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Prime Minister Janez Janša: We have a huge number of prosecutors, judges, and criminal investigators per capita, but all this crowd is doing nothing in big corruption scandals!

At the 28th regular session, Prime Minister Janez Janša was asked parliamentary questions, and at the request of Levica MP Matej Tašner Vatovec, a debate was held on mafia management of the state and corruption, which he attributes to the SDS. The Prime Minister explained that mafia management of the state in Slovenia has very deep roots and today represents one of the central problems of Slovenian people, due to which salaries and pensions are significantly lower because too much is still stolen.

As it was said that 3.5 billion dollars had been spent on corruption in Slovenia since this mafia government rose to power, Janez Janša claimed that he had never heard such severe self-criticism. Namely, this figure is from 2016. “Research from the European Parliament’s Research Centre in 2016 finds that the cost of corruption at the European Union level is somewhere between 180 and 990 billion euros. As Slovenia’s GDP is 0.35 EU’s GDP, we can conclude that the cost of corruption in Slovenia is 3.5 billion euros. This is calculated from the estimate for Europe. As far as I know, the left was in power at the time, or at least it was on the rise. As well as other parties that voted for this debate,” said the Prime Minister and thanked for the self-criticism, which is quite rare.

In the case of TEŠ 6, there is no serious judicial epilogue or proceedings against those who conducted the case in the background

The news that the company that invested and built TEŠ admitted corruption and paid 240 million penalties based on the procedure completed in this government disappeared from the Slovenian media in one day, Janša recalled. “We all know that this was a project of the proud successors of the League of Communists. So proven corruption, not what is being said today about the purchase of respirators (a few thousand euros), etc. And where are the judge proceedings? Only individual performers are judged. Probably in the court, which is in the same building as the Social Democrats in Velenje. If you know a court seat in Slovenia at the same address as the SDS, then show it to me. In Velenje, however, you are next door,” he was critical. The fact is that in the case of TEŠ 6 there has been no serious court epilogue or proceedings against those who led the case in the background. Only a few performers are tossing and turning in the courts. “Until they will probably be acquitted for knowing too much.”

As for staffing, Janša said that we all remember the famous USB stick of the SD Secretary General after the elections, when he waved: here are the names with which we will replace all those who are not ours. “This same party now accuses others of political staffing,” the Prime Minister was critical, adding that he had read, among other things, about economist J. P. Damijan, who had been nominated by the KUL for Prime Minister, that he had signed a research-advisory contract with Gen last year. “I believe that the CPC will not open up irregularities, as there are no irregularities in the case of Tomaž Vesel in his afternoon activities. It is just first-class people. So much for the mafia state today.”

He recalled the time when the constitutional law was amended in just a few hours

Janša then spoke about the roots of mafia management with the state. He recalled that on June 25th, 1991, the Slovenian Parliament had adopted a constitutional law for the implementation of the Basic Charter on the Independence and Autonomy of the Republic of Slovenia. He pointed out that Article 11 also contained paragraph 2, which read: The Republic of Slovenia will assume an appropriate share of those state debts of the SFRY, the direct beneficiary of which is not identifiable. “These are so-called unlocated debts. On July 27th, 1994, an amendment to this constitutional law was adopted at a session convened on the same day, and the doors of parliament were locked. No MP was released. The act was published on the same day in the Official Gazette of the Republic of Slovenia.” He said that although they only had four MPs, they pointed out that the law also stated that the share of the debt from the second paragraph of Article 11 of this Constitutional Act would be taken over by the Republic of Slovenia in accordance with the provisions of the agreement with new commercial banks and bilateral agreements of the members of the Paris Club. With this law, paragraph 2 of Article 11 was deleted, changed.

According to Janša, both articles, which were amended, had great consequences for Slovenian taxpayers, namely with this the highest state body was appropriated in such a way that it was kidnapped. “The MPs received the material on the table, they were told that Slovenia would go bankrupt if we do not get rid of the debts of the former branches. You have to accept that.” According to Janša, the vote was taken under this pressure. He says he still does not know today who voted for and who voted against. “Within hours, the constitutional law was amended.” After loudly warning about it, Depala vas affair happened.

The laundering of Iranian money in the NLB represents the greatest crime of international proportions in the country’s history

According to Janša, the greatest crime of international proportions in the history of the Slovenian state, namely the laundering of Iranian money in the NLB, took place during the reign of proud successors. It was not about 800 million, the latest data show that 1 billion 800 million dollars were laundered in the NLB. “The money from the #IrangateNLB affair went to more than 70,000 different accounts, some of which were named Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck. This went beyond all the controls of mafia management of the state. Has anyone been convicted, perhaps accused? No!” he was clear. Janša says that when he sometimes explains #IranNLBgate to his European colleagues, they do not believe that it is possible. “They do not believe that the National Assembly will unanimously accept the report of the commission of inquiry, which contains all the data on the laundering of Iranian money, but nothing happens,” he pointed out.

