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NEWS

53.46 percent of voters favour second track

In Sunday’s referendum a majority of voters, 53.46 percent, voted in favour of the Act on the construction, management and governance of the second track of the Divača–Koper railway line, as indicated by unofficial partial results with 99.98 percent of ballots counted. Voter turnout for the referendum was low, with 351,443 voters or 20.51 percent of registered voters voting. The Act was supported in six out of eight electoral regions, with the highest percentages in the Ptuj (57.71%), Novo mesto (57.45%) and Maribor (56.73%) regions.

In his first statement after the polls closed, Minister of Infrastructure Dr Peter Gašperšič stated that the referendum was an unnecessary experiment by the initiators: “I believe that the voters have shown through their low turnout that they do not want to decide this by referendum, and that they are leaving the decision and the responsibility for the second track to the government. I assure you that the government will ensure that the project will be managed transparently.”

 

State Secretary at the Ministry of Infrastructure Jure Leben also said that the low turnout is a clear indication that we have a government so that it can make expert decisions. “This is how we have to move the project forward. We will manage it optimally and transparently, so that we won’t have any more bad experiences with large infrastructure projects.” He announced that tenders for the preparatory work would be opened in October and that work on the route was planned to start in November. At the end of the year the results of the European call for tenders will be known, in which a further EUR 80 to 100 million in European grant funds are expected for the construction of the tunnels along the route of the second track. EUR 44 million in European grants have already been acquired for the preparatory work.

 

Prime Minister Cerar also stated that the low turnout for the referendum “made it very clear that the voters had had enough of the political games” being played with major projects such as this. In his opinion, the support for the government project clearly indicates that voters want progress, economic development, new jobs and safer motorways. He assured those who voted against the Act that the second track will not be a new TEŠ 6, as the project will be managed transparently and has a sound financial structure and plan.

 

After the act on the second track enters into force, the project management company 2TDK, which the Slovenian government founded in March 2016, will begin all of the required activities for both the preparatory and construction phases, which it will manage during the period of the concession agreement. The concession for the construction and management of the second track will be granted to the project management company on the date of the entry into force of the Act, for a period of 45 years. At that time the company will also assume the role of investor under the Construction Act – it will conduct a call for tenders for construction and after the completion of construction it will manage the infrastructure during the concession period. After the expiry of the concession agreement, the Republic of Slovenia will hold the title to all of the public railway infrastructure comprising the second track, together with all equipment and devices required for its uninterrupted operation.

 

The contract award procedure for the preparatory work will be completed in October, and the results of the so-called blending call for proposals for European grants will be known at the end of the year.

 

You can find the results of the referendum on the state electoral commission website: volitve.gov.si/referendum/.