The Slovenia Times

Virant Pays Back EUR 18,777


He believes that he has now settled all the costs the taxpayer had with him in 2009 and expects "the story of the year 2009 is now closed", the former public administration minister told reporters in Ljubljana after the revelation, made in a televised election debate last week, caused quite a stir in public.

Virant, whose Citizens' List ranks second strongest party in public opinion polls ahead of the 4 December general election, said that he received EUR 36,483 in compensation in 2009, while a further EUR 25,279 went for social contributions, which makes EUR 61.762 in the total cost for the taxpayer.

Virant prepaid EUR 21,431 in income tax for his fees in 2009, and a further EUR 21,553 based on the final income tax assessment, which makes a total of EUR 42,985 in income tax.

He has decided to return the difference between the compensation he received and the income tax paid as well as the sum of contributions into the budget. "This way I have made up, to the cent, for the costs the state had with me."

Virant cited several reasons for the move, one of them being people's trust in him and their expectation for him to follow top standards, although he noted that no one doubted the lawfulness of his past actions.

As a candidate for MP, Virant wants to have his slate "clean, without a shadow a doubt" as to his actions, so that he can direct his time and energy towards future. He says Slovenia now needs solutions, not scandals.

After his term as minister ended, Virant decided to ask for compensation because he wanted to return to his previous post at the Faculty of Public Management, but he was required to obtain new habilitation, he said.

He did not know how long it would take for him to obtain habilitation and whether he would get some extra work, so he asked for compensation, but then offers arrived for his consultation services.

Virant argued that he had played by the rules and transparently all the time and that the lawfulness of his actions had been also corroborated by the Corruption Prevention Commission.


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