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NEWS BRIEFS

Ministry to pay Christmas bonuses

MANY pensioners in Slovakia will receive Christmas bonuses from the state this year, thanks to the generosity of the new socialist government of PM Robert Fico.

Labour Minister Viera Tomanová has announced that all pensioners receiving up to Sk10,365 per month will receive up to an extra Sk2,000 at the end of 2006, the SME daily wrote.

Pensioners who regularly receive less than Sk3,455 a month will get a bonus of Sk2,000, while those getting up to Sk6,910 will be sent Sk1,750, and those being paid up to Sk10,365 will receive Sk1,500.

The average monthly old-age pension in Slovakia is currently Sk7,735, which is less than half the average national wage.

The announced Christmas bonuses for pensioners will cost the state Sk1.7 billion in unplanned budget expenditures.

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