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Are Members of the Left-Wing Opposition Paying for the Text Donations Out of Their Own Pocket?

On World Press Freedom Day, the Slovene Association of Journalists, along with the friends of the Slovenian Press Agency (Slovenska tiskovna agencija – referred to as the STA), announced the beginning of the “STA survival” (obSTAnek) campaign, in which they are raising funds for the STA. According to the president of the association, Petra Lesjak Tušek, this is not just about the STA: “It is about all of us, about our public, about our right to information, about the question of what kind of society we want to live in.” The aim of the campaign is to raise two million euros, which is approximately the amount of the annual payment by the state for the provision of the STA public service. Some of the opposition MPs have also boasted about their donations on Twitter, raising the question of whether they might have been making donations from their work phones – at the expense of the taxpayers.

STA director Bojan Veselinovič has still not submitted the required documentation to the government or the Government Communication Office, which is why a new contract cannot be concluded, and he has also repeatedly mentioned that he is worried if the STA will even survive long enough to be able to celebrate its 30th anniversary. The Slovene Association of Journalists has now responded to this, announcing the beginning of the “STA survival” (obSTAnek) campaign, in which they are raising funds for the STA, with the help of the STA’s friends. The Slovenian Journalists’ Union, the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), the International Press Institute (IPI), the European Association of Press Agencies (EANA), the Department of Journalism at the Faculty of Social Sciences, and lots of different media outlets, including Dnevnik and Nedeljski dnevnik, Delo, Večer, Primorske novice, POP TV, Mladina, and Žurnal 24, are actively participating in the campaign. The campaign is also actively being supported by the trade union headquarters of the Association of Free Trade Unions of Slovenia (Zveza svobodnih sindikatov Slovenije – ZSSS), Pergam, and the Confederation of Slovenian Trade Unions (Konfederacija sindikatov javnega sektorja Slovenije – KSJS). So, in short, the usual group of the leftists.

It is easy to be a humanitarian at someone else’s expense
On Twitter, several deputies have already boasted about their donations – for example, the president of the LMŠ party, Marjan Šarec, the coordinator of the Levica party (The Left), Luka Mesec, the president of the SAB party, Alenka Bratušek, and the leader of the SD party, Tanja Fajon.
Given that all of the MPs use work phones, it is, of course, quite simple to come to the conclusion that they also used their work phones when making the donation via text message – which means that the contribution did not come out of their own pocket. We sent all four MPs a journalistic question regarding this matter but have so far not received an answer yet.

“I have made my contribution. I implore you to do it too,” Mesec said. Twitter users also wanted to know whether he made the donation from his work phone.

“A contribution for independence,” Šarec tweeted, while Fajon also announced a conversation in the European Parliament’s Studio Europa on the freedom and pluralism of the media on Slovenia, among other things. “We will also focus on the illegal financial depletion of the public service STA,” she wrote.

“On the occasion of the World Press Freedom Day, it is a great shame that we have to collect donations in Slovenia for the survival of the STA. Although I would rather boast about how professional the STA service is, I instead have to ask you to help,” Bratušek wrote.

Sara Bertoncelj

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