Monthly Archives: November 2013

Krugman: Zarota proti Franciji

The Plot Against France


On Friday Standard & Poor’s, the bond-rating agency, downgraded France. The move made headlines, with many reports suggesting that France is in crisis. But markets yawned: French borrowing costs, which are near historic lowsbarely budged.

So what’s going on here? The answer is that S.& P.’s action needs to be seen in the context of the broader politics of fiscal austerity. And I do mean politics, not economics. For the plot against France — I’m being a bit tongue in cheek here, but there really are a lot of people trying to bad-mouth the place — is one clear demonstration that in Europe, as in America, fiscal scolds don’t really care about deficits. Instead, they’re using debt fears to advance an ideological agenda. And France, which refuses to play along, has become the target of incessant negative propaganda.

Let me give you an idea of what we’re talking about. A year ago the magazine The Economist declared France “the time bomb at the heart of Europe,” with problems that could dwarf those of Greece, Spain, Portugal and Italy. In January 2013, CNN Money’s senior editor-at-large declared France in “free fall,” a nation “heading toward an economic Bastille.” Similar sentiments can be found all over economic newsletters.

Given such rhetoric, one comes to French data expecting to see the worst. What you find instead is a country experiencing economic difficulties — who isn’t? — but in general performing as well as or better than most of its neighbors, with the admittedly big exception of Germany. Recent French growth has been sluggish, but much better than that of, say, the Netherlands, which is still rated AAA. According to standard estimates, French workers were actually a bit more productive than their German counterparts a dozen years ago — and guess what, they still are.

Meanwhile, French fiscal prospects look distinctly nonalarming. The budget deficit has fallen sharply since 2010, and the International Monetary Fund expects the ratio of debt to G.D.P. to be roughly stable over the next five years.

What about the longer-run burden of an aging population? This is a problem in France, as it is in all wealthy nations. But France has a higher birthrate than most of Europe — in part because of government programs that encourage births and ease the lives of working mothers — so that its demographic projections are much better than those of its neighbors, Germany included. Meanwhile, France’s remarkable health care system, which delivers high quality at low cost, is going to be a big fiscal advantage looking forward.

By the numbers, then, it’s hard to see why France deserves any particular opprobrium. So again, what’s going on?

Here’s a clue: Two months ago Olli Rehn, Europe’s commissioner for economic and monetary affairs — and one of the prime movers behind harsh austerity policies — dismissed France’s seemingly exemplary fiscal policy. Why? Because it was based on tax increases rather than spending cuts — and tax hikes, he declared, would “destroy growth and handicap the creation of jobs.”

In other words, never mind what I said about fiscal discipline, you’re supposed to be dismantling the safety net.

S.& P.’s explanation of its downgrade, though less clearly stated, amounted to the same thing: France was being downgraded because “the French government’s current approach to budgetary and structural reforms to taxation, as well as to product, services and labor markets, is unlikely to substantially raise France’s medium-term growth prospects.” Again, never mind the budget numbers, where are the tax cuts and deregulation?

You might think that Mr. Rehn and S.& P. were basing their demands on solid evidence that spending cuts are in fact better for the economy than tax increases. But they weren’t. In fact, research at the I.M.F. suggests that when you’re trying to reduce deficits in a recession, the opposite is true: temporary tax hikes do much less damage than spending cuts.

Oh, and when people start talking about the wonders of “structural reform,” take it with a large heaping of salt. It’s mainly a code phrase for deregulation — and the evidence on the virtues of deregulation is decidedly mixed. Remember, Ireland received high praise for its structural reforms in the 1990s and 2000s; in 2006 George Osborne, now Britain’s chancellor of the Exchequer, called it a “shining example.” How did that turn out?

If all this sounds familiar to American readers, it should. U.S. fiscal scolds turn out, almost invariably, to be much more interested in slashing Medicare and Social Security than they are in actually cutting deficits. Europe’s austerians are now revealing themselves to be pretty much the same. France has committed the unforgivable sin of being fiscally responsible without inflicting pain on the poor and unlucky. And it must be punished

Depressing news from Paul Krugman

Those Depressing Germans


Če malo premislimo, je sporočilo, ki sledi iz Krugmanovega komentarja srhljivo. Nič ne kaže, da bi komurkoli od odgovrnih strokovnjako, politikov in finančnikov po šestih letih prišlo vsaj približnop na pamet, v čem je  problem. Ob vsej neizmerni množici strokovnjakov in mega zmogljivih računalnikov se z opozorili oglaša zanemarljiva in drobcena manjšinica, nekaj preslišanih posameznikov.  Mi ostali plovemo katastrofi nasproti, ponosni, da je človeštvo v znanosti in tehnologiji tako zelo napredovalo. Tako si verjetno mislimo: Bo že kako. Saj je dovolj pametnih ljudi na svetu. Pametni so morda že, Vendar so kljub temu večinoma žrtve iracionalnih verovanj in ideologij, ki so dadomestile starodvane obrede, s katerimo se je človek zbogal z večnostjo. Če bi se nam ljubilo pogledati, kdo vse je tiho in pokorno podpiral nacistični, fašistični, komunistične in druge totalitarne režime in kulte, bi se morali globoko zamisliti. Še zdaleč ni šlo  samo banalnega zlo(bneža) Eichmanna.  Med potrpežljivimi in zvestimi so bili tudi nešteti ugledni profesorji tega in onega.  Tu pa tam tudi kakšen umetnik. KLjub vsemu so ti slednji redki med fanatiki in apologeti.  Samo pamet očitno ne pomaga nič.


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Published: November 3, 2013 847 Comments

German officials are furious at America, and not just because of the business about Angela Merkel’s cellphone. What has them enraged now is one (long) paragraph in a U.S. Treasury report on foreign economic and currency policies. In that paragraph Treasury argues that Germany’s huge surplus on current account — a broad measure of the trade balance — is harmful, creating “a deflationary bias for the euro area, as well as for the world economy.”

