Press Release #6

6 October 2015, the seventh day of KSEVT’s cofounder Miha Turšič’s hunger strike

Reaction to and refutation of a report from the meeting with Miha Turšič, published by the Ministry of Culture on its website

The Ministry is carrying on with its manipulations and cynicism. It begins its statement by reporting that it has met with representatives of KSEVT 18 times and that the allegations from my press releases, saying that the Ministry did not want to meet with us to discuss possibilities of resolving the issue of KSEVT, are not true. They want to thereby create the impression that I lied and am hence not trustworthy. The Ministry acquired the numbers that are to prove my lies from its porter service that keeps track of everyone entering the building and has information on how many people listed KSEVT as the reason for their visit. I did not keep count of my numerous visits to the Ministry, but can confirm that there were many, because I had to go there to resolve the issues regarding the allegedly missing parts of the accounting documentation. However, I only met the Minister once, long ago, in October 2014, when we came to present KSEVT, and even then she left the meeting early. As for the other officials, unfortunately, we never discussed solutions, let alone the contents of our program, but only forms of punishment that were about to have to deal with. A large part of the visits are actually part of the meetings held by the Director of the Directorate with the new mayor of Vitanje, who had to endure other sorts of victimization, threatened by the Director that he would have to return 2,000,000 EUR of European funding that KSEVT was built with. You can imagine the new mayor, cornered by an official in power, who he shares an enemy with, and trying to make space for his own local career.

Furthermore, it is not true that I agreed with the Minister at this meeting that “KSEVT’s operations were not in compliance with the contract concluded with the Municipality of Vitanje”. The only thing I agreed with was that there were problems with the management! What is extremely amazing, how the Minister is willing to rely on objective judgment, which is to be provided by the Ministry of Finance, which is to check if our accounting statements were really in line with the contract. What is going on? Wasn’t the decision that the Municipality of Vitanje has to return 45,874.01 EUR issued precisely on the basis of the judgment offered by the Ministry of Finance?!

The Ministry’s statement insinuates again that KSEVT is a case of irresponsible management of public funds, and sets this as the condition of paying out the intervention funds which KSEVT asked for before the cavalry we are witnessing now even started. Is the only reason the Minister ever showed a sign of cooperation with KSEVT, approving 25,000 EUR of extra funding, that she knew, comforted by her officials, that she would never have to pay out this money? And, let’s be frank: which calls issued by the Ministry of Culture is KSEVT supposed to apply to, not being a gallery, a museum, a theatre, a concert hall, an artist residence, or a congress center, and at the same time being all of those in one, while not fulfilling any of the criteria stated by the calls published by the Ministry of Culture?!

As for the Minister’s expression of understanding for the need of interdepartmental cooperation in finding a systemic solution for the status of KSEVT, I reported on it myself in Press Release  #5. What worries, extremely worries me, is that the Ministry of Culture is “prepared to help” me, Miha Turšič to establish interdepartmental cooperation. Something that would connect different ministries and make them part of a common project. I, an individual, am expected to connect ministries? I, an individual, am to achieve something that we have been reading as part of the preambles of national programs for culture at least over the past decade?! How can this hypocrisy be called anything other than the cynicism of power?!

Naturally, I continue my hunger strike and am convinced more than ever that there is something rotten in the Duchy of Carniola.

Press Release #6