Slovenia: Slovenian PM issues harsh statement to EU Commissioner

Slovenia: Slovenian PM issues harsh statement to EU Commissioner

The Prime Minister of Slovenia, Janez Janša, responded to the call of the European Commissioner for Economy, Paolo Gentiloni, to explain the dismissal of the Director General of the Statistical Office of Slovenia. In the announcement, Janša says that he did not receive Gentiloni’s letter, but the media did. “I hope that this is the last time you play a political game for the Slovenian left”, Janša told the commissioner.

The Government of Slovenia has replaced a politically deployed person with an expert with 30 years of experience in the Institute, Janša wrote on Twitter. He also drew the attention of European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen to his announcement.

SD President Tanja Fajon responded to the Prime Minister’s post on the same social network. As she stated, there is no credible information without credible data. According to her, Gentiloni is looking for explanations because the change at the head of the Republic Statistical Office (SURS) is “a new sign of the cessation of democracy in Slovenia”.

“Janša’s answer is unworthy: when there are no arguments, attacks and slander. This government has destroyed Slovenia’s reputation in the EU”, Fajon claimed.

According to the media, Gentiloni “asked for some clarifications regarding the recent dismissal of the director general of the Statistical Office of Slovenia”. He sent the letter this Tuesday.

Asked about the reasons for the letter, the press service of the Commission said that “the commission is committed to ensuring full respect for the principle of impartiality and professional independence of national statistical institutions, as required by EU law”.

At the end of May, the Government of Slovenia replaced the Director General of the Statistical Office of the Republic of Slovenia (SORS), Bojana Nastava, and appointed Tomaž Smrekar as acting director, until the appointment of a new director after a competition for a maximum of six months, ie until November 22.

At the beginning of June, the Statistical Office of the Republic of Slovenia, an expert advisory body for strategic and development issues of state statistics, initiated a constitutional revision of Nastav’s dismissal. The legal opinion they received shows that the Government invoked the wrong law in the dismissal, they stated in the statement.

As for Nastav’s dismissal, Janša said at the end of May that it was necessary “because of the responsiveness”. “It’s about this body having to work professionally, to be responsive, to be able to rely on the fact that tomorrow, if we need data, we will get the data”, he explained.

The media unofficially state that the reason for Nastav’s dismissal is his refusal to submit confidential information to an unauthorized body of external government advisers./ibna