Premier: €19 million Earmarked for Projects in First Green Call

Premier Eduard Heger (photo by TASR)

Muran, April 14 (TASR) – As part of the first green call of the Slovak Recovery and Resilience Plan, a total of €19 million has been allocated for projects in the Muranska planina and Poloniny national parks, Prime Minister Eduard Heger and Environment Minister Jan Budaj (both OLaNO) said in Muran on Thursday, adding that the funds will support projects related to developing so-called soft tourism, nature-friendly forest management activities and preserving the country’s cultural values.

“Our goal is to help these regions, to bring them back to life, to make them an attractive place because they face an exodus of the young generation. They are gems, I believe these investments will increase the quality of life in these areas,” stated Heger.

Muranska planina national park is spread over three districts – Rimavska Sobota, Revuca and Brezno (all Banska Bystrica region), all of which are struggling with high unemployment and depopulation. “If we compare the past decade, the population has decreased in Rimavska Sobota district from 84,000 to 80,000 inhabitants; it’s as if one large municipality has disappeared. In Revuca district unemployment is at 18 percent, a population decline of 2,0000 has also been seen here over the past ten years. Brezno district is a bit better off as for employment, but it’s facing an even bigger population decline,” noted Budaj, adding that this is a serious reason why the Government is directing the recovery plan right there.

The supported activities will include, for example, constructing cycle routes, car parks in national parks and building and renewing tourism infrastructure. Implementation of water-retention and anti-erosion measures is also envisaged. The call also includes presentations of crafts, the restoration of historical parks and orchards with traditional varieties and the restoration of cultural monuments and local monuments as well as the setting-up of modern museums.