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RTV Slovenia – A Fortress In The Hands Of Transitional Predators

On Monday, the 5th of June, the RTV Slovenia Council, which replaced the previous Programme Council, met in the RTV Slovenia conference hall – the very place where the first banners with the words “Death to Janšaism” appeared a few years ago. This happened after the Constitutional Court, with a minority of judges, ruled that the temporary suspension of the new Radio-Television Slovenia Act was no longer necessary.

In line with these facts, the former acting Director-General of the national media outlet Radio-Television Slovenia (RTVS), Andrej Grah Whatmough, who gave a farewell interview on national television on the evening of Sunday, the 4th of June, announced the convening of the inaugural meeting of the new RTV Slovenia Council. The meeting was broadcast by the second channel of the national television, which was a wise move, as taxpayers could see for themselves what the “brave new world” promised by the supporters of the new Radio-Television Slovenia Act really means.

Let us first remind you of what we wrote about last autumn and already repeated several times: the regulation brought about by the latest RTVS law is, in fact, a repetition of something we have seen before. Namely, in 2005, during the first Janša government, the Radio-Television Slovenia Act was approved with a very small difference in the number of votes in favour and against it, thus introducing a Programme Council and Supervisory Board instead of the then-existing RTVS Council, which at that time was headed by the former politician, functionary and businessman Janez Kocijančič, who was also the President of the United List of Social Democrats, as today’s Social Democrats party (Socialni demokrati – SD) was called at the time, between 1993 and 1997. In this body, which constituted of delegate representation of pre-selected institutions, following the model of corporatism, which, incidentally, was also adopted by the Mussolini regime in Italy (and by the Socialist Alliance of Working People of Yugoslavia – SZNJ in Slovenia), Kocijančič was, of course, the representative of the National Olympic Committee of Slovenia. Officially, there was no political influence in this body.

On paper, of course! But since you can write anything down and not necessarily implement it later, there were a lot of controversial things going on all that time. In the 1990s, for example, the RTVS Council twice ousted the Director-General, Žarko Petan, for political reasons because he was politically unsuitable for the majority of that body, and his opponents made no secret of this. When the so-called Grims Law introduced the model that members of the Programme Council, nominated by civil society, are approved by the National Assembly, the transitional left furiously attacked this arrangement, as it made the system transparent and made it clear who was politically accountable, whereas the previous delegate system had entailed more secrecy and covert deals. Similarly, during the period of self-management, the Communist Party seemingly receded into the background, but in reality, it installed the leaders of both workers’ councils and corporations, thus “depoliticising” social subsystems on paper, but in reality, controlling them. However, as France Tomšič, the first chairman of the Social Democratic Party in modern Slovenia, wrote in his book “From Strike to Party” (Od stavke do stranke), since this lacked a polarisation of interests, the self-managed system led the country into economic collapse.

The fifth column at RTVS

It is interesting how the transitional nomenclature waited patiently for the old model of the law to be re-implemented, under which it would seemingly “step down from power”. In fact, the move to “depoliticise RTV” is very similar to the 1990’s “stepping down from power” scam, when the Party ostensibly stepped down from power in order to keep it. As an excuse and pretence, the party succession (both in law and in substance) made it clear to the public that the previous Director-General Andrej Grah Whatmough, the Chairman of the Programme Council Peter Gregorčič, the Director of Television Slovenia Uroš Urbanija, and others had “politically hijacked” the public institution RTV, which should serve everyone, not only the ruling party. They were even more annoyed when Robert Golob took over the government, and RTV was still “under the influence of the opposition” and therefore needed to be “depoliticised”. And this is exactly what has happened with the new law, which the new ruling majority has adopted under the urgent procedure, thus abusing the Rules of Procedure, claiming that the law must be adopted quickly under the said procedure, because the damage is greater every day. This is why there was virtually no public debate on the adoption of the law, as the ruling nomenclature made it impossible and used its propaganda machine with all its might before the referendum on the new law – including the help of striking political activists employed by RTVS.

