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SDS MP Černač: I Advise That the Government Stops Stigmatising People and Starts Dealing With Real Problems

“This decision reminds us of the dark times in our history, when people were first “branded” because of such lists, and then later, from one day to the next, they were negatively stigmatised. After that, they literally put stamps on them, and in the end, they burned them,” Zvone Černač, an MP from the Slovenian Democratic Party (SDS), was critical at Wednesday’s press conference. In his speech, he was referring to the controversial list that the new government is compiling. The list in question, which belongs to another time, will contain the names and surnames of all civil servants who were employed or were permanently or temporarily transferred to a different position during the term of the previous, Janez Janša government.

Zvone Černač further explained at the press conference that the decision adopted by Golob’s government at its first session, on the basis of which the disputed list will be prepared, is of a distinctly political nature. Moreover, the decision has a fascist, even racist nature, and its sole purpose is to obtain the names of those who are mainly part of the Slovenian Democratic Party’s political group, either directly or they are just its supporters, and through this, they want to “brand” them through the media.

The MP added that there is no rational explanation for the government demanding that ministries prepare a list of employed civil servants. He explained at the press conference that the organisation of work at the ministry is determined by the minister and that the procedures regarding employment are clearly defined, and if there are irregularities, the system of control and sanctioning of violations is clearly defined. The Prime Minister and the Government as such have no powers in this regard.

“I advise the government of Robert Golob to stop stigmatising people and start dealing with real problems. The government, led by Janez Janša for more than two years in difficult conditions, has laid a good foundation for the future. In the last quarter of the year, we recorded the highest economic growth in the world, and the same thing happened in the first quarter of this year when we reached almost 10 percent growth. In comparison, our neighbouring Italy has negative economic growth in the first quarter of this year.”

With this, he also explained that the recruitment of civil servants should not be based on their political beliefs but on their competencies, which was also a key criterion for him. The main problem in the state administration is not the search for members of the Slovenian Democratic Party and thus the negative stigmatisation; the main problem is actually trying to ensure a system which allows for the competent and capable staff to see being employed in state administration as a good opportunity, as there is currently a lack of capable employees. And this is what should be the main task of every government.

Suspicious replacements in the background of the personnel tsunami
The SDS MP also spoke about the personnel tsunami that the government of Robert Golob has been carrying out in recent days. Namely, it replaced more than 50 people in the first week alone. In comparison, the government of Janez Janša replaced only ten people in the same time period, and only in areas where replacements happen with each government that comes to power. We are talking about changes at the top of the police, the Slovene Intelligence and Security Agency, the Government Communication Office and the Government Office for Legislation. And the number of changes is not the only cause for concern; the purpose of the changes is also worrying: “The change of the director of the Office for Money Laundering Prevention of the Republic of Slovenia raises many questions and concerns, as we know that an international investigation into strange practices of the Gen-I energy company, which was headed until recently by Robert Golob himself, and the stolen identity on some accounts in Romania, is currently underway. These are all topics that concern the Office for Money Laundering Prevention, so the express change of director raises strong concerns,” Černač said, worried.

Recently, there has also been a lot of pressuring of the director of the National Institute of Public Health, Milan Krek, mainly by the new Minister of Health, Danijel Bešič Loredan: “In a normal, orderly democracy, such a minister would have been a former minister by now. The National Institute of Public Health is an independent and professional institution, which Mr Krek managed very successfully during the recent difficult times. And through this successful management, he and his colleagues prevented hundreds of thousands of deaths,” Černač believes.

The government also made some changes in the National Institute of Public Health’s council, as well as at the National Laboratory of Health, Environment and Food. They also replaced the director of the Slovenian Infrastructure Agency and appointed a representative of the founder to the board of the Agency for Radioactive Waste Slovenia. Changes have also been carried out in all energy companies – in the supervisory boards of ELES, the SODO company, and the BORZEN company. The new government also replaced the directors of the Public Agency for Marketing and Promotion of Tourism, the Public Agency for Civil Aviation, and the supervisory board of the DRI Investment Management company, which is the largest engineering company in the state and performs many important tasks in the field of state and other infrastructure. The new government also implemented many other personnel changes – more than 50 in total.

The servile media
The MP also spoke about the media coverage of the stigmatisation, personnel tsunami, and controversial changes. “If everything that Golob’s government is currently doing was instead being done by a government led by the Slovenian Democratic Party, there is probably no need to point out what the headlines in these same media outlets would look like. We are therefore witnessing double standards in media reporting, which is extremely dangerous for democracy, as the media is one of the most important control mechanisms when it comes to preventing the authoritarian moves we have witnessed in the last week,” he said.

Sara Kovač

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