The Slovenia Times

PM Announces Legislative Changes after Ice Storm


Perhaps there will be a need to adopt an emergency law, Bratušek told the press after the meeting, noting that the task force would be coordinated by Infrastructure and Spatial Planning Minister Samo Omerzel.

The meeting at the Government Palace featured Speaker Janko Veber, President Borut Pahor and ministers as well as representatives of civil protection authorities, fire fighters, the Slovenian army and the power industry.

One of the topics was also the response of the Slovenian Armed Forces to the disaster. Bratušek said that the 3,000 soldiers on the ground had done a good job, adding however that their response might have been a little late.

Under Slovenian law, the army can intervene only after local communities request army help from the National Civil Protection and Disaster Relief Agency, which in turn turns to the army.

However, Bratušek maintained today that the scale of the latest natural disaster called for some minimal changes to the law in this respect.

Finance Minister Uroš Čufer said he had already met representatives of the European Investment Bank on Thursday to examine the possibility of loans at a lower interest rate which will be spent on the clean-up efforts.

Bratušek added that preliminary estimates show that the state will be eligible to ask for aid from the EU solidarity fund.

Agriculture and Environment Minister Dejan Židan is certain that an emergency law will be needed, but only after an estimate of the total damage is made. Precise estimates are expected to be made in the coming days.

Srečko Šestan, the head of the National Civil Protection and Disaster Relief Agency, who spoke to the press before the meeting said a single programme for repair works in forests and on the power distribution network must be drafted, as the current solutions are only temporary. He also called for an emergency law.

According to Bratušek, between 5,000 and 6,000 people are working on the clean-up as we speak. All schools and kindergartens in the country are open, while around 10,000 people are still without electricity.

This number will be reduced significantly in the coming days, she said, adding that it would take several months for the power distribution network to be fully repaired and a year for a full recovery.

The Slovenian Armed Forced meanwhile confirmed that the US army will send today 22 powerful electricity generators to Slovenia. The country has so far received a total of 73 generators from abroad to deal with the power outage.


More from Nekategorizirano