By: Sara Bertoncelj / Nova24tv
“A lot is happening in Slovenia, elections will be very important in Slovenia next year, so it would be time to start competing with programmes, concepts, how to cooperate in order for Slovenia to progress faster,” said Prime Minister Janez Janša at the regular session of the National Assembly. That the opposition is dealing with his old photographs seems a waste of time to him. He pointed out that last year the average salary in Slovenia increased by 5.4 percent, and in the first year of this government’s term of office, pensions increased by 7.7 percent. We have record low unemployment since 2008. In addition, economic growth is forecasted to be 2 percent higher than last year’s fall.
At the 25th regular session of the National Assembly, the first parliamentary question was asked to Prime Minister Janez Janša by LMŠ MP Robert Pavšič, who pointed out that the Prime Minister’s answers to the questions were a constitutional right of the public. He asked Janša about the morality of his actions. He accused him of not being able to be an advocate of the second class while living the life of an elite. Of course, he hinted at gatherings on Mauritius and on Andrej Marčič’s boat. “Have you in any way allowed any business company to do business with the state? Have you done anything to prevent your private association with lobbyists, tycoons and businessmen from being reflected in potential corruption or clientelism? In your opinion, is what you did and what was documented in any way morally or ethically questionable? Is what you are doing fair,” were Pavšič’s questions to the Prime Minister.
Janša first responded to allegations that he was avoiding invitations to participate in commissions of inquiry. He said he is trying to be able to confirm his attendance for Friday, but his calendar is full. “I have more European and international obligations in one week than your Prime Minister had in a whole year. So it is necessary to choose priorities here as well, and there are telephones in this country, so it is possible to agree on a date,” he explained. As for other working bodies, such as the Public Finance Oversight Commission, he said he does not recall any Prime Ministers attending working body meetings at any time in the past. Regarding the attempt of Pavšič to preach moral sermon, he emphasised that he was not the one to whom he would answer with whom he could socialise privately. To a specific question, he replied: “No.” The Prime Minister remarked that the gentlemen, who were once respected businessmen, have now become tycoons now that they have appeared in the photo with him. He reiterated that no business had been made with him. In his life, Janša spent a total of ten hours on yachts, half an hour on a sailboat, even with former president Milan Kučan.
Why would anyone lobby someone who will have no power
The photos that the media have been publishing lately are from the times when he could afford a vacation, from the times when he was in the opposition – “When we are in the opposition, no one was lobbying – they did not lobby because they knew I am not the target for it. When we are in opposition, your media also write that the SDS will never be in the government again, Janez Janša will never lead the government again – so why would anyone lobby someone who will have no power. So as far as this is concern discuss it with yourself.” Janša also said that the coalition had submitted a law on a different method of public procurement, which would already systematically prevent any similar allegations made by the opposition. If they are so strongly against corruption, the Prime Minister of course hopes that they will also support this law. Thus, there will no longer be a theoretical basis for such discussions.
The SD promises to build housing before every election
SD MP Marko Koprivc reiterated the Prime Minister’s words, saying that the opposition only opens up topics from the past and emphasised that this is not the case. He showed a new bill on the promotion of the construction of public rental housing, which was submitted a few days ago – according to him, by the entire democratic opposition. According to him, the question is whether the coalition will be able to accept this proposal or not. He emphasised that there is a housing crisis in Slovenia, and that only the elite can afford housing. The law is supposed to follow the example of Vienna and enable the construction of 10,000 rental apartments in the next six years. “I ask you if you are ready to support such a legal solution,” he asked the Prime Minister, noting that during the Demos government, the entire public housing fund was sold out with Jazbinšek’s law, leaving everything to the market. Janša further reminded that this was not Jazbinšek’s law. Miran Potrč from SD collected signatures for the amendment and on that basis the apartments were mainly donated – to those who lived in them. According to Janša, if the Jazbinšek’s law had been adopted, a huge fund would have been created for the construction of flats, from which flats could still be built. He also reminded the MP that this promise to build housing always appears before the elections, by the SD party. In the last five years of SD’s rule, 340 flats were built – so much about promises. In the next five years, the housing fund will put almost 4,000 rental apartments on the market based on projects that are already underway. So 10 more than the SD party has built in the last five years. Moreover, more than 1,500 flats will be added to the municipal malt. And all of these are not just promises, because they are already happening. According to Janša, it was also a mistake that most of the flats were built in the center, and the countryside was emptied. “Fortunately, apartments are not being built only in Ljubljana now,” the Prime Minister emphasised.
If there are any serious allegations, it would be good to provide some evidence as well
Levica MP Luka Mesec said that he would not preach morally, but he still felt that the Prime Minister was obliged to explain something to the public regarding contacts with lobbyists. It seems to him that there was a little too much of these random meetings to justify not reporting contacts to the anti-corruption commission. “Can you say with certainty that your meetings with these two men had no bearing on SDS policy? If I look at it from a little distance, I begin to doubt your story about the uncle from the background, Janez Zemljarič, who draws millions from Slovenian healthcare through his supply networks.” Thus, Mesec was interested in how he comments on the influence of Marčič and Božo Dimnik on SDS policy in recent years. The Prime Minister replied that everyone can have their own beliefs. But if there are some serious allegations, it would be good to provide some evidence as well. Especially if there is information about how much a company did with the state in a certain period and how much it earned – the companies mentioned in this story served significantly more during the time of left wing governments. Such are the facts. Regarding the “tycoons”, he added that it is very unusual for them to lobby with them, but then they are in the SD party, in LMŠ, in LDS and in Zares – this is really unbelievable. “Wasn’t Mr. Borut Miklavčič even the Minister of Health in the left wing government? As far as I know, he is Mr. Dimnik’s best friend, not me,” said the Prime Minister. He responded to the Mesec’s further accusations with the words: “Whoever speaks by heart, sooner or later falls into his own trap.” He suggested that everyone vote for the law, for what Dr Marko Noč proposed, and everyone agrees that it will be better.
Now come the bills to save Slovenia of Alenka Bratušek
NSi MP Jožef Horvat asked Janša about the consequences of the actions of the government of former Prime Minister Alenka Bratušek in the bank rehabilitation. At this time, Slovenia has low unemployment, high economic growth, a stable international financial position in the financial markets, and billions in grants for investments under the Recovery and Resilience Fund. We can do a lot of things we have not done before. However, there are also certain risks here, one of which is that the skeletons fall out of the closet. The verdict does not require the state to reimburse directly, but it clearly states that the decision was illegal. So sooner or later there will be some bills – there may be some settlement, we may pay half of it, or even more. “If the subordinates get a refund on the basis of this verdict, then practically all this money will go for the time when Mrs. Bratušek was saving Slovenia from the trio. And instead of borrowing money for cheap, practically interest-free from the European Bank Rescue Fund at the time, she expropriated subordinates and put the entire debt for the rehabilitation of banks on to Slovenian taxpayers. At the same time, she included two more tycoon banks in this rehabilitation package – Faktor banka and Probanka, and we actually gave hundreds of millions of euros or we are still giving for it. This was the rescue of Slovenia at the time for which the bills are now coming,” the Prime Minister explained and was surprised that the main news of the media was his old, already seen photo.