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The Assessments Of Flood Damage Now Stand At Almost 10 Billion

Assessments of the damage of the catastrophic August floods began to be talked about in the public domain soon after the floods ended. The initial estimates made by the Prime Minister proved to be grossly underestimated. Since those days, however, they have risen dramatically. Jelka Godec, leader of the Slovenian Democratic Party (Slovenska demokratska stranka – SDS) parliamentary group, has now commented on the latest estimate, which has risen to about ten billion.

“From 500,000 million to 4 billion euros, to Golob’s statement that the damage is certainly 6.7 billion euros, and now to the statement by the Minister for Cohesion that the total estimate of direct damage and consequences after the August floods is 9.9 billion euros. God alone knows, or perhaps the government knows, what the estimate will be tomorrow,” MP Godec wrote.

The first damage assessment was given on the 5th of August, after a meeting of the National Security Council. It was estimated at half a billion euros. “Fortunately, today’s weather was nicer than what had been forecast, but the damage to hundreds of buildings is enormous and will probably exceed €500 million,” the Prime Minister told the media at the time. It soon became clear that the first damage assessment had been a gross underestimation.

At the end of August, the damage assessment was already much higher. The Prime Minister announced at the presentation of the amended budget that the latest estimates of the damage amount to €4.7 billion. Over the next five years, this is expected to rise further, up to €6 or €7 billion. The extra money would ensure that critical areas are more resilient to future disasters. At the September National Assembly meeting, the Prime Minister said: “Let there be no misunderstanding, the damage will be more than €6.7 billion.” He declined to explain how the damage would be assessed, saying that everything would be spelled out in detail in the Reconstruction and Development Law.

About a month later, the damage assessment had risen again. The latest estimates put it at €9.9 billion. The news of the renewed increase was announced by the Minister for Cohesion and Regional Development, Aleksander Jevšek, after the government meeting. This is almost €3 billion more than the previous pessimistic scenario and almost 20 times the first estimate. According to the newspaper Finance, Slovenia’s total GDP is €57 billion, and flood damage accounts for 17% of the total GDP. Jevšek claims that the damage is being inventoried according to the Post Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA) methodology, which does not assess the value of the old house in the case of a destroyed house, but rather the value of the construction of the new building that will replace it. The total amount of ten billion also includes costs such as monitoring, avalanche rehabilitation, etc.

The damage reported by 173 Slovenian municipalities amounts to only €2.7 billion, but this does not include damage to the economy.

Ž. K.

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