Ten million euros available for Maribor area this year
The statement came after a meeting with local businessmen at Maribor Airport as part of the government's visit to Podravje, a region that has long complained it is not getting sufficient funding from the central government.
Aside from the direct funding, applicants from problem areas such as the city of Maribor will get bonus points in open calls for project financing.
"We realise that we have modest funding for helping problem areas, not just Maribor. We therefore took advantage of the new EU financial perspectives and assigned additional points to problem areas," he said.
Twelve open calls are available at the ministry this year. "I'm confident that we have started the engines now and the ministry will start churning out open calls, which will largely be realised this year," he said.
Maribor has also been seeking to attract foreign investors, in particular among manufacturing firms from China, but since the last mayor investment in 2011, by a Dutch-Chinese joint venture, there have not been any new projects.
Počivalšek said efforts were being made to bring in at least one foreign investment to create much-needed jobs. "I do not have any optimistic forecasts at this point, but we have a few things in our sight."
The debate at Maribor Airport featured Počivalšek, Labour Minister Anja Kopač Mrak, Education Minister Maja Makovec Brenčič, and Environment Minister Irena Majcen.