He’s in. He’s out. He’s in…

I know, you’ve seen it already

As of yesterday, speculation is rife about Dimitrij Rupel (yes, him) resigning from his post of special emissary of the prime minister. Throughout the day conflicting reports were coming in about special emissary for general affairs quitting his job over a letter he sent to interior minister Katarina Kresal.

Namely. While he was the seemingly-eternal foreign minister, the bad, bad press caught his wife using ministry car and driver to run errands such as shopping and similar. As pre-election tensions were extremely high and Rupel’s popularity was extremely low (where it remains to this day) all hell broke loose and a criminal investigation began. Which was – not at all suprisingly – dropped soon enough. Come election day and the government changes, with Rupel apparently switching sides and becoming Borut Pahor’s special emissary for god-knows-what. Most of the coalition has a heart attack over this. Three months later interior minister Katarina Kresal names a new chief of police, who – somewhat suprisingly – retains the same head of Crim Police who dropped the investigation against Rupel and his wife. And lo! Behold! Suddenly the investigation is re-opened. Which is possible, as it was dropped rather than closed.

This apparently prompts Dimitrij Rupel to write an angry letter to the minister of the interior, copies of which he sent to the PM, the ombudsman as well as Janez Janša. In the letter he apparently demanded that the investigation be stopped, not in the least because he is one of the architects of Slovenian independence. Rupel reportedly sent the letter in his official capacity as special advisor to the PM, which is yet another example of abuse of power, and PM Borut Pahor apparently asked him to leave his post. Initially it was reported that Rupel did resign, but as the evening progressed, Rupel’s lawyer denied those reports.

If Rupel gets sacked, he will be returning to an unspecified senior diplomatic post within the foreign ministry. Where (adding insult to injury) he will have to report to his succesor, foreign minister Samuel Žbogar. The latter diplomatically said that Rupel would probably be quite useful within the ministry.

In any case: hopefully PM Pahor now finally sees that having Rupel on-board was not such a bright idea. He’s bad news all around and has once again proven that he is not above distorting historical fact if it suits his particular needs. How can I tell? In his rant over at SDS website Rupel (among other wonders of sci-fi) writes that

From the beginning when the first democratic government tackled hostilities of Belgrade and mistrust of the international community, through independence to last year’s EU presidency, it was hard to survive in all the crossfire. Let us not forget that just before the start of the presidenty the then-opposition wanted to topple the government, but the latter won the vote of confidence

Nicely put. Except for the fact that it wasn’t the then-opposition which demanded the vote of confidence. It was then-PM Janez Janša, who wanted to shift the focus and offset the political damage to his right wing government done by Danilo Türk’s victory in presidential elections.

Either Rupel has serious memory problems or he’s a lying bastard. In any case Pahor should get rid of him ASAP.

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Agent provocateur and an occasional scribe.

22 thoughts on “He’s in. He’s out. He’s in…”

  1. Rupel is an insufferable weasel. And Pahor is an utter ass for keeping him (and an ass for other reasons, too, but that’s a topic for another day).

    Yeah, right, Rupel the architect of Slovenian independence. The guy who outsourced Slovenian foreign policy to an American lobbyist for Lockheed Martin and warmongering neoconservative. Who permanently sullied the international reputation of Slovenia and turned a once proud nation into an American client state by affixing his signature as Slovenia’s representative to the despicable Vilnius Declaration, and countless other acts of American ass-kissing. Some independence!

    Throughout his entire unillustrious career, Rupel has been skilled at one thing and one thing only: finding ways to ingratiate himself with power and make a comfortable life for himself, whatever the regime at the time.

  2. Jean! How nice to see you back in action! 😀

    Yes, the Vilnius declaration definitely deserves a special mention in an already long and distinguished list of diplomatic felatio performed by Dimsi. Perhaps there is something to rumours of him being on a certain agency’s roster. Who knows.

    But we must be fair to the man. His lack of diplomatic skill and brusque manner was probably instrumental in putting Slovenia on the map in early nineties. He was the perfect salesman for a little known product. But he has outlived his usefulness to the country long, long time ago.

    He should have been given a pension and a cottage in a remote part of the country at least in 1993. Either that or (to quote Ervin Hladnik Milharčič) he should be made an ambassador to Croatia 😀

  3. What do you mean, “rant at the SDS website”? That’s an inspired and rather inspirational piece of political wisdom, and I for one am very pleased that Rupel believes there is, afterall, more democrats than communists in this country, even if at times it may not (to him) appear so. And the whole broom business was totaly not a standard police procedure against a politician who obviously misunderstands basic tenents of democracy, but rather an authoritarian attack on a helpless, yet resilient democrat, as Rupel says. My trust in Rupel is as strong as the outcome of that election where Milošević got over a 100% of the votes.

