Ljubljana – The STA’s staff urged Speaker Igor Zorčič on Tuesday to ensure the resolutions adopted by the parliamentary Culture Committee about STA funding be honoured. The committee called on the government twice to meet its legal obligations and pay its overdue bills for the STA’s services, as well as to provide the agency’s stable financing.
“It’s been 28 days since the STA has not received the money for its work from the state even if STA journalists continue doing their job and the agency fully meets its contractual obligations,” reads the letter, which was signed by three bodies representing STA staff. The letter was also addressed to deputy groups and the media.
It is the latest appeal for restoring STA funding after the Government Communication Office (UKOM) suspended it several weeks ago.
UKOM argues the STA management would not give it access to certain documents, whereas the management says the documents could only be sent to the government as the agency’s sole shareholder.
The STA provides public service content under an annual contract it signs with UKOM as well as commercial services for the government administration under a different contract.
Today’s letter recalls the issue was discussed by the Culture Committee twice already, with a call to the government to pay its liabilities in three days made a week ago.
The STA staff asked Zorčič to do all in his power as the head of the highest representative and legislative body for the STA law to be honoured.
Zorčič, a member of the Modern Centre Party (SMC), was asked to bring to the attention of the other government parties the fact that stopping STA funding is not in line with the law and that it could soon lead the STA’s closure.
He was also urged to do all in his power to facilitate the signing of the public service contract between UKOM and the STA for 2021.
The staff is worried that the STA would not be able to celebrate its 30th anniversary as Slovenia begins its stint at the helm of the EU in the second half of next year.
They once again expressed support for the STA’s leadership, adding that an independent legal opinion supported the management’s position, which was also supported by a legal opinion by the Government Office for Legislation.