The Germans angrily pronounced this argument “incomprehensible.” “There are no imbalances in Germany which require a correction of our growth-friendly economic and fiscal policy,” declared a spokesman for the nation’s finance ministry.

But Treasury was right, and the German reaction was disturbing. For one thing, it was an indicator of the continuing refusal of policy makers in Germany, in Europe more broadly and for that matter around the world to face up to the nature of our economic problems. For another, it demonstrated Germany’s unfortunate tendency to respond to any criticism of its economic policies with cries of victimization.

First, the facts. Remember the China syndrome, in which Asia’s largest economy kept running enormous trade surpluses thanks to an undervalued currency? Well, China is still running surpluses, but they have declined. Meanwhile, Germany has taken China’s place: Last year Germany, not China, ran the world’s biggest current account surplus. And measured as a share of G.D.P., Germany’s surplus was more than twice as large as China’s.

Now, it’s true that Germany has been running big surpluses for almost a decade. At first, however, these surpluses were matched by large deficits in southern Europe, financed by large inflows of German capital. Europe as a whole continued to have roughly balanced trade.

Then came the crisis, and flows of capital to Europe’s periphery collapsed. The debtor nations were forced — in part at Germany’s insistence — into harsh austerity, which eliminated their trade deficits. But something went wrong. The narrowing of trade imbalances should have been symmetric, with Germany’s surpluses shrinking along with the debtors’ deficits. Instead, however, Germany failed to make any adjustment at all; deficits in Spain, Greece and elsewhere shrank, but Germany’s surplus didn’t.

This was a very bad thing for Europe, because Germany’s failure to adjust magnified the cost of austerity. Take Spain, the biggest deficit country before the crisis. It was inevitable that Spain would face lean years as it learned to live within its means. It was not, however, inevitable that Spanish unemployment would be almost 27 percent, and youth unemployment almost 57 percent. And Germany’s immovability was an important contributor to Spain’s pain.

It has also been a bad thing for the rest of the world. It’s simply arithmetic: Since southern Europe has been forced to end its deficits while Germany hasn’t reduced its surplus, Europe as a whole is running large trade surpluses, helping to keep the world economy depressed.

German officials, as we’ve seen, respond to all of this with angry declarations that German policy has been impeccable. Sorry, but this (a) doesn’t matter and (b) isn’t true.

Why it doesn’t matter: Five years after the fall of Lehman, the world economy is still depressed, suffering from a persistent shortage of demand. In this environment, a country that runs a trade surplus is, to use the old phrase, beggaring its neighbors. It’s diverting spending away from their goods and services to its own, and thereby taking away jobs. It doesn’t matter whether it’s doing this maliciously or with the best of intentions, it’s doing it all the same.

Furthermore, as it happens, Germany isn’t blameless. It shares a currency with its neighbors, greatly benefiting German exporters, who get to price their goods in a weak euro instead of what would surely have been a soaring Deutsche mark. Yet Germany has failed to deliver on its side of the bargain: To avoid a European depression, it needed to spend more as its neighbors were forced to spend less, and it hasn’t done that.

German officials won’t, of course, accept any of this. They consider their country a shining role model, to be emulated by all, and the awkward fact that we can’t all run gigantic trade surpluses simply doesn’t register.

And the thing is, it’s not just the Germans. Germany’s trade surplus is damaging for the same reason cutting food stamps and unemployment benefits in America destroys jobs — and Republican politicians are about as receptive as German officials to anyone who tries to point out their error. In the sixth year of a global economic crisis whose essence is that there isn’t enough spending, many policy makers still don’t get it. And it looks as if they never will.

Desnica pretresa evropski establišment

Right wing rattles the European establishment

Kot v tridesetih letih prejšnjega stoletja je vse nastavljeno za katastrofo. Stanje je še mnogo slabše: Thatcher – Reagan (Hoover, laisser faire ali neoliberalizem) poskrbita za krizo. V tridesetih se je vsaj vsaka država lahko reševala po svoje. V EU, še zlasti Evroconi so države talci in morajo izpolnejvati “domače naloge”, za katere se vnaprej ve, da bodo neučikovite. Enosmerna, parcialna poliotika se izvaja zato, ker je Nemčija prevelika in premočna in ima zapleteno psihologijo in ima morda nehote koristi od takega razvoja.  Boji se inflacije, gospodinjska mentaliteta jo zavezuje k varčevanju. Levica ne more sestaviti vlade, ker socilademokrati ne marajo sodelovati z LInke. (Stara tradicija iz tridesetih.) Vse je lepo povezano z imperialnimi interesi globalnega, pretežno ameriškega kapitala. Vsaka izmed ogroženih držav je prepruščena sama sebi. EU sadi rožice, rine glavo v pesek, ponavlja mantro o domačih nalogah  in o približajoči se katastrofi niti ne govori. Gre za iracionalno, magično, infantilno in prastaro prepričanje, da bo grožnja tako morda izginila. Razumljivo, saj v Evropi prevladuje thatcherjanska desnica, ki jo ne odlikuje zapleteno sistemsko razmišljanje, ampak nagovarja gospodinsko in kmečko pamet.   Še večji problem, še bolj odgovorna je alternativa, t.i. levica, ki razen obtoževanja, demonizacije  nasprotnikov in prilagajanja njihovim programom (neoliberalnim) ni sposobna ničesar. Še posebej je cepljena proti samokritiki, proti vprašanju, s čim pa mi sami povzročamo tak razvoj. Politična korektnost, danske mesne kroglice in božično drevo v spodnejm članku je lep laboratorisjki vzorec obnašanja evrospke, verjetno tudi svetovne levice. Problem, upravičeno ali neopravičeno doživljanje orgoženih identitet je proglašen za neproblem, za zgolj desničarski fenomen. Zato  se ga zamolči ali prepove. Politična korektnost poskrbi, da se vsi problemi, nasprotja in napetosti vstrajno pometajo pod preprogo. Tako pritisk v evropskem loncu nekontrolirano narašča,  in nihče se ne ukvarja s trem, kako zmanjšati ogenj in kako katastrofalne bodo polsedice eksplozije.  Še kredibilnih akademskih študij na to temo ni. In to kljub temu, da smo vse to že nekoč videli, v predvojni weimarski Nemčiji .


