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Golob’s Watergate – The Financial Administration Affair

He predicted he would be in office for six mandates, but allegedly, “Golob has been harassing his colleagues in the European Commission for some time now, saying that he would like to be the Energy Commissioner in the next European Commission,” as Janez Janša, President of the Slovenian Democratic Party (Slovenska demokratska stranka – SDS) wrote, thus confirming that Golob wants to become European Commissioner.

The affairs are piling up, the promised reforms of the government of Robert Golob are nowhere to be found, and he has led the country into ruin. The biggest scandal we have witnessed in recent days is the revelation of the leaking of classified information from the Financial Administration of the Republic of Slovenia (FURS), better known as the Slovenian Watergate. All indications are that the leaking of information came about as a result of a deal between Golob, Vesna Vuković, the Secretary-General of Golob’s Freedom Movement party (Gibanje Svoboda), and Peter Grum, Director-General of the Financial Administration, who was appointed by the Freedom Movement party.

The end for Golob

Not even two years have passed since he took office, and Robert Golob is already fleeing Slovenia, as he has been disowned by the deep state network that installed him as Prime Minister less than two years ago. Now, the deep state is said to be backing Klemen Boštjančič, the worst Minister of Finance in the history of independent Slovenia.

Less than two years after the last parliamentary elections on the 24th of April 2022, it’s all over for Golob. In April 2022, Golob said that the time for dancing had come. The dance was followed by promises of many reforms and the creation of many timetables. When nothing came of it, we saw the promise that there would be no more promises, only hard work followed by results. But there have been no results either – Robert Golob has proven that he is not a fan of hard work, and in recent months, he has spent more time on leave and sick leave than at work.

The pro-government media are now confirming that Golob and his reign are over. Or as our editor Metod Berlec wrote on the X social network: “Interestingly, even on Radio Slovenia’s Events and Echoes (Dogodki in odmevi) show, they are allowing for the possibility that after yesterday’s turmoil within the largest government party (the departure of Vesna Vuković), there will be a change at the very top of the Freedom Movement party and the government, because Vuković and Golob are so strongly linked. That is to say, the possibility that Finance Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Klemen Boštjančič will replace Golob (who is, once again, ill) as party and government president is becoming more and more real.” Robert Golob was then reportedly back on sick leave and did not even chair the government meeting on Thursday. He is also said to be on leave and sick leave more than at work. His colleagues are also leaving him at an accelerated pace, but more on that later. Let us now turn to Slovenia’s Watergate.

Slovenian Watergate

The police have officially confirmed that they are investigating suspicions of a criminal offence of leaking classified information from the Financial Administration of the Republic of Slovenia (FURS) in what can be described as the Slovenian Watergate affair, one of the biggest political scandals in the country related to the acquisition of secret and confidential information.

Last week, Mojca Šetinc Pašek, the now-former Chair of the National Assembly’s Commission of Inquiry for determining the political responsibility of holders of public office with regard to the alleged illegal financing of political parties and party political propaganda in the media before and during the 2022 elections to the National Assembly with financial resources from state-owned enterprises, state institutions and foreign entities, revealed that the Financial Administration had provided the National Assembly with a very large dossier that allegedly revealed tax secrets of companies and related legal and natural persons for a period of 15 years, meaning, since 2008. The Financial Administration, headed by Golob’s handpicked candidate Peter Grum, confirmed that it had sent the tax data of 19 taxpayers, as well as that of seven natural persons, to the National Assembly.

Mojca Šetinc Pašek, as a signatory to the request on behalf of the National Assembly’s Commission of Inquiry, requested access to the companies’ tax data last October, but only for the period of the investigation, i.e. from the 13th of March 2020, until the date of the parliamentary inquiry at the end of June 2022. However, they received all the data for the last 15 years. However, as if that was not enough, the Financial Administration then published the decision to send the full data of the companies through the government portal. Only some of the names of natural persons were covered up. The Financial Administration thus further broke the law. It is known that the list of companies investigated includes the publishing house Nova Obzorja (New Horizons), which publishes the weekly Demokracija, Nova24TV and Nova. The list also includes the publishers of some small portals that do agree with the ruling left-wing nomenclature. In addition, Šetinc Pašek specifically sought information on the publisher of, a portal owned by Bojan Požar.

Šetinc Pašek has now revealed that the Financial Administration acted arbitrarily, all in collusion with Vesna Vuković (and Robert Golob), the Secretary-General of the Freedom Movement party. Vuković apparently also had access to all of the documents that the Commission had received, which was all illegal, of course, because the law does not allow her to access them.

