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Unions to start a petition for early elections

The Confederation of Trade Unions (KOZ) plans to start a petition for early elections. The unionists say elections should be held next July. The KOZ's plans have taken the political arena by surprise.

The ruling coalition objects to the plans on the grounds that the unions are trying to substitute themselves for the political parties. KOZ boss Ivan Saktor said that the unions' initiative is a response to the cabinet's reluctance to accept the social demands of the unions.

Originally, the unions had planned a one-day strike, but they changed their minds after no one attributed significance to their recent one-hour strike, daily SME wrote.

Robert Fico's Smer is likely to support the unions.

Saktor hopes that trade unionists will succeed in collecting the required number of 350,000 signatures within two months, once they begin the petition. He expects that not only trade unionists but also all those dissatisfied with the current social situation will support the unions' plans.

The trade unions' requests include raising the minimum wage, changes to tax and pension reform, and assurance that a collective agreement in the public service sector will be signed for 2004.

Compiled by Beata Balogová from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.

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