Laerke Posselt for The New York Times:

Mikkel Dencker, a mayoral candidate in Hvidovre, Denmark, put up campaign posters. He has made the removal of meatballs from kindergarten in deference to Islam a campaign issue.

 A member of Denmark’s Parliament and, he hopes, mayor of this commuter-belt town west of Copenhagen, Mr. Dencker is furious that some day care centers have removed meatballs, a staple of traditional Danish cuisine, from their cafeterias in deference to Islamic dietary rules. No matter that only a handful of kindergartens have actually done so. The missing meatballs, he said, are an example of how “Denmark is losing its identity” under pressure from outsiders.

The issue has become a headache for Mayor Helle Adelborg, whose center-left Social Democratic Party has controlled the town council since the 1920s but now faces an uphill struggle before municipal elections on Nov. 19. “It is very easy to exploit such themes to get votes,” she said. “They take a lot of votes from my party. It is unfair.”

It is also Europe’s new reality. All over, established political forces are losing ground to politicians whom they scorn as fear-mongering populists. In France, according to a recent opinion poll, the far-right National Front has become the country’s most popular party. In other countries — Austria, Britain, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Finland and the Netherlands — disruptive upstart groups are on a roll.

This phenomenon alarms not just national leaders but also officials in Brussels who fear that European Parliament elections next May could substantially tip the balance of power toward nationalists and forces intent on halting or reversing integration within the European Union.

“History reminds us that high unemployment and wrong policies like austerity are an extremely poisonous cocktail,” said Poul Nyrup Rasmussen, a former Danish prime minister and a Social Democrat. “Populists are always there. In good times it is not easy for them to get votes, but in these bad times all their arguments, the easy solutions of populism and nationalism, are getting new ears and votes.”

In some ways, this is Europe’s Tea Party moment — a grass-roots insurgency fired by resentment against a political class that many Europeans see as out of touch. The main difference, however, is that Europe’s populists want to strengthen, not shrink, government and see the welfare state as an integral part of their national identities.

The trend in Europe does not signal the return of fascist demons from the 1930s, except in Greece, where the neo-Nazi party Golden Dawn has promoted openly racist beliefs, and perhaps in Hungary, where the far-right Jobbik party backs a brand of ethnic nationalism suffused with anti-Semitism.

But the soaring fortunes of groups like the Danish People’s Party, which some popularity polls now rank ahead of the Social Democrats, point to a fundamental political shift toward nativist forces fed by a curious mix of right-wing identity politics and left-wing anxieties about the future of the welfare state.

“This is the new normal,” said Flemming Rose, the foreign editor at the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten. “It is a nightmare for traditional political elites and also for Brussels.”

The platform of France’s National Front promotes traditional right-wing causes like law and order and tight controls on immigration but reads in parts like a leftist manifesto. It accuses “big bosses” of promoting open borders so they can import cheap labor to drive down wages. It rails against globalization as a threat to French language and culture, and it opposes any rise in the retirement age or cuts in pensions.

Similarly, in the Netherlands, Geert Wilders, the anti-Islam leader of the Party for Freedom, has mixed attacks on immigration with promises to defend welfare entitlements. “He is the only one who says we don’t have to cut anything,” said Chris Aalberts, a scholar at Erasmus University in Rotterdam and author of a book based on interviews with Mr. Wilders’s supporters. “This is a popular message.”

Mr. Wilders, who has police protection because of death threats from Muslim extremists, is best known for his attacks on Islam and demands that the Quran be banned. These issues, Mr. Aalberts said, “are not a big vote winner,” but they help set him apart from deeply unpopular centrist politicians who talk mainly about budget cuts. The success of populist parties, Mr. Aalberts added, “is more about the collapse of the center than the attractiveness of the alternatives.”

Pia Kjaersgaard, the pioneer of a trend now being felt across Europe, set up the Danish People’s Party in 1995 and began shaping what critics dismissed as a rabble of misfits and racists into a highly disciplined, effective and even mainstream political force.

Ms. Kjaersgaard, a former social worker who led the party until last year, said she rigorously screened membership lists, weeding out anyone with views that might comfort critics who see her party as extremist. She said she had urged a similar cleansing of the ranks in Sweden’s anti-immigration and anti-Brussels movement, the Swedish Democrats, whose early leaders included a former activist in the Nordic Reich Party.

Marine Le Pen, the leader of France’s National Front, has embarked on a similar makeover, rebranding her party as a responsible force untainted by the anti-Semitism and homophobia of its previous leader, her father, Jean-Marie Le Pen, who once described Nazi gas chambers as a “detail of history.” Ms. Le Pen has endorsed several gay activists as candidates for French municipal elections next March.

But a whiff of extremism still lingers, and the Danish People’s Party wants nothing to do with Ms. Le Pen and her followers.

Built on the ruins of a chaotic antitax movement, the Danish People’s Party has evolved into a defender of the welfare state, at least for native Danes. It pioneered “welfare chauvinism,” a cause now embraced by many of Europe’s surging populists, who play on fears that freeloading foreigners are draining pensions and other benefits.

“We always thought the People’s Party was a temporary phenomenon, that they would have their time and then go away,” said Jens Jonatan Steen, a researcher at Cevea, a policy research group affiliated with the Social Democrats. “But they have come to stay.”

“They are politically incorrect and are not accepted by many as part of the mainstream,” he added. “But if you have support from 20 percent of the public, you are mainstream.”

