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Special parliamentary session on unemployment wraps up without agreement

The opposition failed to get a resolution voicing unease over the growing unemployment rate and what it describes as the worsening conditions for the creation of new jobs in Slovakia after only 48 legislators out of the 124 present in parliament voted in favour after a lengthy debate on April 16.

The opposition failed to get a resolution voicing unease over the growing unemployment rate and what it describes as the worsening conditions for the creation of new jobs in Slovakia after only 48 legislators out of the 124 present in parliament voted in favour after a lengthy debate on April 16.

The extraordinary parliamentary session, initiated by 31 opposition lawmakers, was wrapped up shortly before midnight, after almost 13 hours of debate, the TASR newswire wrote. The initiators hoped the session would result in the approval of a statement expressing concern about the rising unemployment and what they believe are the deteriorating conditions for job creation. The unemployment rate stood at 14.7 percent in February; joblessness in the districts of Rimavská Sobota and Revúca (both in Banska Bystrica Region) exceeded 30 percent.

Opposition MPs also wanted parliament to ask the government to submit a report on specific measures to improve conditions for job creation and the business environment, and to ask the government not to submit more bills that would increase the financial and non-financial burden on employers and businesses. The opposition believes that some of the issues could be tackled by making the Labour Code more flexible, introducing a work-instead-of-benefits system, and by lowering taxes for small businesses that create new jobs.

Before the failed vote, the government on April 16 denounced the opposition-sponsored initiative. The cabinet stated that Labour Minister Ján Richter had already submitted a report to parliament on the state of affairs in the labour market in Slovakia, including specific measures aimed at remedying the situation. Legislators are slated to debate the document at a parliamentary session in May.

Source: TASR

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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