The Slovenia Times

Govt to Act to Prevent Wood Market Collapse


Agriculture and Environment Minister Dejan Židan told the STA on Monday that the goal was to prevent "business vultures" from taking advantage of big quantities of wood that are expected to hit the market once the clean-up efforts are completed and buy it at extremely low prices.

Alongside stabilising the market, this measure would also ensure work for Slovenian sawmills and manufacturers.

In searching for an appropriate solution, EU legislation is being taken into account, said Židan, explaining that the bloc's legislation allowed such measures in the case of a risk of market collapse.

Židan said that the body's business operations would be handled by the state-run SOD fund, while the expertise would come from the Forest Institute and the Farmland and Forest Fund.

The daily Dnevnik reported on Saturday that the body would be financed with a loan from the European Investment Bank (EIB), and would buy wood from areas where more than 31% of the forest was destroyed by the ice storm.

The government would also set the minimum prices for individual wood categories and the maximum prices for the falling of wood, the paper said.

The minister moreover expects a new damage estimate, based on aerial shots of the damaged forests, to be ready by Wednesday. Initial estimates said that about 500,000 hectares of trees were damaged.

Židan moreover said that the government would adopt on Thursday a crisis bill to deal with the devastating ice storm that enveloped Slovenia for roughly a week after 31 January.

The minister could not provide much information about the bill, but said that about 300 unemployed with appropriate skills would be hired to help with the forest clean up.


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