August 30, 2018
MMC RTV SLO reports that Levica (the Left) has dismissed attempts by the American Chamber of Commerce in Slovenia (AmCham Slovenia), to engage in a dialogue, after Violeta Tomić, a leading figure in the party, said that the organisation shared some responsibility for the current US Administration’s efforts to weaken environmental protections and welfare systems around the world
AmCham Slovenia criticized Levica’s rejection, claiming that this undermined democracy, while the party responded as follows (translated by the author from the original Slovene):
AmCham's position in Brussels is as the strongest lobbying organization in Europe, where it works to promote the interests of at least 155 US companies. The interests of these companies are, in particular, lower labour costs, weaker regulation in terms of the environment, health and safety at work, and opening new markets for their products and services. In a domestic context, the US Chamber of Commerce is the first to support privatisation, decommissioning and commercialization of public services. AmCham Slovenia cannot therefore be seen as a "business community of opportunity and optimism," but rather as a lobbying organization for interests, which, according to our view, are against those of the people of Slovenia.
On receiving this message Ajša Vodnik, the General Director of AmCham Slovenia, said that Levica lacked knowledge about the group’s work, and noted that AmCham Slovenia has no influence on the US President or the American Chamber of Commerce, although did not address the party’s concerns that the President and American Chamber of Commerce had an influence on the direction of AmCham Slovenia’s work.
Ms Vodnik went on to note that the measures her organization was supporting had been proposed by many experts, and claimed that they had the sole goal of improving the business and living environment in Slovenia, and increasing the number of opportunities for young people in particular. She also denied that AmCham Slovenia supported the privatisation of healthcare in Slovenia, and that it lobbied or put pressure on elected officials, stating that the group was apolitical and most interested in encouraging discussion. To that end, Ms Vodnik once again invited Levica to engage in a dialogue with AmCham Slovenia.