THE CABINET has approved a series of measures in response to the protests and unrest of the Roma community.
Labour Minister Ľudovít Kaník presented the cabinet with 12 measures on February 25 that he said would not affect the ongoing social reform. Among them are the increase of the work activation allowance for unemployed people from Sk1,000 (€24.6) to Sk1,500 (€36.9) per month and the increase of the state contribution to firms employing more than 100 people in social distress, the Slovak daily SME wrote.
The ministry also wants to fight loan sharking more effectively. A measure in this respect is the increase of the frequency of social allowance distribution from a monthly to a weekly basis and part of the allowance should be distributed in the form of goods rather than money.
Cabinet plenipotentiary for Roma communities Klára Orgovánová said the state should also put programmes in place that would give the Roma work, "otherwise we will just continue to stumble in improving the social network."
The events in Slovakia have caught the attention of international press and the European Parliament.
MEP Marrianne Flemming from Austria has called on Speaker of European Parliament Pat Cox to provide legislators with detailed information regarding the developments.
Compiled by Martina Pisárová from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.
26. Feb 2004 at 10:05