Pahor wants govt to find swift solution for STA financing

Maribor – After Bojan Veselinovič resigned as the director of the STA on Thursday over the continued impasse on a public service agreement talks with the Government Communication Office (UKOM), President Borut Pahor said that he would like to see the government find a solution for financing of the STA as soon as possible.

“The Slovenian Press Agency is an important media institution, it performs a unique mission and I think that this circumstance must encourage decision-makers to bring their knowledge and political will together in order to resolve this as soon as possible,” he said.

Veselinovič has turned down the latest draft public service agreement proposed by the UKOM, describing it as damaging for the agency. “I will never participate in the trampling of journalistic autonomy,” he wrote in a statement for the press.

The STA and UKOM have spent months discussing a public service agreement that the government says is needed for the resumption of public financing of the agency, which has been suspended since the beginning of the year.

Commenting on the latest developments for the STA on the sidelines of a visit to Maribor, Pahor said that, to his knowledge, the negotiations had been sincere and that they had “moved very close to a happy ending”.

“What has led to the situation in which there is no happy ending, we will see,” said the president, who recently hosted Veselinovič and UKOM director Uroš Urbanija in the Presidential Palace in an attempt to broker an agreement.

Pahor noted that he would not like someone to come to a conclusion that Veselinovič and Urbanija not being able to successfully conclude the negotiations meant that dialogue was not an appropriate method for resolving issues.

“When dialogue has been exhausted, we must return to it. You will see that there is no other way in this crisis,” the president said.