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Reconstruction After The August Floods Has Been Inefficient – The SDS Party Has Tabled A Law To Remedy The Consequences

The Slovenian Democratic Party (Slovenska demokratska stranka – SDS) parliamentary group has tabled amendments to the Act Determining Intervention Measures for Recovery from the Floods and Landslides of August 2023, and the Act on Reconstruction, Development and Provision of Financial Sources.

The aim of the amendment to the Act Determining Intervention Measures for Recovery from the Floods and Landslides of August 2023 is to provide for advance payments for the reconstruction of housing, including for those individuals who were building their houses at the time of the floods and landslides, but whose construction had not yet been completed and who did not yet have a specific house number. As a result, no one was living in the house and, consequently, no person had a registered permanent address on the property.

The tabled amendment introduces a solution whereby the owners of buildings that were still under construction and damaged by floods and landslides in 2023, and therefore, according to the Central Population Register, had no registered permanent residence on the 31st of July 2023, would be entitled to a 20 percent advance payment for the reconstruction of the damaged buildings. The implementation of the amendment will require additional budgetary resources, but these would be minimal in relation to the amount of the advances paid so far.

It is estimated that there are between 10 and 20 beneficiaries, which means that the financial impact would be between 150,000 and 300,000 euros at most.

The aim of the amendment to the Act on Reconstruction, Development and Provision of Financial Sources is, however, to delete the procedures for expropriation under the urgent procedure and to ensure that the interference with the right to property is carried out within the framework of the existing legislation governing these procedures, i.e. the Spatial Management Act. The amendment will have positive consequences by preventing excessive encroachment on the property rights of residents who suffered extensive damage to buildings, land and property in last year’s storms.

Flood protection measures could be implemented differently and more cheaply

Farmers have also pointed out this problem in the context of large-scale expropriations of agricultural land for the construction of dry detention basins. In Slovenia, agricultural land is not abundant, and decisions must be taken in discussion with the owners of agricultural land, not without them. Slovenia ranks at the tail end of European countries in terms of its capacity for food self-sufficiency. In addition, there are more than 1,500 hectares of degraded land that could be used for development. The SDS party parliamentary group is not opposed to anti-flooding measures but believes that they could be implemented differently and more cheaply, so that valuable and high-quality agricultural land is not lost where that is not absolutely necessary. The SDS party group of MPs had already pointed out that this was excessive intervention when the law was adopted, but the proposal was rejected, so this time, an amendment to this part of the law has been tabled in the legislative procedure.

Moja Dolenjska

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