Prime Minister: “The decision on measures is not a political one, it is an expert decision”
The Prime Minister started his visit in the municipality of Braslovče, where he visited the potential site of the replacement construction in Rakovlje before meeting with Mayor Tomaž Žohar. The reason for the replacement is to ensure the safety of Letuš’s inhabitants, which is considered by experts to be at risk.
After talks with the Mayor and hydrology experts, Prime Minister Golob said that in the municipality of Braslovče, not only will the consequences of the floods be dealt with, but through reconstruction and development, the whole area will become more resilient to future disasters, as well as more attractive for people to live in.
"We have heard the experts who have been tasked in recent months with examining the level of threat to life and property. This is the criterion on whose basis we will decide," the Prime Minister pointed out, adding that this criterion applies to both the flood risk in Braslovče as well as to the landslide risk in some other municipalities, e.g. the settlement of Struge in Luče.
He also pointed out that Slovenia was not prepared for natural disasters of this magnitude in terms of its legislation, although we have already faced severe local natural disasters in the past, such as the landslide in Log pod Mangartom and the floods in Železniki. Back then, it took a year for experts to come up with final expert solutions. "For a year, people lived in uncertainty. This time it will not take a year," said the Prime Minister, assuring that in the coming week experts will visit populated areas and provide people with expert assessments as to the level of threat to each area or house.
According to the Prime Minister, the decision on further measures is not a political one: "It is up to the experts to decide. The experts’ opinions will be presented to the community committees in the coming week."
Later in the visit, the Prime Minister and his ministerial team took part in a consultation with the mayors of Savinjska region, business people and other development drivers in the region. He said that the Government is focused on legislative changes, as the current legislation does not allow for the most technically appropriate measures.
The Prime Minister pointed out that, for the first time in history, the State has fully reimbursed municipalities for the cost of first response. More than EUR 20.5 million has been allocated to municipalities in the Savinjska region. In addition, municipalities in the Savinjska region will receive advances totalling more than EUR 56 million for assessed damage to municipal property or infrastructure. Six municipalities in the Savinjska region have already received advance payments of EUR 21.2 million and the remaining municipalities will receive the funds shortly. Almost EUR 21.5 million in advance payments of compensation for damage to the economy have also been made to 287 companies in the Savinjska region.
To compensate people for the damage, the Government will prepare amendments to the Act Determining Intervention Measures for Recovery from the Floods and Landslides of August 2023 to allow advance payments for the repair of damage reported through the Ajda system. The Act will also define replacement construction: "Experts will assess the safety of buildings. Once the list of buildings that are no longer safe to live in is known, we will provide for replacement construction," the Prime Minister stressed.
He and his ministers concluded their visit to the Savinjska region with a Government session in Žalec.