Contrary to their original plans, MPs will hold another session prior to Christmas after President Ivan Gašparovič vetoed two laws recently passed by parliament, the TASR newswire reported on Tuesday, December 20.
Gašparovič returned to parliament a law to freeze the salaries of public officials, as well as a law on social services. In response, Speaker of Parliament Pavol Hrušovský has convened a session for today, Wednesday, December 21, in order to hold a second vote. If a law is passed twice by MPs the presidential veto is overridden.
Gašparovič took exception to the fact that the first law introduces a provision whereby MPs are entitled to receive their salaries as soon as they are elected. This amends the current practice whereby legislators receive salaries only from the time they are sworn in. The law is intended to freeze the salaries of lawmakers, the president himself, members of the government, the chair and vice-chair of the Supreme Audit Office, the general prosecutor, the ombudsman, the heads of central bodies of the state administration and certain state employees.
As regards the amendment to the law on social services, Gašparovič objected to the fact that it is retroactive, and expressed concern about its impact on the socially disadvantaged. It was drawn up by Labour, Social Affairs and the Family Minister Jozef Mihál, and stipulates that elderly people living in state-run homes must pay at least half the average costs if they possess assets above a certain value. The new law also states that the property of their nearest relatives will also be taken into consideration if they have handed any money over to them in the past five years.
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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21. Dec 2011 at 14:00