PM says Slovenia has enough funds for post-flood emergency measures
Nazarje, 11 August - Prime Minister Robert Golob visited on Friday areas in the Upper Savinja Valley that were devastated by last weekend's floods. The state has enough funds at its disposal to cover post-disaster emergency measures, he said, adding that the government would soon prepare a relief package for flood victims.
The priority will be those who have lost their homes in the floods.
"We have to be realistic, go step by step, one day at a time. We have now made a plan until Wednesday, then we will make further plans, that's the only way to go forward," he said.
According to the Defence Ministry's initial, rough estimates, more than 400 houses or other facilities are completely destroyed or uninhabitable, of which most are located in the Upper Savinja Valley or Koroška region in the north of the country, the ministry's State Secretary Rudi Medved said.
It is still too soon to give a total number of homes that were damaged in the floods, but according to Slovenian Caritas at least 4,000 houses or flats sustained damage.
In what is also a staggering number, about 8,000 people were evacuated during the floods that are considered to be the worst natural disaster on record to have hit Slovenia, the ministry's estimates show.
The prime minister discussed difficulties of acquiring land for new housing with the mayors of the affected municipalities.
Long-term solutions are the goal, he said, but in the meantime many people have expressed their readiness to let those who have lost their homes use their houses or flats for free.
Golob pointed out that if people wanted to build quickly, they did not need to look for building plots, since they were expensive, but to look for land with utilities, and then the state would put prefabricated buildings there.
"This time we faced a disaster of unprecedented proportions, and only if we work hard together, pool all our know-how and resources and organise ourselves well, can we meet these challenges and problems," he said.
Golob believes it would not matter if production resumed in a month unless measures are taken to prevent such disasters in the future.
Economy Minister Matjaž Han said the government would listen to business representatives and help out.
Two of the most heavily hit companies were home appliances maker BSH Hišni Aparati and KLS Ljubno, a maker of gears for the automotive industry.
BSH's director Boštjan Gorjup called for smart solutions and their successful implementation. Confident that the Nazarje-based company will soon restart production, he called for preventive infrastructural measures.
KLS's director Mirko Strašek thinks they will have to do most of the work themselves. Since the Ljubno-based business has been severely hit, he expects the state to step in and help.