The leader of the Slovenian National Party (SNS), Zmago Jelinčič Plemeniti, stated that there are 400 employees at the Ministry of Culture and that almost 30 years ago there were only around 40. The number of employees claimed during the special session of the Slovenian Parliament Jelinčič’s, is almost two times bigger than the actual number of workers at the ministry and its institutes.
On 2 November 2020 Slovenian parliament held a special session on behalf of the opposition parties LMŠ (List of Marjan Šarec), Levica (The Left), SD (Social democrats) and SAB (Party of Alenka Bratušek). The main topics were governmental interventions and staffing changes in public institutions, which were, as opposition parties stated, brutal and as such interfered with independence of these institutions. Government was supposedly replacing personnel with people connected to the four parties that form Slovenian government coalition and were named for political purposes and intentions. Meanwhile, coalition was defending these staffing decisions by stating that important positions require competent personnel and that these changes were necessary. SNS (Slovenian National Party) agreed with that standpoint. SNS, although not a direct part of coalition, continues to support and cooperate with most of coalition decisions on behalf of a special deal. The party is also known for their strong and often controversial position. As stated in their program, SNS is for withdrawal of Slovenia from the European Union and NATO, they specifically oppose any immigration from Asia or Africa. SNS is also against gay marriage and even if they claim to respect any Slovenian traditional religion, they are against Islam and also against building any “foreign religion” in Slovenia.
Zmago Jelinčič is the leader of this party, and he presented their standpoint about staffing decisions. He emphasized his full support of these changes, assessing that previous personnel had been incompetent and as such, a burden to our country. He then assessed that there are too many employees on some ministries in our country and they end up working there, because they cannot find some other suitable workplace for them. After that, the statement that we have focused on followed:
And then we have a situation, where the Ministry of Culture, which in 1992 had maybe a little over 40 employees, today has about 400 (of them).” – Zmago Jelinčič Plemeniti, Slovenian National Party, during the Parliament session on 2 November 2020 (1:32:00–1:32:12)
Employees at Ministry of Culture
We contacted the Ministry of Culture and asked them to provide us with the exact numbers of employees over the years. They divide their employees into three distinctive groups. Those, that are employed directly at ministry, those who work in the Archive of Republic of Slovenia, and those who work for the Inspectorate of Republic of Slovenia for Culture and Media. We received three sets of numbers from year 2004 until this year with exception of period from April 2012 until the end of May 2013, in which the Ministry of Culture was a part of Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sports. On 19 November 2020 there were 157 people employees working directly at Ministry of Culture. 69 workers were employed at the Archives of the Republic of Slovenia and eight people were employed at the Inspectorate for Culture and Media. Together this brings it to 234 regular workers, which is far from the Jelinčič’s number of about 400.
We have also asked the Ministry of culture to provide us with the numbers of irregular workers. On 19 November there was one non-standard worker working for the ministry. The contract is valid from 28 October 2020 until 27 August 2021. There are also four students working for the ministry. If we add these numbers to the number of regular workers we are still far from 400, at 239 workers.
Zmago Jelinčič Plemeniti: Go count again
We have contacted the author of the statement Jelinčič for his response as well. We wanted to know who or what was the source for the stated numbers. This was his response:
‘’I suggest that you go count again, how many people are employed (directly) at Ministry of culture and at positions that are a part of Ministry of culture.’’
In short, the numbers that the leader of the political party SNS Zmago Jelinčič stated during his speech are incorrect – there are no 400 employees working at Slovenian Ministry of Culture at this moment. Official data includes regular and irregular workers, employed directly at ministry or at institution that is part of ministry and we even added student workers. The correct number is 239 which is significantly less than the number stated by Jelinčič. His statement is false.
RESEARCH | ARTICLE © Žan Libnik, Domen Anderle, Urška Polanc, Urška Bobnar, Nejc Strojnik
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