By: Gal Kovač / Nova24tv
The Minister of Labour, Family, Social Affairs, and Equal Opportunities announced the establishment of the Directorate for “Economic Democracy”. The descriptions of the directorate’s tasks are still unclear. The directorate should be in charge of writing legislation that would make it easier for owners to own and enable the creation of a financial mechanism through which buyouts by workers will be financed. Everything indicates that it is a covert way (or the first step) of the nationalisation of private property. Bells should be ringing across the country at this point. Freely after Kordiš, the “chasing” of entrepreneurs with bayonets into the sea began.
As can be understood from the minister’s words, it should, at least in the initial phase, be about mechanisms that enable the voluntary purchase of part of the company’s ownership. But what happens when the authorities “find out” that the workers or employees simply do not have the capital to buy the shares of companies worth considering? For companies in industries with low added value, this is a very likely development. Will the buyout be financed by the state and thus nationalise private companies without the consent of the owners? What happens when the owner does not want to sell the share of the company to the managers in his board? Will the state jump “to the rescue” and simply expropriate the owner in favour of his employees?
The minister’s description of the situation at Domel provides a hint of the ominous future. The employees of the company are said to be in “distress”. Not because of poor working conditions or exploitative wages. No, the employees are in trouble because they cannot forcefully buy out the company’s share from the owners. To illustrate, it is as if in a border dispute between two land owners, one neighbour claims that the other is causing him distress because he does not want to sell him a share of the land. The story with Domel has an additional layer of bizarreness. In this company, a part of the management and employees already bought a part of the company years ago. Today, a good part of those who financed the purchase themselves at the time have already retired. Luka Mesec commented on the situation as follows: “Domel faces the danger that the external owners will eventually become majority owners, and they, in contrast to the employees, primarily want high dividends, but not higher wages and better working conditions.” In laymen terms: Someone who has worked all his life, believed in the company, invested in it with his own funds, which he earned by working in this company, will now have to part with his ownership at the expense of former colleagues. Involuntarily. Namely, if it was a voluntary sale of shares, it would have already taken place.
Domel’s model and Mesec’s proposed solution is, pardon the expression, stupid, and it can only be uttered by a complete economic illiterate who claims that the new socialist government will build apartments at the cost of 7 euros per square meter of construction or that Slovenian exporters are our Achilles heel. Luka Mesec is the infamous author of both statements. Has Luka Mesec already asked himself what will happen when the new owners, who were able to get part of the ownership of the company according to the forced buyout concept, will retire? Will they also be “relieved” of the ownership?
Spreading the model of legalised theft across Slovenia
But Mesec does not intend to stop at Domel. “Following the adoption of the law, the possibility of establishing an employee ownership system will also open up for all other companies that will recognise the added value in this for themselves and their employees,” he stated. Apparently, some kind of workshops for socialist literacy will be organised in Slovenia. A supportive environment for “economic democracy” should be established, mentoring schemes, professional support, education, etc. should be devised. The state will thus educate and raise awareness about the positive aspects of socialist self-management, and this will be aimed primarily at owners of medium and small businesses. In addition to all this, there will also be international connections. Maybe with some experts from Venezuela. At this point, Slovenian entrepreneurs should do a concrete self-reflection, especially those who have allowed themselves to be swayed by the flattery of the socialist power monopolists.
The directorate will come into existence in 2023
So far, it is not yet known when the directorate will become operational. Minister Mesec did not have precise answers to the specific question of the leader of the parliamentary group Jelka Godec. Initially, it was envisaged that the field of “economic democracy” would be part of the newly created Ministry for “Solidarity Future”. Then, in September, Mesec asserted that there would be no ministry, after which the Prime Minister cancelled his plans and said that in the case of referendum approval, the ministers of all three new departments would be appointed. You can read more about the court dispute between the socialist self-governor and the elect oligarch Golob in the article Mesec gave up on the idea, the future will obviously not be one of solidarity.