The Government of the Republic of Slovenia paid a working visit to the Posavska region, which consists of the municipalities of Bistrica ob Sotli, Brežice, Kostanjevica na Krki, Krško, Radeče and Sevnica. At the end of the visit, members of the Government attended a public forum and answered questions from mayors, businesspeople and other actors of development in the region.
The Deputy Mayor of the Municipality of Krško, Nuša Somrak, welcomed all the guests and thanked them for their good cooperation in the past, which she hopes will continue in the future.
The Director-General of the Statistical Office, Tomaž Smrekar, presented the statistical data of the region and placed them in a wider context. The Posavska region is the 11th largest statistical region in terms of population and the 9th largest in terms of area; the most populous is the municipality of Krško, which is the 12th largest municipality in Slovenia in this respect. Posavje is a region with average population density.
Prime Minister Janez Janša pointed out a significant breakthrough of the region: in the last two decades, it has improved by 12 percentage points in terms of development and reached the Slovenian average although its epidemiological and economic situation was the same as in the rest of the country. The Prime Minister congratulated all those who contributed to this and proved that it is possible to progress faster than average.
When asked about the future of the Krško Nuclear Power Plant, the Prime Minister explained that in 20 years the share of nuclear energy in use will be even higher. The entire development of the region, however, cannot be built on the energy sector, which employs only 10% of the population. All other sectors are needed, too, such as tourism. The income from tourism can double or even triple in the future, so it is not a coincidence that the Faculty of Tourism is based in Brežice.
Minister Zdravko Počivalšek said that the region has three successful industries: energy, metal processing and food processing. All three will be given a significant package of support in all regions. He visited several companies, where he presented the possibilities for obtaining funds from the Recovery and Resilience Plan available for various purposes. The minister expressed his satisfaction with the operation of the business incubator in Posavje.
Minister Mark Boris Andrijanič said that he was extremely positively surprised by the quality of work and start-ups.
Minister Andrej Vizjak said that the Government had already adopted the national spatial plan for the Feniks economic and logistics centre in 2008 and 2009. It is one of the largest economic and business zones in Slovenia, which is still untapped. Spatial interventions are, namely, very limited. After the last talks, the minister estimates that the time is right to start the project, so the Ministry of the Environment and Spatial Planning will prepare a draft agreement on its actual implementation. Regarding the Mokrice Hydroelectric Power Plant, the Minister said that this is an extremely important project, so the Ministry of the Environment is planning to issue a building permit before the end of the current Government term.
On his visit to the Brežice General Hospital, Minister Janez Poklukar thanked the Director and Medical Director, as the hospital has been fighting the epidemic for 22 months while successfully implementing all other programmes. The hospital has played its part in the epidemic and is currently handling all its foreseen tasks. During his visit, the minister noted that the management has a strategy and vision, so he is not worried about healthcare in the Posavska region.
The Prime Minister concluded by explaining that it is in our interest for Croatia to enter the Schengen Zone. “It is in the interest of the European Union that the border of the Schengen Zone is at its external border,” said Prime Minister Janez Janša.