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Slovenia Weekly

Investments for the future

14.11.2014

Editorial

Anti-flood measures - investments for the future. Photo: GIAM ZRC SAZU
An old Slovenian proverb says that it is pointless to sound the alarm after the hail has passed. We are often being reminded of that fact by nature itself. Last week, Slovenia was again affected by extensive flooding. While the response from the Administration for the Civil Protection and Disaster Relief, the Slovenian Armed Forces, fire fighters and citizens was outstanding, it is no longer enough. Additional efforts and funds must be invested in anti-flood measures and the regulation of the waterways.

The Government of Miro Cerar is aware that there have been delays and unfinished projects. However, it has chosen not to dwell on what should have been done in the past, preferring to focus on the future. At its recent consultation meeting, it made a commitment to draft a programme for the most urgent anti-flood measures by the end of November, and an overall plan by the end of next year. However, the situation must be dealt with immediately.

Anti-flood measures were also highlighted by the PM in his recent working meeting with the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, where they discussed a planned € 300 billion investment project. He also assessed that the question of infrastructure was essential and that European funds could help prevent flooding and the large-scale effects of other types of extreme weather.

Slovenia’s investment package also includes the modernisation of the railway network, including the construction of a second line. The finance ministry has also been preparing investment measures that Slovenia will propose to the Commission.

A draft operational programme for the implementation of cohesion policy in the 2014–2020 period, which sets out the basis for preparing projects eligible for 3.2 billion euros of cohesion funds, is awaiting the approval of the European Commission.

When drawing up the new financial perspective, Slovenia will not forget the creative potential of innovative companies and the goal of increasing their share, as innovations can help attract fresh capital.

Cerar and Juncker discuss Slovenia's investment projects in the EU investment plan

PM Cerar: Slovenian government is seeking to achieve a breakthrough, revive the economy and protect the environment with multiplier effects. Photo: STA
After his discussions with the President of the European Commission, the Slovenian PM said that Slovenia would like to see anti-flooding measures and the modernisation of the railways, including the construction of a second line, included in the EU’s investment plan. He explained that the Slovenian government was ambitious and was seeking to achieve a breakthrough, revive the economy and protect the environment with multiplier effects. For example, the modernisation of the railways in Slovenia would have many positive effects, including on the environment and the economy. The construction of a second line connecting the Port of Koper with Central Europe attracted Juncker’s interest. The Slovenian PM stressed that these were draft plans, and that the Ministry of Finance was drawing up several investment measures which Slovenia will propose to the European Commission.

Juncker and Cerar also discussed the situation in Slovenia, and Juncker expressed full support for the government’s policies on financial consolidation, stabilisation and ending the crisis. They also talked about the budgetary plans of members of the euro area, which the European Commission must evaluate by the end of the month. PM Cerar reiterated that he expected the Commission to confirm Slovenia’s financial plan for 2015, and that Slovenia would like to be treated equally regarding the budgetary deficit and other financial and fiscal criteria. “We cannot concede to double standards, so that bigger countries are treated differently from the smaller ones,” said the PM and was ensured by the President of the European Commission that he would make efforts in that direction.

The PM also met the President of the European Parliament, Martin Schulz, and the Secretary-General of NATO, Jens Stoltenberg. more...

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Slovenia has great creative potential

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