In a recent meeting in the northern Danish town of Skorping, the new leader of the Danish People’s Party, Kristian Thulesen Dahl, criticized Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt, of the Social Democrats, whose government is trying to trim the welfare system, and spoke about the need to protect the elderly.

The Danish People’s Party and similar political groups, according to Mr. Rasmussen, the former prime minister, benefit from making promises that they do not have to worry about paying for, allowing them to steal welfare policies previously promoted by the left. “This is a new populism that takes on the coat of Social Democratic policies,” he said.

In Hvidovre, Mr. Dencker, the Danish People’s Party mayoral candidate, wants the government in, not out of, people’s lives. Beyond pushing authorities to make meatballs mandatory in public institutions, he has attacked proposals to cut housekeeping services for the elderly and criticized the mayor for canceling one of the two Christmas trees the city usually puts up each December.

Instead, he says, it should put up five Christmas trees.

Mate Dolenc: Slovenija, država za dobro znane lopove

Requiem za dom navadnega človeka

Bil sem navzoč pri rušenju hiše – črne gradnje – Darka Kuzmiča v Bohinju. Hiše, ne vile. Dodajam; hiša je bila njegov dom, ne vikend! Trideset let. Ni bila arhitektonska grdobija, kakršne sicer rastejo v Bohinju, ampak gozdna brunarica. Darko je mizar, z estetskim občutkom za les. Hiša je bila skoraj nevidna, zadaj za Mladinskim domom. Ni človeka, ki bi lahko rekel, da je koga motila ali kazila naravo. Razen države Slovenije. Tam je bila okrog 40 let, 30 let je bila Darkotu dom. Ni je postavil on, ampak Mladinski dom v državni lasti, za hišnika. To je bil Darko.

Rušenje sta vodila neka inšpektorica in neki uradnik z veličastnim konjskim repom na glavi in rinko v ušesu, kot bi prišel s Papue Nove Gvineje. In okrog 40 policajev. Tu so bile seveda tudi odločbe. Darko naj bi izčrpal vse pravne možnosti za zadržanje rušenja. V dveh letih. Za Jakliča (in vse jakliče) se po osmih letih najdejo še vedno nove in nove in nove pravne možnosti, da se mu ne ruši. In še se bodo, saj ima mož denarja kot pečka in temu denarju se ne izmakne ne uradnik, ne sodnik, ne politik.

Slovenska država ni bila narejena za državljane. Narejena je bila za janše, jankoviće, peterlete, ruple, rodete, bavčarje, virante, erjavce, pahorje in podobno svojat.

Ob slovesu od svojega doma je Darko poljubil sliko Tita. Razumem ga in se s to gesto globoko strinjam.

Nikoli nisem tako preziral države Jugoslavije (čeprav je nisem maral), kot zdaj preziram državo Slovenijo. Državo, ne domovino. Domovino sem obdržal, zgoraj našteti mi je niso mogli vzeti. Ker jo imam v svoji notranjosti. Tja biriči ne morejo vstopiti. Ne pri Darkotu, ne pri meni.

Ali pa se bo sčasoma zgodilo tudi to?

Mate Dolenc

Gorazdova 15, Ljubljana, Belgija

Tako slovenska država razume pravo in socialno spodobnost

Kot že toliko vladnih kolegov pred njim, nam je tudi tokrat minister za infrastrukturo in prostor Samo Omrzel zagotavljal, da tu ni nobenega problema, da je vse zakonito in da zakoni morajo veljati za vse enako. To smo slišali že ničkolikorat  v zvezi z izbrisanimi, z afero Plut, z zaseženo hišo v Grosupljem itd. itn. Pozneje pridejo računi, večinoma iz evrsopkega sodišča. In potem davkoplačevalci plačujemo take “strokovno neoporečne” sodbe  in ukrepe slovenskih sodišč in drugih državnih organov z zakonitimi obretsmi vred.. Tudi če je vse zakonito, čeprav tudi tokrat kaže da ni, bo verjetno  epilog tak, da bo porušena Kuzmičeva hiška pomagala  legalizirati črnogradnje vrsti naših Jakličev.
Milka Bizovičar, gospodarstvo

čet, 07.11.2013, 21:28

Črne gradnje: Državljanom v posmeh
Si predstavljate, da vam podrejo hišo, naslednji dan pa ni več denarja za rušitve črnih gradenj?
Samo dan po tem, ko je država spet našla način, da je svojim neposlušnim državljanom pokazala mišice in Bohinjčanu Darku Kuzmiču podrla hiško, v kateri je bival dolga leta, je resorni minister preostalim lastnikom črnih gradenj povedal, da bo od danes povsem drugače. Vsi, ki so brez ustreznih dovoljenj zgradili kakšen vikend, brunarico, hiško ali pa stajo za razvajene koze, ki se rade kopajo v bazenu – mimo tega znanega Jakličevega primera pač res ne moremo –, bodo lahko svoje objekte čez kakšno leto legalizirali. Če so le gradili na svoji zemlji ali pa imajo služnost na njej.Čeprav se bodo lastniki črnih gradenj zaradi tega nemara oddahnili, je vprašanje, kaj o tem mislijo državljani. Vključno z Darkom iz Bohinja. Si predstavljate, da dolga leta živite v neki hiški – verjetno ne v napoto sokrajanom, ker vas drugače v stiski ne bi podprli –, potem pa pridejo uradniki in vam v prah, strogo po črki zakona, porušijo streho nad glavo? In to prvi dan, ko je marsikdo iz omare potegnil bundo. In vrh vsega ravno dan pred tem, ko na ministrstvu povedo, da zdaj pa nimajo več denarja za rušitve črnih gradenj. Naj pade še tista v Bohinju, da bo zmanjkalo za ono Türkovo, ki bi jo menda morali zravnati z zemljo konec meseca na obali. Ha! Zdaj je jasno, kako bodo inšpektorji tam »poskrbeli za vzpostavitev zakonitega stanja«, kot so dejali pred kratkim.Minister noče komentirati primerov, ki še niso rešeni, zato ne vemo, kaj si misli o tem, da ta vila in ona kozja staja še vedno stojita. Povedal pa je, da se z rušitvijo Darkove hiške ni nikomur zgodila krivica, ker je bil objekt po vseh pogojih zrel za rušitev. V nasprotju s prej omenjenimi? »V tem primeru se je izkazalo, da smo pravna država, saj elementarni pogoji pravice do gradnje niso bili izpolnjeni. Država je izpolnila svojo obveznost.« Državljanom v poduk in posmeh hkrati.

