Prime Minister after the National Security Council session: All political players are united and will work together
In response to the natural disaster of national proportions, Slovenian Prime Minister Robert Golob convened the National Security Council (NSC), which met today in an expanded configuration. As he pointed out when he convened the session, the Government, including the opposition, wants to unify the response to maximise the effectiveness of the measures for the benefit of the people.
"Today all of us politicians have realised that this is not the time to look for differences between us and even less to look for who is to blame for anything that happened in the past. All politicians have shown unity in wanting to act together with a single purpose, so that the people can recover more quickly from this disaster. And I sincerely hope that this political unity will last as long as possible and not just for the duration of the intervention and the disaster," the Prime Minister said after the session of the National Security Council. He added that Slovenia was facing the worst natural disaster in its recent history: "The damage will be unimaginable, practically two-thirds of Slovenia is affected."
According to the Prime Minister, several hundred buildings were damaged, as well as energy and general infrastructure. "We are talking about damage that will almost certainly exceed EUR 500 million." Mr Golob announced that legislation would be improved to empower municipalities and mayors to carry out urgent intervention measures on the ground directly, bypassing the public procurement system, to allow the movement of people and goods as quickly as possible.
Among other things, the Prime Minister highlighted the impossibility of accessing Črna na Koroškem, which is already suffering from water and food shortages. Aid will be delivered by air. He stressed the importance of coordinated action in the event of natural disasters and called on the people to help through reliable and established civil protection systems. "This is the only way we can have a coordinated response. Sometimes good intentions can even be harmful if they cannot be coordinated effectively," he concluded. In order to speed up the recovery from the massive flooding, he also announced the possibility of temporarily opening food and technical shops on Sundays for the duration of the intervention and thanked all the dedicated teams on the ground.
The President of the Republic of Slovenia, Nataša Pirc Musar, stressed that she was very satisfied with the work of the competent services and called on citizens to dial 112 only in emergencies and on organisers of public events to act responsibly. She also said: "I am extremely pleased and happy that the opposition is also here with us, that we all share the national consciousness in these difficult moments and that we will work together in unity. Of course, we all want to send a message to the residents that they are not alone, that the Republic of Slovenia will do everything it can using all its capacities."
Nataša Sukić, Vice-President of the National Assembly of the Republic of Slovenia, said that intervention legislation was being drafted to help deal with the consequences of natural disasters more quickly. "We in the National Assembly are committed to being responsive and agile. We expect an extraordinary session to take place in the coming week," she concluded.
Luka Mesec, Coordinator of the political party Levica (the Left) and Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Slovenia, stressed that unity is the best message that politics can deliver in the coming weeks.
After the National Security Council session, the President of the major opposition party, the Slovenian Democratic Party (SDS), Janez Janša, made it clear: "The Council members have realised that this is a moment to stand together. We need to prevent further consequences of the floods, as well as of other natural disasters in the last month."
Matej Tonin, President of the opposition NSi (New Slovenia) Party, called for mutual assistance and stressed that the country must prepare for the challenges of natural disasters in the future.
On behalf of the SD (Social Democrats) Party, the Minister of Economy, Tourism and Sport, Matjaž Han, concluded by saying that intervention legislation was being drafted and would be discussed by the Government. In this context, the possibility of temporarily opening shops on Sunday for the duration of the intervention is also being considered.