The Slovenia Times

Roads Top Govt Agenda During Koroško Visit


"The government is well aware of the importance of improving road connections in Koroško," said Cerar as he spoke to the press during a day-long visit of his cabinet to the region.

He said that the government will prepare the legal foundations for the construction of the expressway connecting the region to the motorway network "so that the first shovel can be planted and works can start".

The expressway is viewed as an economic lifeline for the region, which would "in turn contribute to an improvement in all areas of life", Cerar added.

As regards the timetable, he indicated that the government could adopt all the required legal foundations and documents by early next year.

Given that previous governments promised action on the roads in the remote region nestled around hilly terrain, with little in the way of progress since, Cerar said he would not be making empty promises.

Governments in the past have paid at least four visits to the region since 2005, with every one being dedicated to the state of the road infrastructure, foremost the plans for the expressway.

During the last visit, in 2012, government officials suggested works on the expressway could start in 2014.

In addition to the roads, Cerar said other priorities for the government in the region were measures to clean up the remnants of the disused heavy metals mining industry.

The government will increase the budget for the ongoing clean up efforts by EUR 100,000 to EUR 800,000 for this year.

The prime minister said the government was encouraged by some of the positive economic developments in the region. As an example, he raised the forestry and wood industry.

Cerar joined Economy Minister Zdravko Počivalšek in touring a local woodworking company in Radlje ob Dravi as part of the visit.

Hailing regional efforts to establish a forestry and wood centre, Počivalšek promised the government would get behind the project.

"We will do what is in our power to be active in this project, including by providing financial resources," the minister said about the EUR 6.5m venture that has been included in the regional development programme.

The cabinet started its regional visit by holding a session in Bukovje before starting individual tours of local businesses and institutions.


More from Nekategorizirano