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torek, 7 decembra, 2021

Along the Party line to cheap Murgle mansions

By: Sara Kovač / Nova24tv

A few days ago, we reported on the skyrocketing silence of Odlazek’s media empire regarding the real estate of the Slovene red nobility, which acquired luxury houses in elite locations in Ljubljana’s Murgle along party lines. In the previous article, we only took a closer look at the former party chief Milan Kučan and the last president of the SRS presidency, Janez Stanovnik. But the aforementioned communist dignitaries are far from the only ones who got their real estate in Murgle at a ridiculously low price.

The average visitor to Ljubljana could describe Murgle as a fairly ordinary sleeping settlement on swampy ground in the southern part of Ljubljana, characterised by beautifully overgrown tree-lined avenues, numerous footpaths leading to the entrance doors of atrium houses, spacious green areas and a pleasant distance from Ljubljana’s traffic.

Nevertheless, at the beginning of the second half of the 20th century, this type of settlement was not considered too desirable in the wider social consciousness (wooden prefabricated houses designed without a conscious search for architectural redundancy were built on unfavourable boggy soils that were suitable neither for high-rise construction nor for agricultural cultivation), which made the prices of Murgle real estate relatively low at the time.

The communist elite enjoyed privileges inaccessible to second-class citizens

The price advantage of real estate, however, was conveniently taken advantage of by all those who knew what it was all about. Those members of the Yugoslav elite who knew of foreign examples of living, especially Scandinavian ones, and thus knew what houses like the ones on sale in Murgle were at the time. They were aware that for the price of an average apartment in a block of flats, they could get their own house with a garden here. This was also the reason why the Murgle houses were quickly transferred to the ownership of the so-called Executive Council of the Assembly of the Socialist Republic of Slovenia, which was also responsible for granting real estate to officials at the time. In a few decades, as a result, a large part of the former communist elite moved here, which, due to its political functions, received already low-cost real estate on a permanent lease for ridiculously low amounts.

All Slovene red functionaries, most of whom still live here today, found their home in Murgle, as the former government apartments, which these houses really represented, were bought by almost all former high-ranking party functionaries after Slovene independence according to the provisions of the so-called Jazbinšek’s Housing Act of 1991. The latter was conveniently adopted for the holders of housing rights of the then social housing, and the prices were up to 10 times lower than the real ones.

Today, the houses in Murgle are worth a real fortune

At such absurdly low prices as Milan Kučan, who deducted only today’s 35 thousand euros for his Murgle house (although its real market value is estimated at half a million euros), the idyllic Murgle real estate was also taken over by the Secretary General of the ZKJ Presidency and the second most important Yugoslav politician Stane Dolanc (1925–1999), former Slovene president, prime minister and leading politician during the Slovene transition Janez Drnovšek (who took over his Murgle house after Dolanc’s move to Gorenjska, its value is today estimated at more than 420 thousand euros), President of the Presidency of the Socialist Republic of Slovenia and long-time president of the Association of Fighters Janez Stanovnik (the value of his house was estimated at more than 294 thousand euros), former first director of the University Clinical Center Ljubljana and speculator with public procurement of medical equipment (scandalous surgical tables, overpaid vascular splints, etc.) Janez Zemljarič, whose “Murgle mansion” is said to be just under 400 thousand, Deputy Governor of the National Bank of Yugoslavia and Minister of Finance in Drnovšek’s government Mitja Gaspari, whose Murgle real estate is estimated by the Surveying and Mapping Authority of the Republic of Slovenia at over 266 thousand euros, former Slovenian Minister of Education and Sports Pavel Zgaga, whose house is valued at 270 thousand, and many others.

Given such fabulous amounts and the fact that they came to the mentioned real estate at significantly lower prices, who else finds the real estate of Janez Janša or any of the current Slovenian ministers who bought their real estate at completely normal market prices problematic?

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