Sports Secretary of State in PM's Office Resigns Over Tax Dodging

By , 01 Mar 2019, 20:00 PM Politics
Peter Vilfan Peter Vilfan desus.si

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STA, 1 March 2019 - Peter Vilfan resigned as state secretary in charge of sports at the prime minister's office on Friday, following over a month of speculation that he evaded taxes. In his resignation, Vilfan once again denied being audited by the Financial Administration (FURS) or being issued a fine.

 

Prime Minister Marjan Šarec responded by saying that he accepted Vilfan's resignation.

In mid-January news portal Požareport said that Vilfan, a former basketball player, had been receiving sizeable payments from two TV stations for serving as basketball commentator.

Požareport said that the public TV Slovenija and commercial media company ProPlus paid the fees to Vilfan's own sports association and that he cooked the books to avoid tens of thousands of euro in taxes.

Vilfan on the other hand said that he had been paid about EUR 1,500 a month, while the figures circulated in the public were much higher.

Moreover, in late February the weekly Reporter said that Vilfan had been fined by FURS, which he denied immediately.

"Let me assure the public that neither I nor my association have been in any offence proceedings, and we have not been issued any decision or fine by FURS," Vilfan said in his letter of resignation forwarded to the media by the Pensioners' Party (DeSUS), of which he is a member.

In his response last week, Vilfan said that "the association filed a report on its own with FURS" and that they "are jointly examining a period of several years for possible accounting errors or irregularities".

DeSUS confirmed today that the review was concluded on Monday and the certain accounting irregularities had been discovered.

The party's president Karl Erjavec said he regretted the developments but respected Vilfan's decision.

Vilfan announced he was leaving politics for good. He was first elected to parliament as a member of Positive Slovenija of Ljubljana Mayor Zoran Janković in 2011, defecting to the Alenka Bratušek Party (SAB) after a split in 2014.

After being reelected MP in 2014, he joined the Pensioners' Party (DeSUS) in 2015, serving out his term until 2018 but he did not get re-elected in the June 2018 election. Instead, he was appointed state secretary at the PM's office.

He also commented matches when he served as an MP between 2011 and 2018, having being granted the permit by parliament.

A member of the Yugoslav national team that won the 1978 FIBA World Championship, Vilfan commented the 2017 EuroBasket matches for ProPlus channels POP TV and Kanal A under a similar arrangement as with RTV Slovenija.

Vilfan's resignation comes two days after Šarec accepted the resignation of Environment Minister Jure Leben, the third member of his cabinet leaving the government which was sworn in in September 2018.

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