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The Government will first help the people and businesses most affected by the floods

Presenting the draft revised state budget for this year in the National Assembly, Prime Minister Robert Golob stressed that the Government would give priority to helping the most affected people and business sectors before dealing with the rest.
Prime Minister Robert Golob presented the draft revised state budget for this year in the National Assembly

Prime Minister Robert Golob presented the draft revised state budget for this year in the National Assembly | Author Matija Sušnik/DZ RS

To help those affected by the devastating floods and to alleviate the consequences of the natural disaster, the Government has drafted a revised state budget for this year. It foresees €520 million in aid, with €300 million to be reallocated from the financial asset management budget item, while the Government envisages an increase of €220 million in budget expenditure.

“The first estimate of direct flood damage is €4.7 billion, while we are planning between €6.7 and 7 billion for effective restoration over the next five years. We assess that this should be enough to restore the affected areas to the previous state," said Prime Minister Golob when presenting the draft revised budget. He added that the planned funds would also contribute to making Slovenia significantly more resistant to future natural disasters.

In his presentation of the multi-billion fundraising plan, Golob pointed out that the most important source of funding for the country's post-flood reconstruction – within the up to €7 billion planned – is the €2 billion in EU funding. Of this, €400 million came in the form of a grant from the Solidarity Fund, around €800 million from the reallocation of cohesion funds and €750 million from additional refundable funds from the EU's post-COVID Recovery and Resilience Mechanism. “Yesterday I informed the President of the European Commission of all this and today the application will be formally sent to Brussels,” the Prime Minister said.

Besides €2 billion in European funds, the Government expects to obtain around €1.1 billion by redistributing its integral budget funds, while around €1.3 billion is expected to come from solidarity contributions and €350 million directly from insurance companies through payments to insured natural or legal persons. “This brings us to €4.7 billion, which is what we are trying to cover today,” the Prime Minister said.

He also touched upon solidarity and reiterated the Government's view that those who have more can contribute more. “We are confident that this construction is balanced, feasible and, as it stands, will not prejudice the development priorities that were outlined in the Coalition Agreement at the beginning of our term, as well as in drawing up of all the budgets for 2023 or 2024 or beyond.” He believes that reconstruction in the country will not stop Slovenia's development and actions: “Quite the opposite. We are convinced that we can somehow turn this disaster into a stimulus for Slovenia if we know how to position and organise ourselves properly and correctly.”

As Golob concluded, the Government entrusted the reconstruction efforts entirely to experts: “The Government will take full account of what the expert councils propose, in particular with regard to flood protection and management, substitute buildings and so on.” The withdrawal of politics from the process, he says, ensures that reconstruction will be swift and effective, allowing people to start anew.