Črne gradnje: Državljanom v posmeh

Se še kdo spomni nekega superministra?

Napaka za prihodnost
Tina Kristan, Ozadja

čet, 07.11.2013, 21:00

Napaka za prihodnost
Verodostojnosti Turku niso vzeli mediji, ne predstavniki javnega šolstva, ne sodišče.

»Da bi se pogovarjali o dejstvih, bom odgovoril z vprašanjem: Koliko novih fakultet ali univerz smo ustanovili? Katera je bila na novo akreditirana? In katera je dobila koncesijo?« se je lani na eni javnih tribun zagovarjal takratni superminister Žiga Turk.

Ni bilo prvič in še zdaleč ne zadnjič. Skoraj ni bilo dogodka, na katerem ga ne bi doletelo vprašanje: Ali varčujemo v javnem šolstvu zato, da bi ostalo več denarja za zasebne šole? In ves čas je vztrajal: ne. Včasih se je celo zdelo, da takšno vprašanje na kakšnem predvsem protokolarnem dogodku ni bilo primerno. Napaka.

A pojdimo po vrsti in govorimo, kot je rekel minister, o dejstvih. Pri tem ne pozabimo njegovega poskusa, da po nujnem postopku spremeni zakon o visokem šolstvu. Ideja je bila, da bi vlada imenovala celoten svet nacionalne agencije za kakovost v visokem šolstvu, organa, ki podeljuje akreditacije zavodom. Ni mu uspelo. Je pa vladi uspelo nadpovprečno znižati sredstva za visoko šolstvo. Poleg tega, kar je ključno, je vlada v zadnjih izdihljajih, dan po tem, ko ji je parlament izglasoval nezaupnico, objavila razpis za podelitev treh koncesij zasebnim visokošolskim zavodom. Dan po tem je bil razpis objavljen v uradnem listu, teden dni pozneje pa so na ministrstvu že odpirali prispele vloge. Še preden so to storili, smo v Delu razkrili, da pogoje razpisa za tri koncesije izpolnjujejo zgolj štirje zavodi. Naglica pri vsem tem je bila še toliko bolj nerazumljiva, ker so se koncesije podeljevale šele s študijskim letom 2014/2015.

Vnaprej znani zmagovalec je bila, denimo, tudi fakulteta, ki je v solasti inštituta, katerega soustanovitelj je bil Borut Rončević, sicer direktor direktorata za visoko šolstvo na superministrstvu. Da gre za Fakulteto za medije, verjetno ne preseneča. Mediji so namreč tisto področje, za katerega je bila takratna stranka na oblasti in katere del je tudi Turk, ki je sicer iz vseh organov stranke izstopil kmalu po zaključku ministrskega mandata, vedno še posebno dovzetna. Nove novinarje pač potrebujemo, čeprav so le nekaj mesecev pred tem za petino zmanjšali število vpisnih mest v družboslovju.

Tako je bil cilj superministra, ki ga je ves čas zanikal, dosežen. Napaka. Dokaz za to je tudi odločitev upravnega sodišča, ki je razveljavilo že podeljene koncesije, pri tem pa zapisalo, da sta bila razpis in podelitev koncesij diskriminatorna ter neustavna in nezakonita. Koncesije so dobile rdeči karton, s tem pa tudi superminister. In tako izgubil svojo verodostojnost. Nismo mu je vzeli ne mediji, ne predstavniki javnega visokega šolstva, ne upravno sodišče. Povrhu tega je zdaj prav zaradi koncesij še pod drobnogledom NPU. Torej še eden v vrsti politikov, ki bi moral izgubiti pravico, da bi kdajkoli v prihodnje še opravljal kakršnokoli javno funkcijo? So to res previsoki standardi za Slovenijo? Če bi takšne postavili že pred leti, danes morda ne bi poslušali napovedi, da bo Slovenija prihodnje leto poleg Cipra edina država v recesiji.

Prvi dan slovenske glasbe



Spoštovani uredniki, cenjeni novinarji!

V Sindikalni konferenci glasbenikov GLOSA – SKG smo pripravili strokovno srečanje ob prvem DNEVU SLOVENSKE GLASBE.

Namenjamo ga glasbenim izvajalcem, avtorjem, založbam, predstavnikom državnih organov in vsem, ki so na kakršne koli načine povezani z glasbo. V ospredju bodo aktualno stanje v glasbeni industriji, spremembe in priložnosti v zaščiti naših pravic, trendi in analize so le nekatere od tematik, ki jih bomo spoznali skozi okrogle mize, debate in predavanja.

Ob srečanju vas vljudno vabimo na IZJAVO ZA MEDIJE, kjer bomo predstavili aktualne povzetke srečanja in najbolj pereča vprašanja glasbene industrije. Izjave in intervjuje vam bodo na voljo tudi udeleženci srečanja.

Pričakujemo vas v četrtek, 14. november 2013, ob 12. uri v Stekleni dvorani

Grand hotela Union v Ljubljani.