  4. I humbly apologise. I was way out of line. Having reflected upon it I now truly believe that Dimitrij Rupel is a beacon in my life and that his picture should be hung in every classroom in Slovenia.

    I will will now go kneel on rice in a corner, facing the wall and whip myself with linden tree branches, while chanting “Dimitrij Rupel is my infalible intellectual inspiration”.


  5. How long will a history of having been “an architect of Slovenian independence” be a “Get Out of Jail Free” card? I mean, thanks for the help, but as they say in one of my favorite books, The 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene:

    “Law #13 When asking for help, appeal to people’s self interest, never to their mercy or gratitude. ”

    48 Laws is a 452 page book, and I’d be happy to pitch in to get him a copy to read while he is off being the ambassador to Burkina Faso or somewhere else equally remote. Get this guy outta here already!

  6. @camille: I actually know that book! I quoted from it in my diploma. Hence I know for a fact that the library at his former place of work (faculty of social sciencies) has a copy. Why waste our money? 🙂

    Burkina Faso? No, no, no… You don’t want another natural disaster in an already ravaged continent.

    Hahahaha, good one! :mrgreen: For the benefit of non-Slovene readers I think I should explain that Dimitrij’s wife is Marjetica (Daisy)

  7. @pengovsky – Good points all around. Does Slovenia have any representatives in Antarctica, seems like we should have a competent man working for us down there….or maybe even Rupel!

  8. At the risk of annoying everyone here, I’m going to say I always admired Rupel, aka the Slovenian Milo Djukanovic. I don’t trust politicians who are guided by ideology or altruism – no, I really prefer the cautious self-interest and whiff of corruption that surrounds this kind of political veteran. 🙂

    I’m obviously not a careful observer like Mr. P, but even from a distance it seems hardly surprising that Rupel was unable to accomodate himself in the new regime. I don’t understand why he just doesn’t do like a normal Western politician, and join a consulting firm or something – they pay handsomely for the kind of access and reputation that a long-term foreign minister brings.

  9. This certainly clears up your Facebook status. Geez, this guy is such a megalomaniac, he could pass for a Belgian politician. :mrgreen: My money is on ‘He’s a lying bastard’, desperate as he is to a) hold up the illusion he never did anything wrong and b) more importantly remain in a power position at all cost. Pahor better come to his senses now…

  10. ha ha good point, nemanja. my family is from africa and i have to say that most of mr.rupel’s offenses are par for the course in probably all the countries there. of course, your maid is going to go to her doctor’s appointment in a government car! of course, you are going to use official letterhead to do EVERYTHING. and of course, being an american we are famous for political dynasties and presidents who use the oval office for all manner of, well you know. so i feel your wariness about altruistic well-meaning politicians; that said, Rupel’s transparency is appalling. Even the most low down dirty politician knows you gotta keep the sheep’s clothing on at least a little; even Mugabe puts on the altruism show.

  11. Mr. P, the sad truth is that Smokey will not “get sacked” in the true sense of the phrase in any event. The worst thing from his POV that can happen is him getting reassigned to another post.

    Nemanja, I think your opinion matches nicely with Milharčič’s column in today’s edition of Dnevnik, which is available online as well.

    This whole matter is so sad that it’s almost funny. Not quite, however.

  12. dr.f, thanks for the article. I liked it a lot – although his tone was sardonic, he did take the trouble to point out Rupel’s not-inconsiderable accomplishments in the field of foreign policy. It seems like an easy job now, but in 1991 it was hardly better than that of the foreign minister of Transnistria or something.

    Perhaps, though, the case of Rupel raises larger questions about what level of corruption we are willing to tolerate and in exchange for what kind of benefit. Is it really so terrible if a minister lets his maid use a government vehicle to get to her doctor, if he’s doing his job conscientiously?

  13. nemanja, it feels like stating the obvious here, but the problem is that Rupel uses his accomplishments as carte blanche for everything. “I want to use government money to fund a private university and I’ll be the main teacher there. You got a problem with that? Did you forget what I did for the country fifteen years ago?” “I’ll possibly no longer be foreign minister, so I’ll apoint myself to a cosy ambassadorial position while I’m still in power as foreign minister. You got a problem with that? Did you forget what I did for the country fifteen years ago?” It’s that attitude that makes Rupel the unpopular politician he is.

  14. Not to mention that Rupel has done far more harm to Slovenia’s image abroad than good. So why on earth should he get any special dispensation?

  15. @nemanja & Cornelius: I have to agree with Cornelius here. Yes, you could argue the cost/benefit rationale, but Rupel has outlived his usefulness in that respect a long time ago.

    @Jean: Personally I think that having him on a government payroll and preventing him to do any actual work is enough of a dispensation 🙂

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