It has long been rumoured that the so-called “research” Institute of the 8th of March (Inštitut 8. marec) is financed from abroad. The mainstream media was at their beck and call, and it only took a Facebook post announcement of a press conference from them, and everyone from the largest commercial television station, POP TV, to the national media outlet Radio-Television Slovenia, to Odlazek’s network of companies, gathered in front of the National Assembly with microphones held out to the rhetorically extremely modest girls who were fighting against the right-wing government, capitalism, NATO, and the other evils of this world. But now, they have had a slight slip-up – Nika Kovač, the Director of the institute, shared her story (which was filled with lies) with the infamous openDemocracy movement, about how she helped defeat the right-wing Slovenian Prime Minister. And in doing so, she inadvertently revealed that her campaigns were financed from abroad.
Last year, Nika Kovač shared her story on openDemocracy about how her “institute” received money from abroad to campaign against the Slovenian Democratic Party (Slovenska demokratska stranka – SDS). The law is clear: “It is forbidden to finance an election campaign with money from abroad,” pointed out the Vice-President of the SDS party’s youth wing, the Slovenian Democratic Youth (Slovenska demokratska mladina – SDM), Nejc Bence. “Self-reporting from the left happens every day, and meanwhile, the police are engaged in purges and political staffing,” he added.
In the article, Kovač brags about how Golob, in his first speech after his victory, pointed out that one of the reasons for his success was the active work of civil society (NGOs and other groups that fight for different rights) over the past year: “Civil society in Slovenia has woken up, taken to the streets, demanded social change and addressed issues of inequality,” she wrote.
An organisation that is intertwined with left-wing politics
“This is a civil society that is not partisan, but is aware of the need to fight for common values, to be a voice for marginalised communities and to demand change,” Kovač claims, conveniently leaving out the fact that “her” institute was founded by an active politician of the Left Party (Levica), Simon Maljevac, who is currently a minister. “This civil society is directly involved in changing legislation. It runs campaigns and is a mirror of power. And this civil society started the Get Out and Vote movement in Slovenia before the elections and managed to increase the turnout by 20 percent.” Again, Kovač glosses over the fact that the group was linked to the far-leftist and trade unionist Dejan Jefim, who, together with other Ljubljana taxi drivers, organised free transport to the polling stations. The latter, of course, had his own motives for such a campaign, as he himself is the Director of a monopoly service that would be threatened by Uber, which was finally allowed to enter the Slovenian market under the Janša government.
Will Slovenian institutions take action?
Nika told openDemocracy a whole bunch of lies, from claims that they helped pass the “anti-rape” law to claims that they helped opposition parties win a referendum on protecting drinking(!) water. Of course, the far-left will not wonder whether a young activist is lying to them. But it is very obvious that she is using her essays to ingratiate herself with foreign funders who use openDemocracy as a kind of “recruiting ground” to recruit new far-left activists in Western countries.
“Even a foreign foundation has publicly announced that it has given them money for campaigns. But the police don’t act, and neither do the inspectors. Are they perhaps not allowed to, since Nika Kovač received a personal thank you from their bosses, Prime Minister Golob and Speaker of the National Assembly, Urška Klakočar Zupančič?” commented Peter Jančič, editor of Spletniportal.eu.
“I would just like to reiterate this, to ensure that the police and the Court of Audits will not claim that they did not know about this infringement,” added the leader of the opposition and SDS party President Janez Janša.
The Nova24TV editorial office sent the competent authorities questions related to this situation.
Who is OpenDemocracy?
OpenDemocracy was founded in 2000 by left-wing activist Anthony Barnett, former editor of the far-left think tank New Left Review, known for its anti-Western, anti-capitalist views. The first publication saw the light of day in May 2001, and since then, they have been publishing texts that used to be in line with the views and ideology of social democracy but later increasingly moved towards the more radical views of the Western far left, such as Die Linke, Podemos, Syriza and the Slovenian Left party.