Speaker of Parliament Pavol Paška opened a special parliamentary session with a non-confidence vote against the Minister of Labour, Social Affairs and Family, Viera Tomanová, as the sole topic on the agenda.
The motion was filed by a group of opposition deputies.
The opposition parties are mainly criticising the minister's efforts to patch the hole in the budget of social security provider Sociálna Poisťovňa by amending the rules for participating in the capitalisation pension pillar, thus stirring insecurity among hundreds of thousands of citizens who save money for their pensions in pension fund management companies.
Deputy Prime Minister Dušan Čaplovič addressed parliament on behalf of the cabinet. He accused the opposition parties of efforts to divert attention from their own past, when they were in power and adopted measures that hurt socially weak groups of citizens.
In an effort to defend Tomanová, he said that the minister is introducing social measures to avoid and remove causes of poverty. He pointed to favourable development in employment and falling unemployment rate.
Čaplovič's speech met with negative reactions from opposition deputies. Former prime minister and chair of the opposition SDKÚ party, Mikuláš Dzurinda, reminded Čaplovič about a press conference where Tomanova and Prime Minister Robert Fico spread alarming, misleading information that the second pension pillar is risky.
The former justice minister from the KDH party, Daniel Lipšic, and former finance minister Ivan Mikloš called on the Speaker of Parliament to calm down the visitors on the parliamentary balcony, who disturbed the parliamentary session with their shouts and banners.
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.
4. Sep 2007 at 14:08