It’s been a year since Golob’s government, with an amendment to the Government Act, clearly indicated what their modus operandi will be as far as nature and rivers are concerned. If they failed with everything else, they are at least one of the best, (if not the best Slovenian government to date) in the systematic destruction of watercourses. An elite group of hydro energy specialists, construction company leaders and various concessionaires found themselves on the side of the decision-makers, so this comes with no surprise.
Here we list only a selection of their outstanding moves of the last year, which suspiciously are infrequently discussed in the media:
– With the amendment to the Government Act, the government enabled energy companies to write consents with conditions for interventions in nature. This removes all safeguards against critical interventions in the environment (power plants etc.). MORE INFO
– The Minister of Environment, Climate and Energy becomes the previous Minister of Energy and the big promoter of hydro power plants on Mura (although there was a coalition commitment that HPP on Mura would not be built), Bojan Kumer. MORE INFO
– The Prime Minister’s best man takes over leadership of the HSE (Slovenian Powerplants Holding) and receives half a billion taxpayers’ euros from the state. Not long after, the HSE management pays out business performance awards. MORE INFO
– On May 11, the Administrative Court annuls the previous government’s decision on the dominance of the public benefit of the construction of HPP Mokrice, and it seemed that the matter has finally been resolved after many years. But that was not the case. The government comments that now ‘the ball is back in the hands of the government’ or in other words, that they will continue to try to build this controversial power plant in the future. MORE INFO
– After the resignation of the Minister of Natural Resources and Spatial Affairs, this position is taken over by an expert in business, turbines and machinations, the former and concurrent Minister of Infrastructure, Alenka Bratušek. With this, the government achieves an unprecedented hat trick of ‘concrete lovers’ in the highest positions. MORE INFO
– On November 23 the government determined the text of the proposal for the Restoration Act, which (among other things) gives the green light and funding for the complete destruction of Slovenian watercourses by means of excavators, concrete, scarps, canals, and will certainly not bring better resilience for floods in the future, but it will instead enable business of unimaginable dimensions. When preparing the text of the bill, the government consistently rejected the opinions of internationally recognized experts in the field of freah water ecosystems (https://sdzv-drustvo.si/novice/javni-poziv-o-obnovi-po-poplavah-13-september-2023). The law is supposed to be discussed and adopted in the National Assembly according to an urgent procedure, it is supposed to enter into force on January 1, 2024, and of course the excavators are already roaring and doing irreparable damage. Of course, they don’t want to hear about nature-friendly measures that are more effective and much cheaper (including many examples of good practices from abroad). MORE INFO
– Last week the HSE suffered a serious cyber attack due to the storage of extremely important passwords in the cloud. If the dams of large hydro power plants (and the thousands of people who live downstream from them) used to be ‘only’ at the mercy of high waters, earthquakes and landslides, now they are also threatened by cyber threats. MORE INFO
Things are bad on the sunny side of the Alps when it comes to rivers. Although everything points to the fact that this cast will soon draw the curtain on itself, the adopted laws and cartel agreements to the detriment of rivers and citizens will unfortunately remain in effect even when the next representative of capital, globalism and the destructive ‘green’ transition will rule the stage of the parliamentary theater.
Despite everything, we will do our best to draw attention to the catastrophic situation and look for ways to stop this completely unnecessary destruction, or at least limit it. Good and thoughtful suggestions are of course welcome and so is your personal commitment to common sense and rivers, since this is simply too big of a problem for our little crew alone.