The Slovenia Times

Coalition partners happy with Koper-Divača rail investment plan


The document will be discussed by the government next week and Bratušek sees no reason why it would not be endorsed, after which she will present the programme to the public.

Before the government session, the 361-page document needs also to be approved by the board of 2TDK, the special purpose vehicle steering the project, and the body overseeing the investment.

Bratušek did not comment on the price tag of the project, saying the figure would be revealed after the document was approved by the cabinet. Earlier this week, the business newspaper Finance reported that the final price would considerably exceed the initial estimate of EUR 1bn.

Meanwhile, Matjaž Han of the Social Democrats (SD) said that there were considerable chances that the cost would increase as the project progressed and that the investment plan already included some funds for unexpected works.

Bratušek also said that the plan "lays down the financing plan in great detail, by year, for the period of construction, for the time of operation. It contains all the relevant information".

Han was happy with the document and said that coalition partners were assured that EU funds were not in danger even if Hungary was not involved.

Under a previous plan, Hungary was to contribute EUR 200m for the investment. However, now only the Modern Centre Party (SMC), the senior coalition party in the previous government, is still in favour of this.

Brane Golubovič of the current senior coalition Marjan Šarec Party (LMŠ), said that Slovenia still had plenty of time to decide whether it wanted another country to participate.

"As I understood the minister, we still have three or four years to decide. But it's a fact that the scales are tipping in favour of an independent investment."

Hungary's participation would not be free of charge, Golubovič said. In exchange for the EUR 200m, the country demands 2.8% of the annual yield, a concession for the use of a part of the port and the participation of Hungarian companies in the project.

The SMC, which believes that Hungary should still be involved, will not vote against the plan even if that will not be the case, according to MP Igor Zorčič.

Those who are against Hungary's participation say that this route would be more expensive, but Zorčič disagrees. He said that Luka Koper should be asked how it would be affected if Hungary started doing business with the Trieste port instead of the port in Koper.

The Pensioners' Party (DeSUS) president Karl Erjavec was happy with the presentation and noted that negotiations with banks will be key going forward.


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