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Even Successful Companies Are Failing Under The Freedom Movement’s Rule: The Strike Of Administrative Units Has Led To Millions Of Euros In Losses And Workers Being Made Redundant

Mass strikes across the country have also affected the economy and businesses. And while Slovenia’s top brass watches football matches, the problems in Slovenia are growing. A few days ago, the Slovenian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and now the company Lumar, which is the largest producer of prefabricated wooden buildings, have already turned to the government. Their data show that in the last two months, the number of building permits issued has fallen by around 80 percent compared to the previous period, due to strikes by administrative units.

The Maribor-based company Lumar became Slovenia’s largest producer of prefabricated wooden buildings last year, but the company’s owner and Director Marko Lukić recently warned that the strike at administrative units, which is making it difficult to get building permits, could lead to serious problems.

In a few months’ time, some businesses could be shut down

He said that Slovenia already has lengthy procedures for obtaining building permits, but this year, the situation has become even worse due to the strike at administrative units. “If this does not change, some companies will stop work as early as September, and we will stop somewhere around the beginning of the new year. With a year and a half of signed contracts, this is very frustrating. The situation is serious,” said Mr Lukić at a press conference on Friday.

Millions in losses and jobs at risk

Their data show that in the last two months, the number of building permits issued has fallen by around 80 percent compared to the previous period. “We are talking about millions of euros in lost revenue and jobs at risk. We expect the state or the relevant ministry to immediately remedy the situation and to add the issuing of building permits to the list of urgent tasks to be carried out during the strike,” he added.

Lumar, a family-owned company, has seen its revenues double in 14 years. “We have increased sales by 400 percent since 2009, and by 53 percent in the last two years alone. These are enviable figures that no comparable company in Slovenia or abroad can match,” the Director pointed out.

Even successful businesses are failing under the Freedom Movement government

Last year, revenues of the company were 29.45 million euros, and profits were 2.6 million euros, an increase of around 30 percent compared to the previous year. After becoming the producer with the highest revenue in the Slovenian market in 2019, last year they also became the largest producer of prefabricated wooden buildings in Slovenia in terms of sales volume. The company’s gross value added per employee amounted to 82,538 euros last year, which is 35 percent more than the value added in Slovenia and 51 percent more than the value added in the building, joinery and carpentry sector. The company currently employs 92 people, whose average gross salary is around 24 percent higher than the national average. They erect just over 100 buildings a year, mostly residential houses. This year, they also completed the construction of a kindergarten in Selnica ob Dravi, which is the first almost zero-energy wooden kindergarten or public facility in Slovenia built entirely from Slovenian wood. “For us, sustainability is not just a fad, it is in our company’s DNA, and we invest a lot of resources in it,” said Mr Lukić.

Entrepreneur critical of the government

Among the problems they face, apart from waiting for building permits, he cited the high price increase for materials and services, the uncertainty of financial incentives from the Eco Fund and the still dysfunctional green public procurement system in Slovenia. He was also critical of the post-flood reconstruction process in Slovenia, which, according to Lukić, “should involve the relevant experts.”

Sara Kovač

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