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61st regular session: Slovenia to apply for aid from the EU Solidarity Fund

At today's session, the Government allocated EUR 10 million in humanitarian aid to the residents of the affected areas. The funds will be granted to two humanitarian organisations, the Slovenian Red Cross and Caritas Slovenia, which will receive EUR 5 million each. It was also agreed at the session that shops selling food, technical goods and children's equipment will also be open on Sundays and public holidays.

The current situation in the affected areas was presented at a press conference after the Government’s session by Srečko Šestan, Commander of the Civil Protection, and Leon Behin, Acting Director-General of the Administration for Civil Protection and Disaster Relief. At the press conference, Minister of Natural Resources and Spatial Planning Uroš Brežan presented the adopted amendments to the Natural Disaster Recovery Act, while European Commissioner Janez Lenarčič explained what kind of assistance Slovenia can expect from the European Union. At the session, the Government decided to apply for aid from the European Solidarity Fund.

At the press conference after the Government’s session, Minister Brežan highlighted three important aspects of the Act amending the Natural Disaster Recovery Act. The amendments introduce the option of allocating advanced funds to affected municipalities for the implementation of emergency remedial action, up to 20% of the preliminary assessed damage. In this way, the Government will speed up the allocation of funds in the form of an advance payment, which will be possible even before the final damage assessment and the final recovery programme have been adopted. The option of compensation for damage in agriculture is also being introduced. With the proposed amendments, the Government extends the scope of eligibility to damage for which a state subsidy on insurance premiums can be received and to the payment of damages for 100% damage to crops under the de minimis principle. In this context, Minister Brežan also highlighted the principle of retroactivity, which will apply to damage events occurring this year, i.e. after 1 January 2023. According to the Minister, the Government will submit the Act amending the Natural Disaster Recovery Act to the National Assembly as early as the beginning of next week, and it will be adopted under the urgent procedure.