Šetinc Pašek publicly explained last week that she had tried to return the illegally obtained documents from the Financial Administration, but the National Assembly reportedly said that this was not possible. Supposedly, everything that comes to the National Assembly also has to stay there. She apparently did not remember or did not want to remember that the material was in digital form, where she could only order its deletion. But she supposedly did issue an order ensuring that only the Chair of the Commission has access to the material, if anyone believes that. Well, now Tamara Vonta is the chair of the Commission.

Golob’s close associates are leaving him

Golob’s closest associates are now leaving him. Six ministers have left the government so far, and in recent days, the departure of staff in the Prime Minister’s Office has accelerated. Before that, he also got rid of Marta Kos, Tatjana Bobnar and Mojca Šetinc Pašek. Urška Klakočar Zupančič, co-founder of the Freedom Movement and Speaker of the National Assembly, has also ended up on the sidelines after the initial “loveable” stage. She was also stripped of her vice-presidential position in the party. For a long time, Golob allegedly did not even pick up the phone when she called, they did not speak to each other for a while, and now things are said to have smoothed out to the point where they do not appear to the public as feuding political mates. Due to the developments in the party, Klakočar Zupančič refused to stand as a candidate for the position of Member of the European Parliament. As the most popular member of Golob’s party, she was supposed to be the first on the list. Golob also expelled Robert Pavšič, the Head of Office of the Speaker of the National Assembly, from the party. The fact that Pavšič has been on sick leave since then (for several months) was revealed last week by MP Zvone Černač.

Marta Kos, a former party vice-president, had already given up on Golob some time ago. She wanted to run for President of the country; Golob initially supported her, but then publicly shamed her and betrayed her. He publicly supported Nataša Pirc Musar, the chosen candidate of Milan Kučan, about whom he did not have kind words at the time of his support for Kos. He said that Kučan “often misses the mark” and talks nonsense. He then came crawling back, and Marta Kos gave up all of her roles in the party and returned to Switzerland.

Tatjana Bobnar was Minister of the Interior from the Freedom Movement party. She had to say goodbye because she did not follow Robert Golob’s instructions to fire one of her colleagues whom Golob did not like, but she assessed that the colleague was doing a good job and there was no reason to fire him from the police. She had previously complied with Golob’s requests, though. She also kept quiet when Golob put people in senior positions in the police whom he knew would protect him in case of an investigation of the time when he was running the state-owned company Gen-I. Bobnar left and later joined the President of the Republic’s Office, and then got Robert Golob in trouble by testifying before the National Assembly’s Commission of Inquiry for determining the potential political responsibility of holders of public office with regard to the alleged inadmissible political interference in the work of the Police and other competent state authorities in the fields of taxation and prevention of money laundering, and inadmissible political influence on the conduct and outcome of individual pre-trial and financial control procedures and the detection and prevention of money laundering. She revealed his intentions and modus operandi and also filed a criminal complaint against him.

Mojca Šetinc Pašek was a journalist at the national media outlet, Radio-Television Slovenia (RTVS), for many years. Just before the 2022 elections, she was working on articles in favour of Robert Golob. Then she announced that she was running on the list of “his” Freedom Movement. She was Golob’s heavy fist, heavy hand, loyal also to the deep state. As such, she was appointed chairwoman of a Commission of Inquiry into certain media outlets that are not favourable to those mentioned above. Less than two years later, Golob demanded her replacement, she was thrown out of the party and stripped of her chairmanship of the infamous Commission of Inquiry. She was replaced by Tamara Vonta, a relative of Stane Dolanc, one of Josip Broz –Tito‘s closest associates and a former Minister of the Interior in the Yugoslav government led by Milka Planinc. Šetinc Pašek, who is also related to the revolutionary family through her husband and was given flowers by Milan Kučan, is now done for. She did not reveal the real reason why this happened for a long time. In recent days, however, we saw a turning point. She said that the Commission of Inquiry was set up to destroy the Slovenian Democratic Party. At the same time, she also revealed information about the activities of the Financial Administration, the Director of which, Peter Grum, sent documentation to the National Assembly that he should not have. We have a Slovenian Watergate, which is not widely reported on in the mainstream media, but more on that below.

Getting rid of his colleagues in a very dictator-like manner

But these are not all the changes that Robert Golob has afforded himself. He also sacked the chairman of the Commission of Inquiry into the work of the police, Miha Lamut. Golob accused Lamut of having exceeded his powers in his work, even though the National Assembly’s Legislative and Legal Service had ruled that this was not the case. The fact is, however, that Robert Golob should have been questioned by this very Commission, as well as the heads of the National Bureau of Investigation (NPU) and the Slovene Intelligence and Security Agency (SOVA). Golob’s actions have thus made it impossible for the work of the Commission to continue since none of this has happened so far.

