President Pirc Musar pays emotional visit to flood-hit Koroška
Ravne na Koroškem, 8 August - President Nataša Pirc Musar visited on Tuesday the most flood-stricken areas of the northern region of Koroška, commending the the work of all people involved in the flood relief effort. She noted the incoming international aid, and condemned the burglaries that are taking place in these areas.
"Črna na Koroškem was cut off from the rest of the world for a few days, but it is not cut off from our hearts, our souls, our thoughts," Pirc Musar said.
The president visited the municipalities of Slovenj Gradec, Dravograd, Ravne na Koroškem, Prevalje and Mežica, meeting the residents, representatives of local communities and civil protection, and firefighters.
After the visit, Pirc Musar said that she had never seen anything like this in person, and praised the work of firefighters, soldiers, Civil Protection member, police and others.
In Črna na Koroškem, where the water had cut its way between homes, the president met many firefighters from Štajerska, the region east of Koroška, who came to help their counterparts.
"This is what eventually gives us not only hope, but faith that we will be able to rebuild Slovenia," she said, adding that
she believed that reconstruction would be successful, although it would take a few years.
The president also noted the incoming international aid. On Monday, she spoke with Željko Komšić, the chair of the Presidency of Bosnia-Herzegovina, who offered assistance of engineering units and the Bosnian army.
Macedonian President Stevo Pendarovski also rang her up yesterday evening, she said, adding that a hundred soldiers with machinery were coming to Slovenia from North Macedonia.
Pirc Musar also spoke with her Austrian counterpart Alexander van der Bellen and was told by locals in Koroška that a lot of help is coming from Austria. "International solidarity is working," the president said.
She concluded the press statement in Ravne na Koroškem by strongly condemning burglaries into the homes of people who had to leave them due to the floods.
The president literally cursed the burglars, saying that "if you are bothered by conscience, if you have one, may it bother you for the rest of your lives".
The Celje Police Department, which has jurisdiction in Koroška, said it had deployed a large number of police officers, criminal investigators and auxiliary police officers to the areas affected by the floods and landslides.
Security of property is being provided both during the day and night, it said, warning the locals that, in addition of possible thieves and burglars, they should also be wary of various fraudsters posing as utility workers and the like.