By: C. R.
All three laws, which will be decided in the referendums on Sunday, November 27th, impoverish Slovenia and impoverish people! Therefore, we believe that people will convincingly say that they are AGAINST!
At today’s press conference, SDS MPs Zvonko Černač, Alenka Jeraj, and Branko Grims spoke about the manipulations that are occurring in connection with the laws that will be decided in the referendums on Sunday, November 27th. “In the absence of arguments as to why it is necessary to vote for the approval of these harmful laws, many lies and manipulations related to the laws have appeared in the last few days, and we want to talk about them today,” said MP Zvonko Černač in the introduction.
AMENDMENT TO THE LONG-TERM CARE ACT
After many years of efforts, a law was finally passed in December last year, which regulates the rights of those who need the help of others, primarily the elderly and the disabled. The law, which was adopted during the time of the government of Janez Janša, clearly defines the rights, sources of funding and the method of gradual enforcement, and also stipulates that all existing rights that are currently in force are valid until the acquisition of new rights, and the latter are more favourable and materially significantly higher than existing rights, and above all, the range of these rights is wider. The annex to the law defines the scope of these rights. MP Černač presented the range of rights on the example of a person receiving care in a home for the elderly: “Depending on the level of care they need, the people receiving care are divided into five categories, and they are entitled to between 340 and 1,870 euros of services per month. In a simplified way, this means that someone who needs 24-hour care, after the implementation of the existing law, if the government law is rejected in the referendum with a vote AGAINST, will acquire rights at a significantly higher level and will only pay for accommodation and food in homes for the elderly. All other rights will be financed from the public treasury.” This means that the individual will receive significantly more than until now, if we know that the amount is an allowance for assistance and service between 157 and 451 euros per month.
“In the discussion about why the government came up with an amendment to the law that blocks statutory rights, we did not hear a single substantive argument as to why. We have heard about the law being unenforceable, but no argument for it. The existing law is very precise. Article 158 very precisely defines the transition to new relationships and to new, higher entitlements. Then we heard that there are no bylaws. Even if there were not, the government is responsible for it. But they were already adopted during the previous government, namely 8 out of 9. Why the ninth bylaw was not adopted during this government, I do not know, but it is the responsibility of the minister who has the jurisdiction for it, and the deadlines have already expired,” the SDS MP listed some of the manipulations and continued: “That all the listed rights also had a basis in finance, we can see today, when we consider the changes to the budget for the next year, the government took 79 million euros in entitlements. These 79 million euros will have to be paid next year, if the government law is not rejected in the referendum on Sunday, from people’s pockets instead of from the public treasury.”
One of the worst lies and manipulations that both responsible ministers and high-ranking state officials have told in public is that the law, which was adopted a year ago, requires 24 months of insurance in order for people to be able to obtain their rights at all. “It is an outright lie, an outright lie. The law very clearly stipulates in Article 138 and others that all of us who have mandatory health insurance are considered to be insured for long-term care as well. And all our rights come from that,” said the SDS MP. The existing law does provide for mandatory insurance for long-term care, but on January 1st, 2025, and until then, everyone who has mandatory health insurance is entitled to the rights to long-term care.
Another severe manipulation, which primarily sowed fear among the weakest, who need long-term care rights, was that they would be left without rights after January 1st, 2023, and that some would even have to leave nursing homes. “None of that will happen. None of that will happen. The law is clear, the transition is clear, everyone who has current rights will keep them until they acquire new rights at a significantly higher level,” emphasised Zvonko Černač.
AMENDMENT OF THE LAW ON RTV SLOVENIA
MP Alenka Jeraj went on to present the manipulations and lies related to the amendment to the Act on Broadcasting. “They want to convince us that they are introducing something new, that they will reorganise RTV, which will be apolitical, which of course is not true. In fact, we had a very similar arrangement in the 1990s, when the so-called civil society was supposed to nominate people, but we know that that programming council was twice as political as it was led by Janez Kocijančič, who on the day of his appointment left the United list of social democrats, the successors of the Communist Party of Slovenia, where he was president. This alone is a sign that the matter can happen again,” warned the SDS MP.
Another manipulation cited by government representatives is that the new law will depoliticise RTV and give more power to civil society, which is absolutely not true. The programme council is shrinking, they are supposed to have only four proposers from civil society. The Olympic Committee of Slovenia, the Association of Disability Organisations, SAZU, and one representative of religious communities. “It excludes viewers and listeners who until now had direct nominations and this is exclusively allocated to some elected by politicians. The human rights ombudsman and the information officer appointed by a certain policy will, as civil society, nominate a member for the programme council. This is just a bypass. It is even worse with other proponents. The National Council for Culture is established by the government, so there are government representatives in it, representatives of only one political option, the one that is in power at that moment, unlike the National Assembly, where there are representatives of all. Similarly, the Council for Sustainable Development and the Environment, which is appointed by decision of the minister, i.e., directly by the minister’s representatives, i.e., representatives of the executive authority, again only one option. The government is thus setting up its own RTV Council, which it will control in this way, and which will be more political than it has been accused of so far. Therefore, it is not true that it is being depoliticised, in fact the government law on RTV means complete politicisation of RTV. They will get rid of those “fucking few” and there will be peace,” said Alenka Jeraj.
Manipulation by government representatives is also the fact that their law does not talk about the RTV contribution and money. “It is not true, because Prime Minister Golob, in response to a letter from the director of RTV, in which he pointed out the difficult financial situation due to the increase in the price of energy products, said that he would discuss this and the increase in the contribution when the law comes into force and the current management is removed. So, the law also plays an important role in financing.” And another manipulation: the viewership of RTV Slovenia has been falling in the last year. “It is not true. Viewership has been falling for the last 10 years, especially for news shows. According to the analysis published by Mladina last week, we can see that viewership has started to increase. And it is higher this September than in September last year and also in October last year,” concluded the MP.
AMENDMENT TO THE LAW ON GOVERNMENT
MP Branko Grims went on to present lies and manipulations regarding the amendment to the Government Act. “The biggest manipulation is certainly the government’s claim that the introduction of three new ministries, with all that entails, will not cost a single euro – this is a quote from the Minister of Public Administration, Sanja Ajanovič Hovnik. And the government even talks about a lean government. With the amendment to the law, the government is proposing 20 ministries, thereby going in a completely non-European direction. Because such a government, not only is it not lean, as it misleads the public, such a government is fattening up with three new ministries and is becoming a European record holder,” said MP Grims and continued: “The bottom line is the cost. The bottom line is that all of this will cost an awful lot. It is not just about three additional ministerial salaries, it is clear that this is being done for those who were voted out of parliament by the voters in the elections, for example Mrs. Alenka Bratušek. Each ministry will create its own bureaucratic apparatus, which always tends to grow, to give itself additional tasks, and all this will be paid for by taxpayers.”
At the end, SDS MP Zvonko Černač once again emphasised the importance of voting AGAINST: “All three laws impoverish Slovenia and impoverish people. I believe that people will convincingly say on Sunday that they are AGAINST this and that they are in favour of preserving their rights, which were legislated some time ago and which they have in all other established laws.”