While the personnel changes during the previous government’s term were called “undermining the foundations of the rule of law” (according to the largest commercial television station – POP TV), now, under the patronage of the radical socialists, they are considered a restoration of the rule of law and return of the experts to the places of governance. This is why the Freedom Movement party (Gibanje svoboda) – an instant party drunk on the victory that was handed to it by the media – has become almost as brazen as the Liberal Democracy of Slovenia party (Liberalna demokracija Slovenije – LDS) was in 2004, before it suffered an implosion at the polls. But now, the personnel tsunami started by the Freedom Movement has led to protests coming from within the coalition, which is a first in the history of the Slovenian parliamentary democracy.
Shortly after taking over the power, the Freedom Movement, instead of solving the energy crisis, focused on how to get their deserving soldiers back to the state budget as soon as possible. They changed the board members in nine hospitals, five of the biggest and four of the most critical ones.
The changes in public administration started immediately after the takeover
They replaced Uroš Urbanija, former Director of the Government Communications Office. The acting Director of the Government Office for Legislation, Matja Lekan Štrukelj, was immediately replaced by Rado Fele. The next personnel purge happened in the police, where the Director-General, Anton Olaj, was replaced by Boštjan Lindav, who is loyal to the current coalition. Jaroš Britovšek was removed from the post of Director of the Intelligence and Security Service and replaced by Andrej Fefer. Damjan Žugelj, Director of the Office for the Prevention of Money Laundering, was dismissed at the constituent sitting. He was replaced by Anika Vrabec Božič, who has so far been unknown to the public. According to insiders, Žugelj was dismissed at the request of Prime Minister Robert Golob, who is under pre-trial investigation for his dealings in the Gen-I energy company due to the money siphoned off from the company.
The “liberation” of state-owned companies
The Freedom Movement party was even more apparent in its personnel changes in the economic sector. For example, Golob has completely “liberated” the energy sector. After removing Blaž Košorok, a long-time manager in the energy sector, from his position as Chairman of the Board of the company GEN Energy, he appointed Dejan Paravan to his position, who was Golob’s own confidant and business partner, through the “supervisor” Žiga Debeljak. Debeljak has already beheaded the leadership of the Telekom Slovenije company, too, as he replaced its CEO Cvetek Sršen. vice-Chairman Tomaž Jontes was also dismissed.
The Social Democrats party is not satisfied with the personnel hegemony of the Freedom Movement party
Apparently, Golob has also become too greedy for his own coalition partners, and for the first time, there has also been some disapproval coming from the other coalition parties. For example, Jani Prednik, an MP from the Social Democrats party (Socialni demokrati – SD), who is considered a social democrat of the old, pre-Kidrič school, recently said: “The SD party is not thrilled by the way the Freedom Movement is putting such important personnel issues, such as who will oversee the management of state assets, on the agenda of the government meetings the day before the actual meeting, without first coordinating such a proposal with the coalition. We propose that the Freedom Movement change this practice in the future.”
The naïve Prednik does not understand
Apparently, the SD party and its MP Prednik have not yet been informed that the Freedom Movement party is the real “owner” of Slovenian public assets. Prednik’s statement was naïve; he spoke as if the SD party were a real party and not just an offshoot of one and the same Communist Party. If the Social Democrats were an autonomous party, they would have gone to the elections with a cohesive moderate candidate – someone like Prednik, and not with the radical leftist Tanja Fajon. With Fajon and the Left party (Levica); the more radical branch of the same party ensured that they got the votes from the far left, and that was their main task. The task of getting the votes of the middle and, at the same time occupying all the important levers of corporate powers is the domain of the Freedom Movement, behind which virtually all the rest of the parallel mechanism of the former state has rallied.
The young Prednik therefore does not understand how the unitary party to which he belongs actually operates, even though he himself is not even aware of it. The spoils of war belong to the victors. But the SD party is not the victor – it is merely the side player. The only player is Milan Kučan, exclusively, and the economic underground that is linked to him.