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Was “Flood Recovery” Just An Excuse For Construction Tycoons To Get Loans From The EU?

Months after the August floods, the Golob government is still using the storms as an excuse for all its other failures. According to MP Andrej Hoivik from the Slovenian Democratic Party (Slovenska demokratska stranka – SDS), the “post-flood rehabilitation” was also one of the excuses for obtaining additional loans, which would, in fact, have served the “business” of the Ministry of Infrastructure led by Alenka Bratušek.

“The Ministry of Finance has provided an answer as to why they asked the European Commission for an additional loan from the Recovery and Resilience Plan (RRP). They talked about flood rehabilitation; however, the documents prove this is a lie. In reality, this is about the business of Alenka Bratušek‘s Ministry of Infrastructure. The new project is, for example, the railway station in Nova Gorica,” SDS MP Andrej Hoivik wrote on X, who also provided supporting documents for his claim.

“The projects to strengthen sustainable mobility under the Recovery and Resilience Plan are among the first projects where we can already see concrete effects (example: Grosuplje and Domžale railway stations. The amended Recovery and Resilience Plan foresees 211 million euros in grants and 498 million euros in loans for this purpose,” reads, among others, the published document.

In the attached table, sustainable mobility is circled, and on the left are the staggering amounts, which are alarmingly only slightly higher than those foreseen for health and social care, which have been a much more pressing problem for a long time.

It is a fact that the current government has indeed asked for additional loans, but in light of what has been happening, the affairs and the enormous unnecessary waste of money by the current government, it seems that the flood rehabilitation was just an excuse to obtain funds to be used for the dealings of Alenka Bratušek or for the benefit of government individuals.

The original recovery plan was for the benefit of the citizens; the new plan is for the benefit of the “government elite”

But what is more important to point out here is this – Slovenia submitted its current recovery and resilience plan already in April 2021, during the Janša government. The objectives of the plan actually addressed the issues that Slovenia is facing. Indeed, Slovenia’s original Recovery and Resilience Plan was set to address key challenges related to the dual transition, healthcare, long-term care and the labour market. What the Golob government has addressed in the “renewed objectives,” however, are objectives that seem to be linked exclusively to the interests of individuals.

Who actually benefits from the loans?

The plan includes “a new chapter for REPowerEU with additional reforms and investments related to renewable energy, sustainable mobility, the decarbonisation of Slovenian industry and energy efficiency.” This is stated in the annex to the Commission’s report to the European Parliament and the Council on the implementation of the Recovery and Resilience Mechanism. How can we not think of the convenience of tailor-made energy targets when we have a man at the head of government who has a reputation for ‘messing’ with energy and electricity?

How can we not think of a convenient objective relating to ‘sustainable mobility’, when Alenka Bratušek, who has proved herself to be a financial executioner for Slovenia in the past, is issuing tenders to which a consortium of all known tycoons is applying for staggering sums that are twice the estimated value of projects, such as the Jesenice and Nova Gorica railway stations?

T. B.

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