THE CABINET might reduce the number of public holidays in Slovakia. Prime Minister Robert Fico said the country has one of the largest numbers of public holidays of any country in the EU and that employers have repeatedly called for fewer holidays, the SITA newswire reported.
Representatives of the Roman Catholic Church, however, denounced any plans to eliminate public holidays that fall on religious holidays, which they say are enshrined in the Basic Treaty between Slovakia and the Holy See.
“We understand them as spiritual roots of the existence of society, as a great opportunity to motivate people who during a free day regain spiritual strength to withstand the difficulties of everyday life,” the president of the Slovak Bishops’ Conference, Stanislav Zvolenský, said after meeting the prime minister, SITA reported.
Fico set out the arguments of employers to the bishops and explained the positive effect that cancelling some public holidays might have on economic growth and the consolidation of public finances.
“We have to deal with the employers’ proposal, but the decision has yet to be made,” he said, as quoted by SITA. “If the list of holidays is an integral part of the Basic Treaty, is will be more difficult to touch these holidays.”