With the change of the Slovenian government in 2022, common sense, expertise and Slovenian nature – especially the safety of rivers – went from bad to worse. While the previous government only hinted at ideas that jeopardize nature, the current government is actively doing it. During that time, the media was full of apocalyptic headlines and the streets were full of people angry from such news. This time, the media is silent, mainstream nature conservationists sing mantras about green business, sorry, “green transition”, and people don’t know exactly what to think. Well, they think whatever is suggested to them in the evening news.

At least as far as nature is concerned – especially rivers – let us help make things a little clearer.

Prime Minister Golob (previously the head of the biggest Slovenian electricity supplier and dealer company GEN-I) broke up the Ministry of Environment and Space into the Ministry of Environment, Climate and Energy and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Space. In charge of the first ministry was one of the country’s main energetics guys, an executioner of Slovenian rivers, Mag. Bojan Kumer. The second was benevolently taken over by the at-the-time mayor of the municipality of Tolmin, Uroš Brežan.

In August, severe floods occurred unexpectedly, which fortunately did not take a high toll in the form of lives, but caused enormous damage to the (catastrophically placed) infrastructure. In the emergency situation, one of the greatest values of the Slovenian nation was revealed in all its glory; quick and effective help to a fellow human being, which did not need interventions from politics and bridged otherwise imposed differences. But as soon as the river mud dried, a new kind of mud washed up. Every tragedy lures scavengers to the surface, who, blinded by the overwhelming opportunity, forget the art of concealment.

The post-flood reconstruction is both an opportunity to properly arrange river affairs in green Slovenia once and for all, or an opportunity to make them even worse while spending enormous sums of taxpayers’ money. It is probably clear what the current government has chosen.

The government decided to remove expert arguments and suggestions from the debate. The most obvious result of this was the forced ‘resignation’ of Minister Brežan, whose mistake was that he wanted to listen to the experts in the field and not the flow of money of the construction and energy business. “On one hand, long-term solutions that are professionally justified and socially acceptable, on the other hand, quick, pleasing solutions, often beneficial to individual interests, but in the long term, they bring more harm than good to society and individuals.” These were the last words of the now ex-minister. “The position of minister will thus be taken over by someone who is more compatible with the Prime Minister’s views”. And just like that, that someone quickly became none other than Alenka Bratušek, the current (unelected) Minister of Infrastructure and the well-known promoter of mass concreting.

With this newly established ‘situation’, the cards for the Slovenian energy and construction sector turned out to be more beautiful than in a dream; the capo di banda of the Slovenian energy industry Golob is the Prime Minister, the big hydro fan Kumer is the Minister of Environment, Climate and Energy, and the main proponent of concrete and turbines Alenka Bratušek is simultaneously the Minister of Natural Resources and Space and the Minister of Infrastructure. It’s a real hat trick for the definitive destruction of everything that is (still) running in Slovenia!

But the matter does not end there; Bratušek’s appointment to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Spatial Space was not criticized by either left-wing or right-wing politicians and neither left-wing nor right-wing media. It may be becoming a little more clear to you that the main faces of the political left and right are eating from the same bucket.

Anyone unable to understand this has problems with the concept of belonging and/or the use of cognitive capacities. If this group persists and carries out their less-and-less hidden plans (cramming as many escarpments, canals and new hydropower facilities as possible into the post-flood reconstruction – among them the Mokrice HPP project, which has already been canceled three times in court, and the interventional change of the legislation in favour of hydroelectric power plants), this is the end for Slovenian rivers and the beginning of even greater enrichment of those at the trough.

Perhaps the new slogan of the Slovenian tourism organization will be “I feel concrete” instead of “I feel sLOVEnia. Slovenia – Green, Active, Healthy can become Slovenia – Canals, Concrete, Reinforcement. 

Think it over and come up with reasonable conclusions for yourself. We will not (as in 2020) invite crowds to the streets, nor will we go there alone, because the matter is clear – the change that the street can bring is only a change within the pool of Slovenian politicians, and this is only illusional. Although things are not rosy, it is good to at least know what is happening behind the curtains of the promises of a better tomorrow on the sunny side of the Alps.