On Monday, a debate related to the vote of no confidence against the current Minister of Education, Simona Kustec, Ph.D., was held in parliament. Our editorial board received a list of her travel expenses and card payments, which we compared with the amounts spent by the previous Minister of Education, Jernej Pikalo, Ph.D. It turned out that Pikalo was far more wasteful, but it is also true that he travelled a lot more. He liked to indulge in room service, and he even rented a tailcoat during a protocol visit to Oslo.
We received a comparison of the travel expenses of the former Minister of Education, Jernej Pikalo, Ph.D., and the current Minister of Education, Simona Kustec, Ph.D., which cover the 18-month term of the former and the 11.5-month term of the latter Minister. For Pikalo, they listed 30,938.24 euros in travel expenses, while Kustec’s amount is only 219 euros. The average monthly consumption for business trip expenses is almost 2 thousand euros (1721.29 euros, to be exact) for Pikalo and 5.95 euros for Kustec.
Pikalo charged 4,368.93 euros to his business credit card, while Minister Kustec spent a little less than 243 euros. The list of payments shows that Pikalo mostly used his card to pay for room service in Brussels, New York, London, Tokyo and Paris – in London, he spent as much as 870 euros for it. And in Oslo, he even rented a tailcoat for 350 euros. Some of the money also went to travel costs, which are apparently the most expensive in Paris, as the amounts from his visits to the French capital amounted to as much as 500 or even 800 euros. Meanwhile, on Kustec’s list, there are only items marked as “representation,” to which she allocated a little less than 220 euros in total.
Pikalo has repeatedly expressed his disagreement with the work of the current government, most recently announcing on one of the social networks that “Schools cannot be reopened via Twitter messages on Thursday night. We need a clear plan, a clear scenario, backed by human and financial resources so that schools can reopen.” The prominent member of the SD party was also very bothered by the meeting between Prime Minister Janez Janša and the employees of the education sector, where they discussed the possibility of sending children back to schools, where the Prime Minister explained the situation in Slovenia, taking into account the opinions of the experts, and also presented the measures that should be taken to overcome the crisis, be able to return to schools, and also help the healthcare system survive. “The government has not done anything in the last ten months to enable safe teaching, education and training in kindergartens, schools and universities,” Pikalo said, among other things.