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Sunday, October 2, 2022

Interpellation, shot in the foot of the left opposition: Minister Simona Kustec was blamed for closing schools, although in reality they were first closed by her predecessor, Minister Jernej Pikalo, who, among other things, wasted a lot of taxpayers’ money

By Sara Kovač (Nova24tv)

Yesterday’s interpellation against the Minister of Education, Simona Kustec, dragged on until the early hours, even though the success of the interpellation was already marked by failure. More or less the same sentences have been repeated for 16 hours, in which the minister was mostly blamed for the epidemic happening at all. She was also accused of being the first to close schools in the whole of Europe – which is not true at all, namely the former Minister Jernej Pikalo was the first to close schools without any preparation for distance learning. These 100 thousand euros, as much as the failed interpellation is supposed to cost, can therefore be added to the account of the wasteful Pikalo – who spent about 30 thousand euros more than Kustec during his term in the office. However, it is true that Minister Kustec has a few more months to make up for this figure and catch her predecessor.

Yesterday we have already reported that we received a comparison of travel expenses of the former Minister of Education dr. Jernej Pikalo and the current Minister Simona Kustec, which covers the 18-month term of Pikalo, and the 11.5-month term of Kustec. For Pikalo, they listed 30,938.24 euros in travel expenses, while the amount of Kustec is only 219 euros. The average monthly expenditure for business trip expenses is almost 2,000 euros (more precisely 1,721.29 euros) for Pikalo, and EUR 5.05 for Kustec. With a business card, Pikalo spent 4,368.93 euros, mostly on hotel services and renting a tailcoat. For comparison, we should also mention that a little more than 200 euros went from the current Minister’s card.

Pikalo travelled quite often, he attended various conferences and meetings, in Paris, London, Madrid, Tokyo, Beijing and so on. Darko Mršić, a former member of the SD’s councillor group in the Borovnica municipal council, who also became Borovnica’s deputy mayor in 2016, posted on Twitter that Pikalo had rented a presidential apartment in Minsk, which cost 1987 euros for two nights. We did not find the exact same number in our statements, but it is also true that his former party colleague may know a thing more than us.

The opposition LMŠ, SD, Levica, and SAB in the National Assembly failed to gather enough votes in support of the interpellation of the Minister of Education, Science, and Sport Simona Kustec. Only 38 MPs voted in favour of the interpellation, and 41 voted against it. For the interpellation to succeed, it would have to be supported by at least 46 MPs. After the defeat in the no confidence vote against the Government, the left wing opposition suffered another blow, namely they failed to gather enough votes for the interpellation of the Minister of Education, Science, and Sport. This time, KUL was two votes

shorter, with 38 opposition MPs voting for the no confidence. The interpellation against the Minister of Labour, Family, Social Affairs, and Equal Opportunities, Janez Cigler Kralj, which is announced for Thursday, promises a similar result.

Analyst Miloš Čirič notes that in the case of Minister Kustec’s interpellation, the opposition failed to come up with any real arguments that would actually confirm the minister’s inadequacy. And in this way, the opposition is losing its credibility and votes in the long run. “As we have seen, there are fewer votes every time, and I think there will be even fewer in the next interpellation,” commented Čirič.

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