S spoštovanjem!

mag. Andrej Sraka



Sindikalna konferenca glasbenikov

Pahorjevo sajenje evrospkih rožic “Servilia”

Ni vprašanje, če bo Slovenija hotela v bolj povezano EU ampak je vprašanje ali bo sploh povabljena, je približni povzetek izjave predsednika Pahorja na posvetu z bombastičnim naslovom Slovenija 2030. Če bi to bilo res, tega nihče ne bi smel predstavljati Slovencem na skrajno servilen in nekritičen način. Še najmanj predsednik republike.  Očitno je obdržal nekdanjo komunistično retoriko in socialistično samoupravljanje, neuvrščenost in TIta  zamenjal z EU. Ta snobovska obsedenost z t.i. elitnimi klubi!  Gre za nadaljevanje servilnosti, ki so ga Slovenci kazali do zadnjih dni Avstro-Ogrske.  Edino relevantno vprašanje namreč je, ali bo EU preživela svojo popolnoma zgrešeno politiko in katastrofalen projekt Evro? Neodgovorno, na robu kaznivega je prikrivati to vprašanje državljanom Slovenije. Menda mi ni treba poudarjati, da vprašanje ni zraslo na mojem zeljniku. Razen tega, da je evrospka kriza vidna s prostim očesom,  si vprašanje postavljajo najbolj prodorni analitiki evropskih razmer. (Med drugimi Krugman, Soros, Stieglitz, Asch …). Če bo EU preživela, je vprašanje, ali se bo Sloveniji splačalo v njej ostati? Ali bo EU omogočala uresničevanje njenih interesov? Da bi si to vprašanje postavila, bi slovenska politika morala vsaj približno vedeti kateri so ti sloveksi interesi. Pa ne ve. In to prikriva za bombastičnim evro kičem, ki ga prodaje Pahor. Drugo relevantno vprašanje je, kaj bo Slovenija storila, če bo EU propadla? Ali ima izhodne strategije? Seveda jih nima, zardite tega ker so njeni voditelji uspavani z nekritičnim malikovanjem EU.


Kičarsko lepljivo predsednikovo izvajanje so dopolnili evrospolanci:

Štirje evroposlanci s skupno izjavo:

Lojze Peterle (NSi/ELS), Jelko Kacin (LDS/ALDE), Tanja Fajon (SD/S&D) in Mojca Kleva Kekuš(SD/S&D), ki so se danes udeležili Pahorjevega projekta, je med drugim zapisalo:

• »Po dvajsetih letih samostojnosti in desetih letih članstva v EU, bi bilo treba na novo obravnavati vprašanje nacionalnega interesa in opredeliti, kaj so za Slovenijo temeljna vprašanja nacionalne varnosti.«

Komentar: Nič “na novo”, saj to nikoli razen slepega priključevanja EU in NATU, ki ni nikakršen nacionalni interes ni bilo storjeno. Nacionalna varnost je bila že davno zakockana  z demoliranjem TO iz spremembo slovenske vojske v intervencijski kontingent  za imperialističnih vojne. Zato je skrajni čas, da se nacionalni interesi končno opredelijo in varnost zagotovi. Tega gotovo ne bodo storili podpisniki in tisti, ki jim pripadajo, saj so prav oni odgovorni za to, da to doslej ni bilo storjeno. Ti  ljudje spuščajo zgolj dimne zavese. To je njihova vloga.

• »V krizi EU ne vidimo razloga za evroskepticizem.«

Komentar: Se bojim da res. Saj prav v tem je problem. Edino evroskeptiki, ljudje, ki so kritični do EU, lahko EU rešijo. Tega zagotovo ne morejo storiti servilni propagandisti in postavljalci potemkinovih vasi. Enako je bilo nekoč z Jugoslavijo in z Avstor-Ogrsko. Niso ju pokopali kritiki, ampak tisti, ki so vzklikali “Bog živi na cesarja!” in “Po Titu Tito.” Tako kot takrat, zdaj ti lakaji tolmačijo kritičnost z antievropskostjo, z evroskekticizmom, skratka z nasprotovanjem EU.

• »Postavljanje bančne unije je eden od dokazov, da se EU ureja in se pripravlja na novo raven gospodarske in s tem tudi politične integracije.«


Komentar: Bravo! Krasen dokaz. Ali so morda tudi kakšni problemi kje? Kaj pa če nova raven gospodarske in s tem politične integracije ne bo sprejeta? Kako pa je s pravim evroskepticizmom, s pravim in načelnim nasprotovanjem  EU, povezanim s skrjano desnim populizmom, ki se eksplozivno krepi na vseh koncih EU? S čim namreva EU to zajeziti? S sajenjem rožic? S vzklikanjem evroparol? Bo to prepričalo Irce, Špance, Grke, Italijane, Britance …?  Kako so se zaklinjali nad trdnostjo Jugoslavije v osemdestih! EU je enako Jugoslavija, samo z večjimi problemi krat  dvajset. EU je samo še malček bolj birokratska in naivna kot je bila Jugoslavija.

• »Naša verodostojnost je odvisna tudi od implementacije ključnih načel EU, še posebej glede pravne države in socialno tržnega gospodarstva. Čim bolj “evropski” bomo, tem močnejši bo slovenski glas v EU.«

Servilnost! Prav obratno! Čimbolj kritični bomo, tem močnejši bo slovenski glas v EU. Servilni upravičeno vzbujajo prezir. In postanejo nevidni. Pravni red in socialno tržna država je naš interes in naša zahteva. Trenutno nam EU tako državo in družbo bolj onemogoča kot omogoča. Seveda verniki v TIna (There is no alternative) tega ne morejo videti. Ker v  thatcherjevskih ukazih evropske birokracije, ki je v rokah mednarodnega kapitala vidijo edino alternativo.

