The moves of the Golob government are becoming clearer by the day: taking from the pockets of taxpayers and dividing the money among certain groups. As we know, pensioners are the last on the list, and the first on the list are the non-governmental organisations, among whom the government will once again distribute a total of 10,645,000 euros. The Ministry of Public Administration has launched a public call for proposals to strengthen active citizenship and empower NGOs, which, according to their entry on the government portal, were the most affected during the pandemic.
The Golob government has found yet another excuse to reward NGOs or their allies for their work. This time, in the form of a public tender, which is being launched for the first time. This tender aims to “strengthen active citizenship rights and empower NGOs,” the government portal says. The tender is worth 10,645,000 euros, and the deadline for applications is the 15th of May.
The Golob government is therefore continuing to reward NGOs. This time, for the first time, it is launching a tender for public funds earmarked for the activities of NGOs in certain areas. The reasons for the tender, according to the government, were “the undemocratic practices during the Covid-19 pandemic, and the purpose of the public tender is to empower citizens with the knowledge and competencies to ensure that such practices do not happen again.” Of course, they once again want to portray NGOs as victims of the previous government – “victims,” who, unlike the working population, had time to pace the streets in the middle of the working week, while the rest of us were actually earning our money.
“This is how you pay for left-wing activism”
The reactions to the distribution of money to selected NGOs on social networks are extremely negative, and people are losing patience with the way the Golob government is handling their money. “This is how you pay for left-wing activism. With ten million euros,” wrote one Twitter user, while some of the other reactions read: “Look at this! The freeloading political cyclists have written a public tender tailor-made for them, which will pay them “around” 10,645,000.00 euros over the next few years for “empowerment” in anti-Janšaism”; “You will feel it the next time you fill up your tank because, through excise duties, the money is being transferred from your pockets into the pockets of Ljubljana’s lazy bums”; “People, look at this! Look at what they are doing to our country. Now they are going to use the money they have taken from pensioners, farmers, workers, the elderly and the sick to feed the (non-)governmental organisations. Now they are going to “empower” them. It’s time to flush them all out!!!” was one of the many negative reactions from Twitter users.
Under the pretext of “promoting democratic processes and democratic action,” the above-mentioned public tender will co-fund projects and programmes of different NGOs, although it is quite clear where this whole thing is headed. The public tender also provides for the co-financing of comprehensive NGO projects to strengthen active citizenship and the empowerment of NGOs, as well as the funding of NGO programmes to develop democracy, strengthen good governance, transparency of government and promote active citizenship.
It should be pointed out that shortly after coming to power, the Golob government met with NGOs and promised them a greater role in decision-making and more money. The NGOs demanded systemic funding from Golob. Of course. The total amount of funding for NGOs before the Janša government was 416.04 million euros in 2020 and 252.29 million euros in 2021. NGOs are now demanding everything back, and the government is just nodding along. And the appetites are big, especially if we look at the figures below, on the number of NGOs in Slovenia.
As of the 14th of March, there were 27,608 registered NGOs in Slovenia, including 23,474 associations, 3,875 (private) institutions and 259 foundations. This is 15 more than on the 1st of February 2023, when there were 27,593 NGOs, including 23,471 associations, 3,861 (private) institutions and 261 foundations. In recent years, the number of NGOs has been increasing by around 500 per year. For example, on the 17th of September 2012, there were 22,490 registered associations, 2,324 institutions and 251 foundations. The number of active associations, institutions and foundations in 2020 was just under 27,000.
It should also be noted that we are talking about an additional 10 million, on top of the 40 million already “gifted” to NGOs. More specifically, the members of the Voice of the People initiative got the 40 million in question, as we have already reported. The 40 million from the state coffers went into the pockets of the members of the Voice of the People initiative, but now the list of organisations has been slightly expanded, and the pile of money has grown as a result. It is quite clear why the current government of Robert Golob is in favour of higher taxes, which have to be taken from somewhere so that they can then be distributed among the NGOs. So, at the end of 2021, we reported that the Voice of the People initiative was made up of NGOs for which almost 100 million came out of our pockets – unfortunately, today, we can no longer record just how much money they have gotten from us so far, because they have long since exceeded that figure, but we can add another 10 million, judging by the new fictitious public tender.