu (who is a member of the Committees for Culture, Economy and Defence), who was elected with 5,644 votes in the electoral district of Maribor II, has not uttered a single word yet. But regardless, she received a payment in the amount of 2,385.28 euros gross at the end of the month for all her “hard” work done between the 13th of May and the 31st of May.
And the same zeal for hard work can also be noticed in MP Vreček, who was elected in the voting district Maribor VI with 4,629 votes. The deputy (who is also a member of the Health Committee, the Committee for Relations with Slovenian Minorities and Slovenians Living Abroad, and the Committee for the Control of Public Finances), who earned a payment in the amount of 2,436.02 euros gross for his work in the period from the 13th of May to the end of the month, did not say a single word in that time, according to the data available on the web portal “Parlameter” – despite the fact that before the elections, promises were made by members of the Freedom Movement that if they were to be elected, Maribor would also be heard in the capital. “I will do everything in my power to ensure that,” was just one of the promises Vrečko made before the elections. It is not entirely clear how it is possible to work in silence for the benefit of those who voted for you.
At this point, it should be mentioned that Vrečko and Rajbenšu are not the only representatives from Maribor who were elected as MPs on the Freedom Movement’s election ticket. However, their colleague Lena Grgurevič is different from them in the sense that she is much more active. According to Parlameter data, she has so far said 9,381 words in the National Assembly. But despite her much greater activity, the deputy does not receive a much higher salary – in the same period as her fellow deputies; she received a salary in the amount of 2,513.97 euros gross. Another very active deputy from Maribor is Dejan Kaloh from Slovenian Democratic Party (Slovenska demokratska stranka – SDS), who has so far said 7,010 words.
It is true that Kaloh already has more experience, as this is his second term as a deputy, but this cannot be used as an excuse for the two deputies from the Freedom movement, who are simply staying silent. Especially in light of the fact that the 29-year-old SDS MP Andrej Hoivik is the person who has spoken the most words so far out of all MPs in the National Assembly, namely 37,438! On top of that, we should also mention that the situation is even more worrying given the fact that Vrečko completed his master’s degree at the Faculty of Law in Maribor and, in the past, worked as a senior financial inspector at the Financial Administration of the Republic of Slovenia, while MP Rajbenšu previously worked as a consultant for managing procedures.
Given that the two members of parliament, who are continuously staying silent, apparently do not even have time to answer the journalistic questions of the aforementioned portal, one cannot help but wonder – if they do not even like to talk, why did they decide to compete for the position of representatives of the people?! The people of Maribor and, of course, citizens as a whole, can justifiably be upset about this, because the Freedom Movement promised a different policy, which the citizens deserved after the “repression” we supposedly witnessed during the term of the Janša government. But according to the Freedom Movement, the citizens only deserve their silence? If the Freedom Movement MPs worked with this attitude while they were still employed in the economic sector, we can be sure that the employer would not keep them for long.