Janša says that we have many prosecutors, judges, and criminal investigators per capita in Slovenia, but when it comes to major corruption cases involving parallel mechanisms of a deep state, all this crowd is doing nothing. “The dependent media watch every comma, signature, word at the diploma of MP Simonovič. However, when there is doubt about the diploma of the Chief Justice, the dependent media does nothing about it. The Supreme Court even writes that the judge will initiate proceedings and that he will transfer the money to charity,” he was critical, among other things.

Prime Minister Janša answered some parliamentary questions, including Andrej Rajh’s question about the record rise in energy prices. “The last two months since the heating season lasted, not a day goes by in the National Assembly of the Republic of Slovenia when this is not discussed. On the world market and in Slovenia, the prices of practically all energy sources are growing, from natural gas to electricity, heating oil, coal, and consequently emission coupons. This affects heating costs, which is a big and burning problem. The economy is also endangered, not just households,” he said.

The last price increases in the case of petroleum products and natural gas were last seen in the autumn of 2018

In his answer, Janša emphasised that all measures that can be effective must have answers to some key questions at the time they are adopted. “One of these questions is how long such a situation can last. This is a dilemma and a circumstance that will be discussed by the European Council on Thursday. We have received reports from both European energy regulators in recent days.” The Prime Minister pointed out that the assessment of this fundamental issue was that this situation could last until March and April, respectively, with various fluctuations. Then the situation in the energy markets in terms of supply, demand and pressure on prices will calm down. “We last had similar price increases when it came to petroleum products, followed by natural gas prices, in the autumn of 2018. The price of a barrel of crude oil was even higher then compared to today, retail prices were even higher, although they were regulated, and the government at the time took no action. The situation was similar seven years before. This is repeated in cycles,” the Prime Minister reminded.

Janša said that the assessment of European regulators shows that this is not a permanent matter that would accompany us in the coming years, but that this is a fluctuation in the market, where no changes should be made with the changes of market mechanisms. “This is the big picture. From this attempt to clarify the answers to some key questions at the European level and Slovenia is involved in the global and European energy market, it follows that short-term measures addressing immediate problems, especially those that are the most affected by rising prices, are acceptable and in line with the rules of the common European market.”

Janša emphasised that this government, in terms of the scale of measures or proposals when it comes to targeted assistance to individuals, was probably more outspoken than any other country. He is convinced that this is being forgotten. “As soon as it became clear that this situation would last for at least a few months over the winter, the government added a costliness allowance to the tenth corona package (for 300,000 retirees and other vulnerable categories). You have had this law in the National Assembly of the Republic of Slovenia for a month now. It was standing still in the process because the long-term care act was being delayed. I hope that the National Assembly of the Republic of Slovenia will adopt this law by the end of this year, so that at the beginning of next year it will be possible to pay the costliness allowance to more than 300,000 people who need additional money.” As for businesses, he said that a group set up by the government had proposed examining the possibility of lowering value added tax from higher to lower. On Thursday, however, the government will decide whether to implement the measure.

Ivan Hršak from DeSUS asked the Prime Minister if he could say which measures in the field of the elderly have been implemented so far and what the elderly can expect in the future. Prime Minister Janša reminded that during this time pensions had been adjusted three times, twice regularly and once extraordinarily. Regarding a possible extraordinary adjustment this or next month, the Prime Minister said that it is planned at 3.5 percent. As he says, so far there is no final decision on individual categories. According to Janša, the Pension and Disability Insurance Institute has calculated quite precisely in what percentages pensions should be adjusted according to a certain category of pensioners, to equalise the position of all.

Due to the covid-19 epidemic, according to Janša, the solidarity allowance was paid twice. The tenth anti-corona package also envisages the payment of a solidarity allowance for pensioners, recipients of disability benefits and occupational pensions in three categories in the total amount of almost 80 million euros. There will be more than 300,000 recipients, he stressed. “We hope the law will be passed this year so that people get the money as soon as possible,” he stressed.

The Prime Minister also pointed out that the annual allowance for pensioners was paid both last year and this year. The same is planned for next year, more specifically in five classes in the amount of 140 to 450 euros, he announced, according to STA. For this purpose, 169 million euros will have to be paid. “Last but not least, the proposal for a pension amendment with the first signatory Jožef Horvat from NSi, which the government does not oppose, is in the legislative process,” he said, adding that the proposal contains many corrections for categories of pensioners that have been forgotten. “The financial impact for the implementation of the proposal is about 15 million euros,” he said, recalling investments in institutional care for the elderly. “There have been more of these than in 15 years,” he said.

Nina Žoher

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