Three billion to be poured into Upper Nitra

When the mining region closes all its mines, it should transform with the help of state and EU money.

Bojnice Castle is a well-known tourist attraction in Upper Nitra. Government wants to boost tourism in the region when mining stops there.Bojnice Castle is a well-known tourist attraction in Upper Nitra. Government wants to boost tourism in the region when mining stops there. (Source: SME)

The Upper Nitra region, known for its mining tradition, should be completely transformed when the mining ceases.

The government has greenlighted an action plan on Wednesday that counts on pouring about €3 billion into the region within about two hundred investment projects.

Following a cabinet session Deputy PM for investment, Richard Raši, said that the money should be from various funds, mainly EU. The investment projects should include a new transport infrastructure, innovation support, R&D support, support for SMEs and tourism.

"What matters to us is preserving and creating jobs, the requalification of miners and the construction of a new transport infrastructure," said the Trenčín Regional Governor Jaroslav Baška, as quoted by the SITA newswire. Upper Nitra is part of the Trenčín Region. Baška said he is not worried that Upper Nitra will turn into some backward region.

Raši admitted that not all the people who lose jobs in mining will be able to get new jobs, for instance due to their age. The government will prepare a special social programme for them, he pledged.

The action plan counts on Upper Nitra to transform by 2023, the year when the so-called general economic interest in mining coal for electricity production expires, SITA wrote.

The mining is supported with the fees of all electricity consumers through monthly bills, with altogeher €115 million a year, the newswire noted.

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