Forbici as “Golob’s scissors”

The inaugural meeting of the new RTVS Council thus demonstrated the reality of the conquest of the media Bastille, where the “brave new world” now reigns supreme. It would be superfluous to repeat all sorts of procedural complications and revanchist predictions, which are mixed with the “astute” observation of the far-leftists that politics has finally withdrawn from RTVS, which is part of the new rhetoric of the Golob government, where the form of the words is at odds with their real meaning. We therefore want to highlight only some of the most prominent events – for example, how they expelled the head of the legal department at RTVS, Drago Zadergal, who clearly does not belong to their political option, from their meeting, and later protested why there was no one from the legal team to help with the meeting. The meeting was initially chaired by Ilinka Todorovski, who attacked the acting Director-General, Grah Whatmough, saying that his absence showed great disrespect to the new members of the RTVS Council when, in fact, he had not been invited to the meeting at all.

But the main event of the meeting was, of course, the election of a new chairman of the RTVS Council, Goran Forbici, a well-known NGO official, about whom we already wrote five years ago when he “preventively” warned the Slovenian public about what awaited Slovenia if the Slovenian Democratic Party (Slovenska demokratska stranka – SDS) came to power because the SDS party wanted to financially drain the NGOs. Forbici, who has been called “Golob’s scissors”, has been running the Centre for NGOs (Center za nevladne organizacije – CNVOS) for quite a few years now, which is a kind of umbrella network for all Slovenian far-left NGOs like the Peace Institute (Mirovni inštitut), which have received millions of euros from the state over the years. Špela Stare is also considered “orthodox”, as she is the Secretary-General of the regime’s Slovene Association of Journalists. It was even predicted that the Chairman of the RTVS Council might become a left-wing philosopher from the Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts (ZRC SAZU), a regular commentator on mainstream media, Tadej Troha, who, in one of his speeches even reminded his listeners that the RTVS Council meetings would have to change their habits and remove mobile phones, to go back to the period of 20 years ago. Robert Pajek backed up this demand, saying that a limit should be set, and a ban on telephones should be included in the rules of procedure. Well, the members of the RTVS Council were reportedly very nervous about the live TV coverage of the meeting, which was an act of sabotage by the current management of Television Slovenia. Trtnik was reportedly even bothered by the fact that she was not able to have her make-up done before the TV coverage. Meanwhile, Forbici is already, in Orwellian fashion, pressuring the current RTVS management to admit guilt for all the supposed wrong moves made so far.

Is Igor Kadunc coming back?

And what will be the first move of the new “central committee” or party cell at RTVS? They are to appoint the President of the Management Board of RTVS, together with three other members, among whom, mind you, we will now also have the workers’ director – whatever that means. There has already been talk about the councillors needing to speed up the procedure. Igor Kadunc, the current director of the Slovenian Press Agency (STA), who is rumoured to be returning to his old position at RTVS, is urging the authorities to hurry up, which is suspiciously reminiscent of the instructions given in 1945 when the leading communists wrote to the liquidators, urging them to hurry up with the “cleansing”, as the amnesty was imminent. But in this eagerness to introduce a workers’ director, they forgot that, for example, the former programme councillor Slavko Kmetič, who is very unpopular among the leftists, was formerly a workers’ director at Slovenian Railways. But, as always, the comrades who occupied the building on Kolodvorska Street in a partisan manner will feign ignorance and carry their revanchist plan through to the end.

This also raises the question of how they will deal with those employees who have never shown any sympathy for the libertarian paradigm, which is most reminiscent of Milošević’s personnel conquest of the main media in Serbia in the late 1980s (we are referring to journalists such as Jože Možina, Igor Pirkovič …). However, a problem will arise when the behaviour of the “liberators” triggers a mass revolt of the taxpayers, who are all forced to pay the mandatory monthly RTV contribution, as instructions are already circulating on social networks to boycott the payment of the contribution, which is still a legal obligation for now. In short, the time of the “Emperor’s new clothes” has finally passed, and it has become clear that the Emperor is actually completely naked.

Gašper Blažič

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