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President signs salary freeze for top officials

THE SALARIES of the president, the prime minister, ministers, legislators and senior management of the Supreme Audit Office (NKÚ) and the prosecutor general will be frozen at this year's level in 2014, according to an amendment to the law on the remuneration of certain senior state officials that President Ivan Gašparovič signed on December 17, the TASR newswire reported.

THE SALARIES of the president, the prime minister, ministers, legislators and senior management of the Supreme Audit Office (NKÚ) and the prosecutor general will be frozen at this year's level in 2014, according to an amendment to the law on the remuneration of certain senior state officials that President Ivan Gašparovič signed on December 17, the TASR newswire reported.

The salaries of top public officials will in fact remain at the levels set in 2011. Salaries of judges of the Constitutional Court, Supreme Court and Specialised Criminal Court and those of regular judges will remain at the level set in 2012. The ombudsman will receive a salary and lump-sum compensation, along with compensation for other expenditures at the volume set in 2011. The remuneration of MPs' assistants and the volume of expenditures on a lawmaker's office will stay at 2011 levels.

Judges have condemned the salary freeze. The Slovak Judges Association Chairwoman Dana Bystrianska noted back in November that judges, unlike MPs, aren't allowed to have sources of income other than their salaries. She also pointed to the fact that cuts in judge's salaries could be unconstitutional in regards to threatening judicial independence, TASR wrote.

The amendment was debated in parliament via fast-tracked proceedings and approved on December 3. The Finance Ministry estimates that this will save the state budget €8.2 million. These savings have already been factored into the recently approved 2014-16 state budget.

Source: TASR

Compiled by Michaela Terenzani from press reports
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