Nova24TV English

Slovenian News In ENGLISH

Left-Wing NGOs Are Furious, Ajanović Hovnik Has Caused Them To Lose Their Funding

It has long been known that Slovenian left-wing non-governmental organisations have created a true fiefdom in the public administration, where millions flow into their coffers by default – often through loosely defined and pre-arranged “projects” with officials. But it was only in the case of Sanja Ajanović Hovnik that the public truly perceived the depravity in this sphere. This was also due to the media, which – because of unrelated other interests – finally started to do their job and report on the tenders with NGOs. For the first time, the public was really outraged about where their hard-earned money was going. The government therefore launched a strong PR campaign, dismissed the Minister, and ad hoc annulled the tender, which had already led to NGOs looking forward to decisions with dream sums. Apparently, the NGOs are now quite disappointed by the fact that they have been left without funds simply because of public outrage at the tendering procedures for funds.

The new Minister of Public Administration, Franc Props, recently cancelled a call for proposals for strengthening civil rights and strengthening non-governmental organisations (NGOs), which was one of the reasons that led to the resignation of his predecessor, Sanja Ajanović Hovnik. He had initially wanted to wait for an internal audit, but this is still pending. The unused funds will still be used to support the development of NGOs, but there are no plans to repeat the same call for tenders proposed by former Minister Ajanović Hovnik.

The results of the internal audit will also be shared with the public when they are known, the Ministry of Public Administration has stated. The Commission for the Prevention of Corruption (KPK) and the police are also investigating the tender in question. Among those selected in the tender was also the Gender Equality Research Institute Slovenia (IPES), headed by Kaja Primorac, a good friend of the Minister’s, with whom she also founded the company Smart Centre. Ajanović Hovnik transferred her share of the company to her mother when she took office, and it was not only the fact that the Gender Equality Research Institute, which is closely linked to the Minister, received the funds that was controversial, but also the fact that the Minister’s mother advised the tender applicants for the money, which is more than a clear sign of corruption.

But now, other NGO profiteers have started to complain that they only lost out on the funds because the Minister was too brazen and blatant in funnelling public money into private pockets. And now, the NGOs are outraged – one of them being the notorious Legal Network for the Protection of Democracy, a group of NGOs that, among other things, wrote the (probably unconstitutional) Radio-Television Slovenia Act, which even “their” Nataša Pirc Musar criticised.

“Instead of concluding project implementation contracts with the selected applicants (who had already received the selection decisions last August), the Ministry of Public Administration cancelled the entire call for tenders, even though the audit is still pending. Until we succeed against the arbitrariness of the authorities with legal means, you can support the work of the Legal Network at or by texting PMVD5 to 1919,” the NGO wrote on the social network X. The same request was made by Barbara Rajgelj, whose esoteric NGO (which operates under the umbrella of the Legal Network) has also been the recipient of staggering amounts of public funds.

The NGOs Open Institute and the Legal Centre for the Protection of Human Rights and the Environment (PIC) were also among those selected at the call for tenders. The latter was promised 300,000 euros. The Pride Parade Association, of which the aforementioned Rajgelj was recently president, would also have received funds from the failed tender.

Rajgelj has become accustomed to the idea that state millions are automatically allocated to her

What figures are we talking about outside the failed tender? The Legal Centre for the Protection of Human Rights and the Environment, where Rajgelj is employed, received a total of 2,525,715.27 euros from 2003 until the fall of the Minister. Of this, they received 37,809.96 euros in public funds in September 2023 alone. The Ministry of the Interior is considered one of their biggest funders, having paid them a total of 1,170,195.02 euros so far! The District Court in Ljubljana, the Ministry of the Economy (specifically the Consumer Protection Office), the Eco Fund and the Ministry of the Environment and Spatial Planning are also on the list of organisations that have funded the said NGO before.