Tatjana Bobnar has stated publicly that Robert Golob works in the following manner: when he makes a decision, he gets rid of any person he wants and does not look back. Golob has therefore gotten rid of a large number of people, colleagues and members of the Freedom Movement party. Recently, the party announced that Vesna Vuković is leaving the post of Secretary-General on the 31st of March. But Vuković’s situation is different. Golob is relegating her to the background, where she will be even more powerful, armed with information she should not have. Mojca Šetinc Pašek, who knows the structure and modus operandi of both Robert Golob and the Freedom Movement party very well, has also pointed out the latter.

The Prime Minister’s Office is also undergoing major staff changes. Close female colleagues and Secretaries of State are leaving the Office. One of the women leaving is Kaja Širok, who was in charge of Culture in the Prime Minister’s Office. Saša Leban, the adviser on economic affairs, has also announced that she is leaving. Leban is the daughter of Rudolf Leban, known for the Patria affair, but also for the Iskra Delta company and the import of computers.

For many, the most surprising departure is probably that of Petra Škofic, the Prime Minister’s Head of Office. Between 1988 and 1990, she was the Organising Secretary at the Republic’s Conference of the Socialist Youth Union of Slovenia and later the Public Relations Adviser to the Liberal Democracy of Slovenia party (Liberalna demokracija Slovenije – LDS). She also held positions in the National Assembly, at the Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of the Interior. In Robert Golob’s Office, she was the voice of reason, as far as external observers could tell. Škofic did not disclose the details of her departure and the reasons for it. She will be succeeded by Luka Špoljar, unknown to the public, a former cadre of the List of Marjan Šarec (Lista Marjana Šarca – LMŠ). Consequently, insiders believe that the Prime Minister’s Office is in shambles and that Golob, just like in many other areas, is short of staff. Špoljar was reportedly recommended to him by Damir Črnčec, State Secretary at the Ministry of Defence, headed by Marjan Šarec. A third of the Prime Minister’s cabinet will thus be replaced in the middle of his term of office. The leader of the Freedom Movement party’s parliamentary group, Borut Sajovic, is also expected to be replaced. He is to be replaced by Nataša Avšič Bogovič, a Member of Parliament from Brežice.

When Golob falls for the so-called influencers

According to some reports, Golob also wants to replace Petra Bezjak Cirman as Director of the Government Communication Office. Bezjak Cirman is a former journalist and former trade unionist at RTV Slovenia. Her husband, Primož Cirman, is one of the leading men of the Necenzurirano (Uncensored) web portal. Both are very supportive of Golob, but Bezjak Cirman is said to be to blame for the government’s declining approval rating. According to the latest public opinion poll, only a good one-and-a-half percent of respondents still rate the government’s work very positively.

At the same time, Golob has also taken it upon himself to create a new communication strategy and team for his own personal protection. In doing so, he is apparently following the ideas of his partner, Tina Gaber. The latter also attends some of the meetings of government committees, and it has been said that they will try to reverse the declining trend in support of the party with a new communication strategy and the help of female influencers. Robert Golob is getting rid of his colleagues who helped him to his position and is following the so-called online influencers, some of whom have no relevant training or experience and a dubious reputation. He is turning the country upside down, and it is clear that he really wants to get out, although he himself said earlier this month that this was not the case. However, he does not want to run just anywhere, but to Brussels – to be the European Commissioner for Energy. That would be a joy, indeed. The whole of Europe would be dancing, just as Slovenia is dancing now.

“This leadership must leave as soon as possible”

Edvard Kadič, political analyst, has also commented on the situation, saying: “If we want a better future in Slovenia, this leadership must leave as soon as possible. The country needs to be governed by people who are far less arrogant, self-involved and corrupt, which is what the Slovenian version of the Watergate affair has revealed to be true.”

Abuses happened knowingly, deliberately and in an organised manner

Milena Miklavčič, a writer, has also responded by saying: “If we are to believe the repentant (Mojca Šetinc Pašek), and so far, no one has even remotely tried to refute her claims, let alone show any evidence to prove that what she is saying is not true, Robi Star and Ford Prefect, or the closest leadership of the Freedom Movement party, have abused the National Assembly, its working bodies, the institution of the Parliament’s professional services, the institution of tax secrecy, and the integrity and professionalism, or impartiality, of the Financial Administration of the Republic of Slovenia, for the purpose of political reckoning with those who do not share their political views and the critics of the regime. They did so knowingly, deliberately and in an organised manner. They were obviously supported, if not actively assisted, by all those who should have nipped this type of activity in the bud.” Note: Robi Star is Robert Golob, and Ford Prefect is supposed to be a pseudonym of Vesna Vuković in the articles on the Necenzurirano web portal.

Vida Kocjan

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