Election debate focusses on situation in culture

Ljubljana – Eleven parties contesting the upcoming general election participated in a debate about their arts and culture platforms held by a group of cultural NGOs in the Kino Šiška arts centre on Monday. They focused on four themes: the legislative framework, budget and resource allocation, decentralisation and dialogue.

The NGOs had decided to hold a special debate dedicated to culture since this field, they said, is often overlooked during election campaigns.

All 20 parties standing in the election had been invited, but only eleven had responded to the invitation to the debate.

A vast majority of the participating parties, nine, have a candidate in mind for the position of culture minister.

When asked about what they would do first when it comes to culture, Tamara Vonta of the Freedom Movement said a new culture law was needed and media legislation should be reformed. Dejan Prešiček of the Social Democrats (SD), former culture minister, agreed, as did Jerca Korče, an MP with the Marjan Šarec List (LMŠ).

Moreover, Korče highlighted the importance of addressing the situation of the self-employed in culture. The Left also finds it key to overhaul the entire cultural system, according to Asta Vrečko.

The Alenka Bratušek Party (SAB) would strengthen dialogue with NGOs and focus on cultural heritage, said Branislav Rajić, whereas Our Land believes that culture resources should be allocated in a different way, according to Dejan Podgoršek. Connecting Slovenia’s Marko Balažič meanwhile stressed the need for a broad public debate.

The coalition Democrats (SDS) and New Slovenia (NSi) did not participate in the debate, while Concretely did as it is standing in the 24 April election as part of the Connecting Slovenia alliance.