A protest by trade unionists from across Slovakia against the government's austerity measures will be held in Bratislava on Tuesday, October 12, union representatives stated on Monday, the TASR newswire reported.
Trade unionists will gather on SNP Square in the afternoon to begin a protest march to the parliament building. They want to express their disagreement with the government's package of austerity measures, which, according to them, would mostly affect employees and the poorest social groups in the country.
According to the president of the Trade Union Confederation (KOZ), Miroslav Gazdík, the austerity measures would increase the annual expenditures of an average family of four by €400, which represents almost one monthly salary. KOZ vice-presidents Vladimír Mojš and Daniela Žuffová added at the press conference that they have tried to persuade the government at bilateral sessions to direct belt-tightening more at wealthier groups and companies representing Slovak capital.
In particular, they said they requested various levels of VAT, a higher tax burden on revenues from dividends, a ban on raising excise taxes on coal and gas, and the cancellation of the 6-percent tax on direct sales from farms. In addition, they disagree with the proposed new valorisation mechanism for calculating pensions.
The trade unionists said they hope the protests will prompt MPs into re-assessing the measures proposed by the government. If this doesn't occur, the unions said they are prepared to initiate more extensive protests like those that took place in 2003 during the second government of Mikuláš Dzurinda.
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.
12. Oct 2010 at 10:00