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The Ministry of Infrastructure has prepared a draft bill on the management and construction of the second rail track. Foto: BoBo

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Who will build the second rail track?

A civil initiative prepares its own draft bill
17. March 2017 ob 12:07
Ljubljana - MMC RTV SLO

There will be battle of concepts on the financing and management of the second rail track between Koper and Divača until the very start of construction work on the project, and probably even after that.

The Ministry of Infrastructure has prepared a draft bill on the management and construction of the second rail track. It expects the government to approve the draft bill until the end of March, and for it to be confirmed by Parliament in May. The procedure is to be fast-tracked because of the drawing of extra funds for the project. Meanwhile a civil initiative has prepared its own draft bill. The biggest difference between the two bills is whether to award concessions for the second track to foreigners.

In order to carry out the big infrastructure project without increasing the national debt, the Ministry of Infrastructure has decided that the investor for the second track be a company in which other countries can acquire stakes. The company is to be called 2TDK.

The civil initiative warns of the traps if hinterland countries, and foreign financial centres, are allowed to take part in the second track project. The initiative is convinced that Slovenia is capable of constructing the second rail track on its own, without any partners, and for a smaller amount of money, says economist Jože Damijan. The civil initiative will start collecting signatures in support of its draft bill, and will also intensify talks with deputy groups, especially those from the opposition, for one of them to embrace the bill and file it for parliamentary procedure.

However, the Ministry of Infrastructure does not wish for that to happen, as the existence of any other draft bill would further delay the whole project. The ministry is in a hurry to apply for the drawing of EU funds.

M. D., Radio Slovenija; translated by K. J.