Opposition presents its proposals for recovery and resilience spending

Ljubljana – The four opposition parties from the Constitutional Arch Coalition (KUL) presented on Wednesday their proposal on how Slovenia should spend EU recovery and resilience funds as they filed a request for a plenary session to discuss Slovenia’s national recovery and resilience plan, a document required to draw EUR 5.2 billion in EU recovery funds.

“The government’s secret model of Slovenia’s development is asphalt and concrete, which will be very hard to make green let alone digital,” said SocDem MP Franc Trček.

“We have an alternative programme for Slovenia’s development. We want a serious debate to be conducted on this, similarly as in other European countries,” he said.

Luka Mesec from the Left said the government’s plan included everything from a pool in a small village to the second reactor of the Krško Nuclear Power Plant (NEK). “In short, no common thread and no priorities,” he said, stressing that healthcare and long-term care were completely neglected in the government plan.

“The government will give EUR 300 million for railways, EUR 900 million for roads, while we want to focus on public transport and construction of fast railways,” Mesec said about their alternative proposal.

“In healthcare, our key challenge is investment in healthcare infrastructure and in solidarity the key challenge is investment in long-term care.”

Andrej Rajh from the Alenka Bratušek Party (SAB) said in energy and transport alone more than EUR 50 billion in investments would be required until 2020. “This is big development opportunity for Slovenia to create quality jobs and enable young people to find their future in Slovenia. If the government fails to seize these opportunities and priorities, other countries will,” he warned.

Slovenia will be entitled to EUR 1.6 billion in grants and up to EUR 3.6 billion in loans from the EUR 672.5 billion recovery and resilience facility. The country’s national recovery and resilience plan remains classified but a draft thereof has been published by the magazine Mladina.

The Government Office for Development and European Cohesion Policy said last week the European Commission had not discussed any of the countries’ plans yet and that talks on them were still under way. Neither Slovenia nor any other country has received any kind of grade about its plans for recovery and resilience, it said as it rejected reports that Slovenia’s plan had been criticised by the Commission.

It said today it was looking forward to the plenary as “an opportunity to exchange opinions about our common future” and debunk lies and manipulations concerning this document.