By: Janja Strah
Less than a week before the parliamentary elections, which – according to Milan Kučan – are the last battle of his generation, new and new details about the skeletons falling from the closet of Dr Robert Golob, the latest messianic chosen one of the political underworlds, are surfacing. An interview he gave for Primorske novice in November 2014, the year in which the pro-Russian autocrat Viktor Yanukovych was ousted in Ukraine, and Russian President Vladimir Putin responded by activating Russian separatists in Crimea and in the Donbas region of eastern Ukraine, tells something about him.
In an interview, Golob commented on the election of the new European Commission, where Slovenia was given the department of transport (managed by Violeta Bulc). He regretted that Slovenia had not been assigned an energy department, as he hoped that Slovenia could establish a friendlier relationship between the European Union and Russia with its pro-Russian orientation. “In reality, we are not even aware of how much opportunity Slovenia has lost. The Vice-President of the European Commission for the Energy Union will be the person who will have a key influence on the regulation of relations between the European Union and Russia in the coming years. That is why this city is geostrategically extremely interesting and that is why such a hot battle took place for it. And not between individual names, but between two blocs of EU members. In the end, the anti-Russian bloc won, and we were a side damage,” said Golob in the introduction, who in the interview may have revealed his ambition to become a European Commissioner between the lines but tried to deny it later in the interview.
What a pity because they demolished Bratušek…
But this is, of course, only the beginning. Namely, Golob was then an important political functionary of the Alliance party, today the Alenka Bratušek party (SAB), and before that the vice-president of Janković’s Positive Slovenia party. As is well known, that year Bratušek, as the outgoing Prime Minister, tried to provide herself with a comfortable job in Brussels at the European Commission, where she would be – apparently also at the request of then-EC President Jean-Claude Juncker – even vice-president of the top executive. EU bodies. How this ended we, of course, know. However, when asked if this was also his defeat in terms of his party affiliation, Golob replied: “The unfortunate performance of Alenka Bratušek was just an alibi for the fact that this place was eventually occupied by a real man with clear, not at all friendly views towards Russia. Therefore, it is not a defeat for anyone, but I was certainly quite disappointed, like most Slovenian power engineers. We Slovenes have also contributed a lot to losing our position, as we have completely overlooked the importance of the opportunity offered to us due to our antipathy to Alenka Bratušek.” So, Golob regrets that the composition of the European Commission was not pro-Russian.
Regarding the events in Ukraine at the time – namely the violent actions of Russian separatists – he said that the Russians were acting according to a similar logic as the Serbs in the former Yugoslavia: according to the logic of protecting the territory where Russians live. “Westerners, especially Americans, are looking at geostrategic interests.” Well, at the same time, he even emphasised the current US President, then Vice President Joseph Biden, and his son, who worked in Ukraine. It is Hunter Biden who is a rather important excuse for Putin to attack Ukraine, claiming that Biden Jr. was allegedly involved in the production of biological weapons in Ukraine. However, the current views of Golob and the Gibanje Svoboda party are also in favour of Russia and the Putin regime.
Ignorance of tax havens
However, some other “cracks” from the interview are also interesting – for example, about the status of Gen-I, which he led until recently. “You are considered private competition, and at the same time you are, directly and indirectly, a majority state-owned company. Is that not a bit unusual?” Journalist Vesna Humar asked him. “Our competitor in Primorska region, i.e., E3, similarly applies to other distributors, it has 80 percent of public and more than 20 percent private ownership. Half of our company is owned by Gen Energija, which is entirely state-owned, and half is owned by the public joint-stock company Petrol. If we add up mathematically, the state indirectly has a 70%, not management, but capital share. But the difference between us and our competitor is not in these few percentages, but in the company culture. Elektro Primorska and consequently E3 was created as a state monopolist with a special mission and even today it cannot follow this pattern. We were created as a private start-up company, which later included large capital and is now fully controlled, but we are still based on the classic entrepreneurial mindset. It is not a clash of ownership models, but an antagonism of business models,” Golob justified his view on the unusual combination of state and private, and of course kept silent about what has been coming to light lately.
Asked if he has property in tax havens, he answered nonchalantly: “No. Something like that has never even occurred to me, and I do not have enough of it to hide around the world.” Well, the latest discoveries from Romania, of course, deny that. And interestingly, he himself did not deny tax havens at all, but he claimed that those fleeing to tax havens are mostly people unknown to the public. “There is no fool who would go out in the media with money in a tax haven. He who has hidden money is also hidden, far from the radar of the public.”
When an uncontested Prime Minister inadvertently exposes himself to “multiple parties”
However, he revealed in an interview that Golob had already been mentioned at the time as a possible Prime Minister for the composition of the technical government after they overthrew Janša’s second government, but Bratušek jumped in. Regarding the possibility of becoming a European Commissioner himself, he replied: “The fact that I did not decide and would not do so today has nothing to do with politics, but with my personal position. I have three small children, one of them with special needs. I see absolutely no reason to destroy my family, which I would do if I went into politics. Because of that, I was not interested in the offer for the President of the Parliament, the Prime Minister, the commissioner – but everything was on the table. Moreover: when Bratušek was nominated for Prime Minister, the coalition partners at the time made it clear that I was no more desirable than Zoran Janković. Which suited me perfectly.” Well, after a few years, Golob has obviously changed his mind and a child with special needs is no longer an obstacle to his ambitions.
Well, it is also possible that Golob was telling the truth at the time and that the deep state was simply blackmailing him into accepting the role of a useful idiot in terms of a “new face”. Perhaps also because of his old sins, when he kept too much for himself from the money that was supposed to belong to the underworld? Regarding his work as Secretary of State, he said that he was lucky because as a very young man he had the opportunity to get to know the Slovenian political scene up close and then left it at his own request. However, given his involvement in Positive Slovenia, he never completely left SAB and now the Gibanje Svoboda. As he said at the time: “In state politics, it seemed for a while that there could be a twist that we would go beyond the classic multiple parties and give more words to people who have something to say, but it all came crashing down. The parties took care of that. Now it looks different, but, believe me, it is not. I also got into national politics indirectly because of the company I work for. Because in energy you cannot avoid politics, because politics and energy very often go hand in hand. I cared about what happened to the economy.” Sounds familiar? Namely, the term “multiple parties” is very close to the heart of the last party leader Milan Kučan, as he uses this term regularly. And perhaps here Golob inadvertently revealed his closeness to the boss of the underworld.