The Slovenia Times

Parliament Endorses Disaster Relief Package


A special emergency law will provide a total of EUR 15m in emergency funding, including for floods that followed the ice storm in south-western Slovenia.

Planning requirements are being relaxed in a bid to speed up repairs of the power grid, as hundreds of towers collapsed under the weight of the ice.

More broadly, the law creates the legal basis for compensating companies and individuals affected by the ice storm and the attendant power outages with public funds.

The latest figures presented by the government suggest 142,000 electricity users had been victims of blackouts and over 3,000 kilometres of power lines were damaged or collapsed.

Based on the emergency law, the various network fees attached to monthly electricity bills will be waived for the duration of power outages.

Additionally, companies that had to employ generators to continue operating will be able to claim a 50% refund on petrol excise.

Moreover, the owners whose forests were completely destroyed by the ice will be exempt from paying cadastral income tax.

The emergency bill won cross-party support although the opposition wanted the government to secure more funding. The Democrats (SDS)- sponsored amendment that would increase funds to EUR 20m was voted down.

The opposition also argued that the bill lacked a concrete time-frame and action-plan, with the SDS announcing it would demand of the government to report on implementation, and if necessary amend the law.

Deputies also endorsed changes to the natural disaster relief act to add ice storm to natural disasters as a means to allow the government to allocate budget funds for relief expenditure.

Parliament also passed changes to the forests act to simplify procedures for the removal of an estimated seven million cubic metres of wood downed by ice.

Recently introduced wood provenance certificates, originally intended to curb illegal logging, will be waived for private forest owners until April 2015.

Even after that date, no certificate will be needed for the transport of up to six cubic metres of wood for own use.

During the period when provenance certificates are suspended, the owners will still be required to fill in a form in order to keep records that would ensure traceability of wood.

The motion also provides the legal basis for the distribution of funds for the maintenance of forest roads from the tax collected from forest land.

Aside from the coalition, the amended forests act was also backed by the opposition People's Party (SLS), which suggested the moratorium on provenance certificates would have to be extended.

Similarly, the SDS argued that the cleanup of forests would not be completed in a year, so the certificates moratorium was too short.

Both parties suggested the provenance certificates should be scrapped.


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