Igor Koršič

V Mariboru policija in sodišče očitno testirata posebne metode

Po incidentu na Protikorupcijskem maršu, 2. novembra 2013 v Mariboru lahko ponovno potrdimo, da je Slovenija policijska država.
Mediji so objavili, da se je protest zaključil s petjem in dimnimi bombami, nato pa so se protestniki mirno razšli. Tako je tudi bilo, sledili pa so “že videni”, širši množici v medijih zamolčani dogodki.
Med prepevanjem in skandiranjem je v praznem prostoru med protestniki in policisti razneslo dimne bombe, kot so jih imenovali mediji, v resnici pa je šlo za igračke, podobne iskricam, ki jim sledi dim. Takšne igračke se uporablja med praznovanji, na športnih srečanjih pa se redno uporabljajo v precej močnejši izvedbi.
Gruča policistov je dogajanje spremljala, ni posredovala, niti ni opozorila, da se omenjena sredstva ne sme uporabljati, niti ni ugotavljala od kje oziroma kdo je dejansko vrgel ta dimna sredstva. So pa ves čas dobivali navodila po telefonu in se dogovarjali. Počakali so, da se je protest končal, da so se ljudje razšli, nato pa so si izbrali naključni skupini protestnikov in jih zasledovali ter na koncu izbrali dve izmed protestnic in jima izročili plačilne naloge v zneskih 800 € in 400 €.
Priča opisuje, kako je bil plačilni nalog izročen Mariborski vstajnici. „Obnašanje policije nam je dalo vedeti, da se ne bo končalo tako, da pridemo vsi varno in nekaznovano domov. Zato smo se razšli v skupinah. V naši skupini nas je bilo približno 10. Podali smo se proti mestu in razpravljali, kako si pomagati, da pridemo varno domov. Za nami so vztrajno hodili policaji v civilu in v uniformah. Zato smo se ustavili v lokalu. Za enim vogalom lokala nas je čakala skupina uniformiranih policistov, za drugim policaja v civilu. Ker smo se očitno zadržali predolgo, so se policisti po približno pol ure odločili, da nalogo opravijo možnostim prilagojeno. Pet uniformiranih policistov je vstopilo v lokal. Od naše soprotestnice so zahtevali osebne dokumente, in da odide z njimi do policijskega avtomobila. Izgledalo je strašno, v sredini ženska, okrog nje pa pet uniformiranih policistov, kot da so ujeli in čuvajo največjega zločinca. Pri avtomobilu so bili še trije policisti. Izročili so ji plačilni nalog, ker naj bi uporabljala dimne bombe in menda se je nepristojno vedla do pooblaščene osebe.
Ali je prav, da se kazen izpiše na mestu, kjer ni bilo storjeno kaznivo dejanje? Se nekomu sme slediti, osamiti in naknadno izročiti kazen, ko novinarskih kamer ni več, ko vseh prič ni več, ko se protest konča mirno, kot sliši širša javnost od medijev? Ne po zakonu! Ali je prav?
Druga skupina se je odpravila proti avtomobilom, za njimi pa nekaj policistov, ki so si skupino očitno izbrali za naslednjo tarčo. Po legitimaciji naključno izbrane Ljubljanske protestnice, in ko je ta brez problemov izročila potni list (ipak smo bili na oni strani Trojan ), je sledila zahteva uniformiranega policista, da dotična protestnica izvoli stopiti z njim do policijskega kombija po položnico. Protestnica se je zavedala, da tega uniformirana oseba ne more od nje zahtevati, saj ni storila kaznivega dejanja in je odšla na kavo. Po približno pol ure so ji policisti izročili potni list, zapisnik in seveda plačilni nalog zaradi domnevne nepravilne uporabe pirotehničnih sredstev. Zaradi napačno navedenih dejstev protestnica tudi ni podpisala zapisnika, saj ni uporabljala pirotehničnih sredstev in ji niso bili predočeni nikakršni dokazi, kot je pisalo v zapisniku. Kratko in jedrnato je tudi povedala, da plačilnega naloga ne bo plačala ali odslužila, dokler na svojem mestu ne sedijo tisti, ki so krizo v Sloveniji povzročili.

Aktivni protestniki družno ugotavljamo, da nismo več varni. Policija nas ima zabeležene in sprašujemo se, kaj vse nam smejo naprtiti. Prepričani smo namreč, da če bi protestnici sinoči sami odhajali domov, se ne bi končalo le pri plačilnem nalogu.
Obsojamo zastraševalne metode izvršne veje oblasti. Obsojamo zastraševanje tistih, ki z imenom, priimkom in obrazom branijo osnovne vrednote človekovega dostojanstva, in ki so se zmogli aktivno upreti pokvarjenim in skorumpiranim, tudi policijskemu vrhu.

Od gradualizma do kolonizacije, pod okriljem EU


Crisis in Slovenia: from “gradualism” to “colonization”


Slovenia entered EU in 2004 as one of the most successful EU-candidates. At that time, Slovenian government debt was a little more than 20 per cent of GDP, one of the lowest ratios among the EU member states; the country had surplus in the net international investment position. The fact that Slovenia opted for gradual privatization in the 90-ies and that some sectors or companies remained in the state ownership cannot explain the present difficulties of Slovenian economy or the increase of public debt. Present difficulties were generated during the period of Slovenian EU and Eurozone membership: they originate in the unregulated financial sector, monetary politics, salvage of the banks by public funds. When difficulties begun, Slovenia has been an easy target of speculative financial markets, like other indebted countries. Having entered EU without deadweights from the past, Slovenia is a good example to show to what extent EU policies may contribute to the deterioration of economic and social development of a country. If we are not going to learn from this and eliminate the causes of the crisis on the level of EU, we will never find a stable way out of the crisis.

The difficulties started in 2004 when western capital, fleeing from low profit rates in the West, overflowed Slovenian banks. The indebtedness of usual suspects, the state and the households, remained low and almost negligible during the period 2004–2008. The thesis that considers the presumed immoderate consumption of the state and households to be the generator of economic crisis is false in the case of Slovenia. “Cheap” money available generated a new wave of privatisations, the second after the independence of Slovenia in 1991. Many top managers took this opportunity to attempt a buyout of the companies they managed. However, with the outbreak of the economic crisis in 2007-2008, companies could not have been skimmed for the payment of the credits any more. Buyout-schemes disintegrated and the “tycoons’” little empires sank. Due to the loose control over the banks and the financial system, credits were delivered to clients without due precaution. Some credits were given for real investments: however, because of economic recession enterprises now have difficulties to repay their debts. Many debts will not be repaid as the debtor companies have gone bankrupt (esp. in the construction industry, enterprises owned by Slovenian Catholic Church etc.). Between 2008 and 2009, when deleveraging of the private sector started, the public debt started to grow, an indicator that the debt of the private sector has progressively been transferred to the public budget.

