On Saturday pengovsky already hinted at the the curious incident which happened last Thursday during the weekly session of Borut Pahor’s government. Namely, the session was broadcasted (audio only) live over the internet, apparently inadvertently. At least that is what they say it happened.
Government in session. Live if necesary. (source)
The stream (Slovene only) was live for about 37 minutes and most of it was promptly recorded and posted on numerous Slovenian sites and for a moment it seemed as if all hell broke loose. Web portals competed in slapping the fattest title possible on their index page and reactions ranged from chuckles to sheer outrage.
And yet, the recording, whose primary protagonists were minister for public affairs Irma Pavlinič Krebs, interior minister Katarina Kresal, defence minister Ljubica Jelušič, justice minister Aleš Zalar and PM Borut Pahor, showed nothing more than that the goverment was acting according to its job description: debating and implementing policies. In this case a very touchy policy of cuts in employment in the civil service.
Minister Krebs was exasperated by the fact that the government missed every deadline and every target to cut employment in civil service by two percent. Truth be told, every government to date had that same goal and every single one of them spectacularly failed to meet it, endind its term with more people employed than it started with. But Krebs was adamant that something had to be done and it had to be done now, because at the moment this particular policy isn’t worth the paper it is written on. And where better to start than with the police and the army. They also fall into the category of “civil servants”, thanks to brilliantly misguided civil service wages reform executed by Krebs’ predecessor, Gregor Virant.
Naturally ministers Kresal and Jelušič went apeshit and a lengthy debate ensewed, primarily between Irma and Katarina, which was finally put to an end by PM Pahor. But – contrary to media reports this was not a cat-fight, nor was there a bitter argument or anything like that. It was simply a matter of bringing together different points of view. Granted, has this government truly functioned as a team, the differences and details would have been ironed out before hand. But as things stand, the government debated it and – as it happens – did not reach a decision yet. And did so in the most civil and respectful ways possible. The debate wasn’t even properly heated. Every media in-house coordination has more punch to it that this supposedly scandalous broadcast. In the end everybody looked good. Irma for trying desperately to cut down the number of civil servants, Katarina and Ljubica for sticking out fot their men, Aleš because he’d rather resign than see more people go, and – last but not least – Borut, who managed to bring it to the end despite everything.
So, maybe the whole thing was not really an accident but a carefully staged PR event, aimed at showing the government being serious about its job… Or it could have been something completely different.