Catch 22

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The Mayor and his very able head of PR service


A funny thought occured to me the other day… If the administrative divison into regions goes on as planned and Ljubljana does become a region unto its own, there’s a high possibility that the law will prevent a single person holding both the office of the mayor and that of the regional head.

And with regions becoming the pricipal player in defining the financial relations with the government, the position of the mayor will be weakened considerably, as the municipality will (figuratively speaking -or not) be left in charge of painting the road-signs and mowing the lawns.


This is still speculation, of course, as the legislation on regions is facing huge obstacles within the rulling coalition, but I do sense a certain anti-Zoki sentiment here… First, they take away the money. Then they choose Maribor over Ljubljana as the country’s Cultural Capital of 2012 (again diverting funds away from Ljubljana). Just a couple of days ago they announced a measure to preserve the current “architectual and otherwise” state of Ljubljana’s Central Market, preventing the start of construction of an underground parking lot there. And now this redistribution of power is looming. A coincidence? I don’t think so… More like a Catch 22.

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pengovsky

Agent provocateur and an occasional scribe.

9 thoughts on “Catch 22”

  1. Wouldn’t it be better to enable the capital to be in a state that you can show off a bit, when people from foreign governments drop by for a visit? What is that region-stuff good for anyway? I mean: besides the posibility to waste a lot of money and act like a huffy brat just to piss onto someone’s leg?

  2. Of course it would be better… Having a provicnial-minded government, however, they are convinced that a couple of ancient tourist attractions are all a capital needs.

    As for the regions: The way things stand now, we have 210 municipalities communicating directly with the government. Also, the municipalities have powers that are disproportionate both to their size and financial reach. So the idea is that a lot of these powers would be transfered to the regions (no less than five, no more than fourteen of them)

    Ljubljana is a special case, however, as everyone seems to agree that Ljubljana region (think Washington D.C., London or Vienna) should be consisted solely of the city of Ljubljana (generating about 50% of Slovene GDP), so it is somewhat logical that the mayor of Ljubljana would automatically become regional head.

    But the powers that be are keen on preventing that to happen.

  3. I actually approve of the government’s provincial-minded attitude. Although it may hurt Ljubljana right now, I think it’s better for the capital in the long run. Ljubljana is already way ahead of the country; helping it get even further ahead while the rest of the country just wallows would be bad news. Especially when Ljubljanians are then forced to support all the unemployed, broke-ass, (and in my case, drunken) bums in the outlying regions.

  4. Point taken… But perhaps I should explain my line of though a bit further: yes, of course, the provices must be developed. But while I still have plenty of misgivings about Ljubljana’s mayor, I agree with him that Ljubljana is being held back in order for provinces to catch up, which sucks.

    But even if that is not the case, there is strong evidence that it is this government that has a problem with this particular mayor

    Because as things stand right now, Ljubljana (via near zero funds from the government) is already supporting provinces at the expense of… well… everything that could but will not be built or modernized.

    Oh, and when I said “provicial-minded” it was a poor choice of words on my part. What I meant was actually “backward, narrow-minded, reactionary and denegerate government”, which seems to believe that culture and architecture should remain as they were in 1910, whereas the society should live in constant fear like in the 1970’s.

    Does that clear up the confusion? 😀

  5. Not directly related, but I’ve always been somewhat amused by the ‘provincialism’ in SLO. With 2 million people, it’s smaller than Cleveland’s Cuyahoga County. Everyone involved has got to come up with a way for the rest of the country to “catch up”. It does suck though, if you’re right, that that catching up is coming at the expense of Mr. Mayor for primarily short term political purposes.

  6. I guess it depends on how you look at it… I’m sure that someone in the municipality of Osilnica (the poorest in Slovenia) doesn’t give a rat’s ass if his area gets more money at the expence of Zoran Janković or someone else.

    And to tell the truth, it would be politically stupid of this government to act differently. A sucessful Zoran Janković can become a serious political threat down the road.

    But as most leaders of Slovenia are not Ljubljanchans, I imagine they see the nation’s capital mostly as a power-source and not as a place where people actually live.

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