EU Promises to Assist Slovenia in Recovery After Floods
The European Commission will show 'maximum flexibility' and establish a special working group to ensure Slovenia receives the necessary funds for post-flood recovery, which devastated the country, announced Ursula von der Leyen.
This information is reported by Euronews.
The Eastern European nation will be able to redirect EU funds to cover its immediate and long-term needs following the deadly floods that caused significant damage.
'Europe is by your side,' said the European Commission President after visiting the hardest-hit regions.
She emphasized that European solidarity will extend to financial support for both immediate and medium- to long-term needs of the country.
A €400 million package is set to be immediately accessible through the EU Solidarity Fund, including €100 million to be disbursed this year, and the rest allocated for 2024. However, for Slovenia to access the funds, it must file a request and provide initial compensation for the losses, stated the head of the European Commission.
Slovenia can also request the disbursement of €2.7 billion that it still has at its disposal as part of NexGenerationEU, an €800 billion post-COVID stimulus package designed to boost the European economy and enhance its resilience to technological and climate challenges.
However, von der Leyen underscored that 'time also matters here as this request needs to be made by the end of August.'
Commission's agreement with Slovenian Prime Minister Robert Golob includes the creation of a task force to work on the requirements, ensuring that the request will be made in a timely manner.
The country can also 'reprogram' €3.3 billion from cohesion funds that it allocated until 2027 to overcome the aftermath of the disaster.
With a population of two million, the country suffered from severe flooding over the weekend following heavy rains that covered around two-thirds of the country. According to Slovenia's meteorological service, a month's worth of rainfall occurred in less than a day, leading to accumulation of weekly rainfall in some areas up to 200 mm.
The rain triggered river surges, destroying homes, roads, and bridges, and prompting warnings of possible landslides.
Six people, including two Dutch tourists, have been reported dead, hundreds have been left homeless, and approximately 8,000 people in the north and east of the country were forced to evacuate.
As reported by The Gaze, two-thirds of Slovenia's territory has been affected by sudden floods in recent days, causing damages that could exceed half a billion euros, stated the country's Prime Minister Robert Golob. He referred to the flood as the country's 'worst natural disaster' in history.