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Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Slovenia struggles to recover from floods as EU funds fall short

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LJUBLJANA, Slovenia – Slovenia is facing a long and costly recovery process after being hit by the worst floods in its history, which killed at least six people and caused more than half a billion euros in damage.

The floods, triggered by torrential rains and landslides, affected two-thirds of the country, submerging towns and villages, destroying roads and bridges, and cutting off access to some areas.

The Slovenian government declared a state of emergency and appealed for international assistance through the EU and NATO mechanisms. It also allocated 10 million euros of humanitarian aid to the Slovenian Red Cross and Caritas Slovenia to help the residents of the affected areas.

However, the EU funds available to Slovenia under the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF), the bloc’s main instrument to support the post-pandemic recovery, are not enough to cover the costs of the reconstruction.

Slovenia is expected to receive 2.5 billion euros from the RRF, of which 1.8 billion are grants and 705 million are loans. The European Commission has endorsed Slovenia’s recovery and resilience plan, which focuses on green and digital transition, health care, education and social inclusion.

However, only 13% of the total amount, or 231 million euros, has been disbursed so far. The rest will be paid out in installments based on the achievement of milestones and targets set out in the plan.

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