The names of all the people who signed a petition in support of the second, or capitalisation, pillars of Slovakia’s old-age pensions system will be read aloud in parliament, opposition Slovak Democratic and Christian Union (SDKÚ) leader Pavol Frešo announced at a press conference on Tuesday, August 7. The petition organised by the SDKÚ has already been signed by around 80,000 people.
"Smer [the ruling party] fears people's opinion. It's gutless and afraid of public opinion. That's why we're debating [the bill] via fast-tracked proceedings in mid-summer. We'll do everything we can to protect the money of people who work and save responsibly for their pensions," said SDKÚ vice-chairman Ivan Štefanec, as quoted by the TASR newswire. "If I were sure that [reading out the names of the signatories] would help and would halt the socialists, we'd read them out twice," said Frešo.
SDKÚ is criticising Smer for attempting to push through an amendment to the Act on Social Insurance that would reduce the level of deductions to the second pillar from 9 percent to 4 percent, even though it didn't propose such a significant modification to the pension system before its victory in the March general election. It also says that the legislative proposal was not submitted for proper debate. The opposition Most-Híd and Christian Democratic Movement (KDH) appeared unmoved by the SDKÚ’s tactics in parliament on Monday, with Most-Híd's László Solymos saying that a filibuster would not make much sense as Smer would approve the bill anyway. "Of course, we'll say what we think about the amendment. I'm not sure whether there is any sense in creating obstructions, however. Put simply, if Smer wants to have it passed, it will have it passed," said Solymos.
An MP for the opposition Ordinary People and Independent Personalities (OĽaNO), Alojz Hlina, wasn't particularly enthusiastic about Frešo's idea, saying it could set a precedent. However, he said that he would quite happily read out the names of people that had signed a petition in support of resolving the Roma issue.
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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