Post-flood reconstruction task force meets for the first time

Ljubljana, 1 September - The task force coordinating the post-flood reconstruction effort met for the first time on Friday. It is led by Boštjan Šefic, a state secretary in the prime minister's office, who said that the main aim was to prevent additional damage in potential extreme weather events.

Boštjan Šefic, a state secretary in charge of post-flood reconstruction coordination.
Photo: Bor Slana/STA
File photo

It will monitor activities on the ground, make analyses and provide guidelines, if needed. This is especially necessary so that reconstruction can be as well coordinated as possible. Daily reports about this will be provided, said Šefic.

The priority of the task force is to make sure damage can be prevented in the event of potentially adverse weather.

A feasibility study is being concluded, said Šefic of the work of technical offices, adding that the necessary documents were ready. The national technical office will have a seat in Ljubljana and most likely two branches, devised to cover the largest area possible.

Discussing the pollution with heavy metals post-floods, the officials said that relevant institutions will provide additional information on Monday, so potential measures will be discussed then.

The task force discussed the draft renovation bill, agreeing that it is suitable for further consideration, so it will now be discussed by the government. Šefic expects that the complex legislative proposal will be ready by the end of September.

Damage assessments are still under way in municipalities for both the July storms and August floods, said Leon Behin, the head of the Civil Protection and Disaster Relief Administration, adding that the deadline for assessments might be extended, possibly for a week or two.

The first assessment, based on which municipalities will receive advance payments amounting to 40% of the estimated damage, should be in next week, said Behin.

It is crucial that as precise assessment as possible is ready by the 22 September deadline so that future financing from the solidarity fund and measures could be planned.

The group also told the press that the Civil Protection and Disaster Relief Administration had trained 150 public servants who would help municipalities.

Civil Protection chief Srečko Šestan said he was mostly pleased with the response after the floods. The task force will analyse the shortcomings and present them to the government, he added.

President Nataša Pirc Musar will also continue her visits on the ground and hopes to meet with Šefic and Marjan Pipenbaher, a globally-acclaimed construction engineer, to take note of the reconstruction plan.

Pirc Musar will advocate for a sustainable and green reconstruction as "Slovenia is not so rich that we could rebuild it with cheap materials and cheap reconstruction".

© STA, 2023