SLIPPERY CUSTOMERS - One thing you can't say any more in Slovenia in 2014 is...


In her latest victory the Slovenian ski champion overwhelmed the French by 35/100ths of a second.

Should a Slovenian bar owner's rivals manage to cause an official inspection, and his stock is found to differ more than five bottles from his stock record, he'll be fined 500 euros.

A driver can be fined for having more than a certain depth of snow on the roof of his car.  I'm sorry, but I don't know the exact depth, or if the police go equipped with a special snow ruler.

No foreigner's social evening here is complete without the misapplied subjunctive mood question "How long are you in Slovenia?"

Some 18,000 people who, after independence, for one reason or another did not apply for citizenship or register as "foreign" became administrative non-entities.  Several thousand such unpersons remained, with successive Slovenian governments happy to fund a pigs' trough of lawyers to put endless legal arguments against their existence, until finally being found in contravention of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms in 2012 http://is.gd/Z2GL91

The defendants' award for their 21-year non-existence, with all that entails in a land of bureaucrats?  Just EUR20,000-30,000 apiece.

Ironic indeed, then, that the country that is obsessed with counting everything today has the highest weekly, monthly, and annual increase in it's ten year sovereign bonds, and will have a 70% debt-to-GDP ratio by the time bank "restructuring" is factored in.  

But still Slovenia wants to count for itself.  There are many, many ways of counting: Elan is the company with the 2012 EUR 60.7m revenue and the EUR 86,000 profit - compare that to an EUR 80,000 "technical error" investigated by police.  The Elan group to which it belongs is the one with the EUR 90m in revenue and a loss of EUR 1m. And this, mind, is a SUCCESSFUL Slovenian company.  Yes indeedy.

Five bottles of beer?

Many scientific triumphs have emerged from measurement: it is the only way to get at the facts of the universe.  

But any descendants of Jeremy Bentham, who somehow still believe more elaborate counting equates to increased honesty and sound business practice, or that a well-counted country is a well-run country, or that this is the road to human contentment, should look at Slovenia, drowning in its own accountancy, with its thousands of penpushers mired in its undersized statistical samplitude, and ask if the result has been a happy one for either the nation as a whole, or the people forced to run around endless tranquil offices meeting the demands of the counting classes.  

Or if it is in fact the pet petty tyranny of various nobodies - useless parasites, vampires, and timewasters - making rules based on jealousy, denunciation, and greed.  http://is.gd/Akx0rR
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