Slovenia faces similar problems as the bailed-out Eurozone countries (Greece, Portugal, Spain, Ireland and Italy): recovery from the economic crisis and the attempt of fiscal consolidation has failed. Countries still have negative economic growth with modest recovery in Ireland as an exception; forecasts for the next year are poor. The objective to repay their debts is now less attainable than before. Countries are trapped into the vicious circle of an increasingly expensive borrowing and a decreasing economic growth: their combination generates increasing unemployment and impoverishment. The situation that is emerging has historical precedents known as “development of underdevelopment”.

It is against any sense of justice that people with low income pay for the mistakes of rich capital owners. This is actually what austerity measures and salvaging of the financial sector are about. Before the crisis, the risk of poverty rate was considerably low in Slovenia, while in the period 2008–2011 it noticeably increased in comparison to other EU countries (Eurostat). In 2012, the new law called Exercise of the Rights to Public Funds Act deprived 185.000 persons of their previous social benefits. The benefits that have most often been annulled were child benefits and scholarships. The savings amounted to 102 million euro (if compared to the social welfare spending a year before; source: Računsko sodišče).

Salaries in the public sector were stagnant from 2009 on, and started to decrease in 2012, while salaries in the private sector have stagnated since 2012 (source: Umar – Government Office for Macro-economic Research). The minimum wage is every year raised proportionally to the growth of prices; it is an important factor of the income equality and has so far remained unchanged. During the period 2010-2012 the number of employed persons receiving a minimum wage has tripled. It is important to note that a person living alone and having no other income but the minimum wage is exposed to the risk of poverty. In 2012, 83.000 persons, i.e., almost 12 per cent of all the employed persons, received an income that was below the risk of poverty threshold (source: SURS – Office of Statistics).

Employers and politicians often present two arguments that presumably explain why Slovene economy is weak: social contributions and taxes on wages are too high and the employment protection is too rigid. None of the two arguments is true. The implicit tax rate for labour is, in average, 2.5 point lower than in other Eurozone countries. The implicit tax rate for capital is 3.4 points lower than in other Eurozone countries, so the owners of capital already have quite comfortable provisions in Slovenia (Eurostat). The employment protection of regularly employed workers is considerably higher than in other OECD countries; however, flexible employments have particularly increased during the crisis and they already exceed 40 per cent of all the active workforce. Simultaneously, the capacity of state institutions to sanction and to prevent the abuses of Labour Law (including forms of slave labour) has importantly declined. As a result, companies which respect Labour Law have to compete with companies do not and consequently have lower production costs. So the law-abiding companies become “uncompetitive”; it follows that progressive erosion of labour rights is inevitable. Therefore the reduction of labour rights and labour costs is no solution, since it leads towards the race to the bottom that has no end.

We have no time to describe the impact of austerity measures upon public services. To conclude, we wish to emphasise that after the launch of severe austerity measures Slovenia is a much less democratic society than it was few years ago. In 2011, about 100 new laws were adopted by the fast procedure. Many of these laws retroactively deprived people of their already acquired rights (like pensions), and the Constitutional Court already decided upon the unconstitutionality of some of these measures. On 31 May 2013, the articles 90, 97 and 99 of Slovenian’s constitution were amended to deny the people the access to referendum when fiscal questions or ratification of international agreements are at stake. In September 2013, a severe punishment of protestors, sentenced to 7 months of prison for having manifested in the streets of Maribor, was a warning to others who may consider attending protests in the future. One can understand why people are demoralised.

Meanwhile, the European institutions look away, pretend that Slovenian problems are not a result of their past politics and deliver advises how to “reassure financial markets”. They offer a simple alternative: immediate socialization of banks credits (i.e. the risk should not be returned back to private money-lenders neither the debt can be even partially abolished), further reduction of public spending and new austerity measures as well as privatization of financially consolidated banks and companies in the state ownership (IMF, Slovenia 2013 Staff Visit, March 2013) – or a bailout under the same or even worst terms of Troika.

To summarize, Slovenia will have to give up to gradualism and social welfare, the policy which brought Slovenia into the EU as a prosperous society with a high social equality. New austerity measures will lead to a greater economic recession and social turmoil. By way of austerity measures, Slovenia will have to submit to “shock therapy”, although Slovenian gradual economic policy before 2004 is a good example that there is a better alternative. The country will be destroyed in order to minimize resistance and maximize profits for capital owners. In the long term, Slovenia will become a net exporter of capital and will be incorporated into colonial interrelations within the EU.

It is important to note that also corruption of local and state officials multiplied after the entering EU. It is a sign that corruption is not a result of poor local business culture: the present accumulation of capital regime boosts extra-exploitation and corruption. It puts no obstacle to management’s buyouts, private-public partnership, downgrading of workers’ rights, and misuses of financial instruments which generate mismanagement and corruption. Furthermore, governments and political elites are also pulled into this corruptive environment. EU consists of “national economies” that have neither economic nor political independence. The effect of such structure is that member states compete with each other in domains still under their sovereignty: by downgrading the standards of welfare state, rule of law, social and workers’ rights, while, at the same time, they have to relieve the capital owners from the economic risks (by privileges, subsidies, and even socialization of private debt). It is therefore necessary that political groups collaborate with capitalist class and the range of their politics is drawn to their function of local compradors.

Our politicians are obviously without any political imagination in the midst of class and colonial war. We have, on the other side, nothing to lose.


Maja Breznik

October, 2013