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Citát dne

Karel Havlíček Borovský
26. června r. 1850

KOMUNISMUS znamená v pravém a úplném smyslu bludné učení, že nikdo nemá míti žádné jmění, nýbrž, aby všechno bylo společné, a každý dostával jenom část zaslouženou a potřebnou k jeho výživě. Bez všelikých důkazů a výkladů vidí tedy hned na první pohled každý, že takové učení jest nanejvýš bláznovské, a že se mohlo jen vyrojiti z hlav několika pomatených lidí, kteří by vždy z člověka chtěli učiniti něco buď lepšího neb horšího, ale vždy něco jiného než je člověk.

 


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This article was published on 14.9.2023 in the Slovenian opposition magazine Demokracija. JŠ

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European politicians, together with the Slovenian left and left-wing media moguls, are fighting against real freedom of speech, against pluralisation, against Slovenian journalists and against the truth.

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Mitja Iršič

Sometimes we have the feeling that European officials live on another planet and have no idea what is going on in Slovenia. That is why they sometimes sound ridiculous when they talk about the situation in Slovenia. Let us just remember how, during the Janša government, MEPs described the bleak picture of the Slovenian media landscape, saying that journalists were afraid to leave the house and that powerful right-wing politicians were ruining their careers. Every Slovenian left-winger laughed at the time, of course, because it is clear to them too that the real power to destroy someone's career in Slovenia lies solely with the left. It is not all ignorance. Sometimes it is pure political manipulation, with European politicians helping their Slovenian ideological allies. A textbook example is the Vice-President of the European Commission, Věra Jourová.

For more than two years, she has argued that the failure of the previous government to fund the Slovenian Press Agency (STA) represents a significant European milestone in the persecution of media freedom. She also recently explained in an interview with Investigate Europe how upset she was when Janez Janša's government stopped funding the STA and the agency mounted a fundraising campaign, even going so far as to suggest that this was one of the main motives for proposing European media legislation.

Is Jourová, then, another naive European bureaucrat who has chosen to believe Slovenian left-wing activists in the service of left-wing politics? Not at all. Jourová knows exactly the situation in Slovenia and she knows exactly what is going on

How do I know? Because I was there when we patiently explained to Jourová at the Ministry of Culture, detail by detail, what was going on in the case of the STA not being funded.

We showed her the funding agreement between the Government Office for Communications (UKOM) and the STA, which was signed by the Marjan Šarc government. It clearly stipulated that STA was obliged to provide all supporting documents to enable the government to assess the appropriate amount to be allocated to fund the public service provided by the agency. Otherwise, the government would be distributing taxpayers' money on an ad hoc basis without realistically assessing what is a realistic monthly funding amount. The contract signed by the previous government also stated that payments could be stopped and the government could even legally demand repayment of amounts already paid if the STA failed to hand over its financial management documents. The STA Director refused to hand over the necessary documentation and the Government Communications Office merely enforced the provisions of the contract in accordance with the law. Had the then Director handed over the necessary documents, funding would have been restored the following day. We also told Mrs Jourová that previous left-wing governments had simply paid the amount requested by the STA without even concealing the cost specification - in the vernacular, 'on the spot'. It looked like a conspiracy of convenience between the left-wing governments that ruled for most of 2010 and the long-serving director of the STA.

UKOM quickly realised that the only reason the STA Director refused to hand over the relevant cost estimate documentation was to shed light on the fact that previous governments and the STA had broken the law. The STA Act clearly stated that the Agency was obliged to offer all public services described in the Act free of charge to all Slovenian citizens and media. Instead, STA sold some public services commercially, which meant that citizens and media paid twice for the same service - first through taxes and then as a paid service.

The new director noticed these irregularities and immediately corrected them - leaving the public services, which were free under the law, to the general public and abolishing the paid service, as the law had foreseen. An agreement with the Office of Government Communications to fund both the arrears and the regular annual payments followed almost immediately. The government was praised by smaller media outlets that had previously had to pay for the STA's public services, even though by law they were supposed to be provided for free - the Janša government's efforts thus had a significant impact on their sustainability.

We explained all this to Ms Jourová at several meetings and MEP Romana Tomcová also explained it to her in letters. Each time, she seemed to understand the topic. Then came another media interview, and she began again to spout one-sentence phrases about the Janša government's attack on the STA, taken straight from the arsenal of the Slovenian left-wing vanguard. So don't kid yourself that all European politicians are naive victims of Slovenian left-wing propaganda. They are not - together with the Slovenian left and the left-wing media moguls, they are fighting against real freedom of speech, against pluralisation, against Slovenian journalists and against the truth.

P.S..

Jourová started her political career in the Balkans in the 1990s. She did not learn or teach democracy there. JŠ

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Read the article in Czech with more information about Věra Jourová's past>

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