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Saturday, July 13, 2024

Are the loans of ZRC SAZU director Oto Luthar the reason for his anti-government political dialogue?

By: Sara Bertoncelj / Nova24tv

Dr Oto Luthar is of the opinion that the Slovenian government talks so much about independence and patriotism, mainly because it wants to give legitimacy and stay in power by politically concealing history. These are the words of a historian who is disturbed by the cleansing of pseudo-historiography created under the tactic of the former Communist Party and someone who has been the director of the ZRC SAZU for thirty long years. Luthar, however, has problems not only with (historical) facts, but also with loans. For now, it remains a mystery how he managed to obtain loans from NLB at such a high value, as well as how he repays them.

“Historian Luthar is also considered Sazu’s ‘first political operative’, as a reliable signatory of various petitions – under the guise of science, but as a rule always on the political starting points of the far left, or as a producer of public political statements, often also by seemingly falling out as the views of Sazu,” the portal Požareport wrote about the eternal director of ZRC SAZU Dr Oto Luthar. He has been employed there for thirty years – as old as our independent country. Regarding the statements that are supposed to be SAZU’s positions, let us remember – RTV Slovenia reported in the spring that the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts (SAZU) had expressed the view that it was following Ukom’s attacks on STA with concern. Then it turned out that these statements, i.e. support for the STA, were not recorded in SAZU at all, but obviously in ZRC SAZU. Whether this was a deliberate mistake by RTV is not clear. And on top of that, it was not even a unified statement from this institution, but the statement belonged only to Luthar and his closest circle – which was also pointed out in a letter by some employed researchers.

Who granted him the loans and for what reasons?

The Požareport also wonders about some other strange circumstances concerning Luthar. Namely, he is said to have quite a few monetary debts, which are the result of loans in the total value of around 400 thousand euros. This would not be so unusual if he did not take out more loans at the same bank and even on the same day. With these loans, Luthar has encumbered his holiday house in the Karst, which according to the data is worth only around 100 thousand euros. So much less than his credits. So how is it possible that NLB approved these loans at all? Požareport pointed out the fact that in 2013, when Luthar received four of the five loans shown in the land register, NLB was still state-owned, and ZRC SAZU is also financed with taxpayers’ money. In addition, the question arises as to how the eternal director of ZRC SAZU is repaying his loans, as they monthly amount to approximately as much as his salary – i.e. around 2,300 euros.

Luthar went silent and did not answer all the questions. Požareport pointed out that reporting on the unusually high financial exposure of the director of ZRC SAZU, which is financed from the budget, is in the public interest. The director is at least a relatively public and also a politically exposed person, and after all, the loans were obtained from a state-owned bank.

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