And we also need to mention the Open Institute for Diversity Culture, whose director and co-founder is also Rajgelj, along with Nina Hudej (co-owner of the company NORMALA, catering, d.o.o.), Monika Weiss and Nina Kodrič. Although the net turnover of the company in question is not even remotely comparable to the operating income of the café Pritličje (which, according to Ebonitete, amounts to 6,400 euros), it is nevertheless worth looking at how much public money is being channelled into the activities of the institution, which, according to the information available on its official website, promotes the idea of “anti-discrimination, respect for human rights and diversity.” The institute, which is based at Maistrova Street 8 in Ljubljana and carries out “research and promotional projects in the field of human rights, culture, social security and the economic system” (one of the projects carried out was the project “Empowering LGBT families”), has received a total of 144,058.04 euros in public funds in the period from 2010 to the present, according to the application for the portrayal of public money use Erar.

Socialist Rajgelj is also a businesswoman

But that is not all. The income of the most equal of all Slovenian NGO women also comes from her professorship at the Ljubljana Faculty of Social Sciences, where she teaches courses on the foundations of law, labour and social law, and European corporate law.

But even more important is her business involvement. Although Rajgelj vehemently protests against capitalism, in practice, she does not seem to be as opposed to its benefits as one might think. Rajgelj is the co-owner of the Pritličje café, located in a prestigious location – just a few steps from Ljubljana’s Town Hall. The café is considered a popular hangout for left-wing activists, as it hosts numerous talk nights and other cultural events. There is no shortage of parties there, including a party that was held on the 26th of May 2023, to celebrate the “victory” of the leftists, when Constitutional Court judges lifted the suspension of part of the new Radio-Television Slovenia Act.

Almost 1 million euros of turnover a year

If we look at the business of the company NORMALA,catering, d.o.o., which is also co-owned by Rajgelj, we can see that last year the restaurant generated a net turnover of 945,157 euros. During the coronavirus times, when even bars and cafés had to close their doors for a while, the net turnover was, of course, lower – as expected, at 414,710 euros in 2020 and 518,414 euros in 2021. Revenues were higher in the years before, while net sales revenues totalled 693,019 euros in 2018 and 734,227 euros in 2019.

Data on the Erar application also reveals that the company NORMALA, catering, d.o.o., has received a total of 97,778.13 euros in public funds between 2015 and today. The largest amount of funding was received by the company from the Employment Service of the Republic of Slovenia (47.366,09 euros). From the Ministry of Finance, the company has received a total of 32.303,00 euros. Other contributors include the Ljubljana Secondary School of Design and Photography, which contributed a total of 4,126.08 euros, the Health Insurance Institute of Slovenia (ZZZS), the Mladi Zmaji (Young Dragons) Public Institute – the Centre for Quality Spending of Young People’s Free Time, the creative Centre Rog, and the Museum and Galleries of the City of Ljubljana. Smaller amounts were also allocated to the company by some faculties, such as the Faculty of Arts of the University of Ljubljana, and even the Šentvid Ljubljana Grammar School.

Rich NGOs have become accustomed to automatism in the distribution of millions

In the example of the public-money “rich woman” Rajgelj, we can see that the NGOs that received funds from the ridiculous public tender of the Ministry of Public Administration are so angry only because they have become accustomed to automatism in receiving funds. For them, it was a guaranteed income. Together with their ‘friends’, officials in the ministries, they wrote and edited the applications so that it would satisfy some minimum that could then be used to justify the robbery of taxpayers’ money by ‘their’ Court of Audit.

Thanks to Sanja Ajanović Hovnik, who apparently was convinced that “her” NGOs could afford to do just about anything in the modern left-wing media landscape and the complete hegemony of the left – including very obvious nepotism – the public finally realised how their money was being wasted (while government representatives claim that there is no money!). This naturally caused an outrage, and the government – because it knows nothing else – launched an extensive PR campaign and cancelled the whole tender, instead of reviewing the conditions under which such (apparently agreed in advance) tenders take place, or even considering abolishing them.

It is important to stress here that the Ministry of Public Administration really has no legal possibility to cancel the tender – the NGOs are right here that this is an ad hoc decision made by government decree. The tender could be annulled when irregularities are found. However, the hijacked institutions will, of course, never find such irregularities. So, the question now is whether or not it is true what some sources say, that there is a tacit agreement between the ministry (or government) and the NGOs that after the public hearing, the funds will still be paid out (with interest). So, the infamous Gender Equality Research Institute Slovenia (IPES), owned by the minister’s friend Kaja Primorac, will get the money in the end.

I. K.

Share on social media