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Coalition solves salary dispute

MPs’ salaries will increase by €1, while the final solution to the problem will be introduced next year.

l-r: SNS chair Andrej Danko, Smer chair and PM Robert Fico and Most-Hid chair Béla Bugár(Source: SITA)

The salaries of constitutional officials in Slovakia will increase by €1 from January. The change will be adopted this year by amending a completely different law. Moreover, the coalition plans to solve the problem of frozen salaries next year by preparing new legislation.

“There is a clear agreement that we cannot unfreeze salaries using the calculation introduced in the past,” Prime Minister Robert Fico (Smer) said after the meeting of the coalition caucuses, as quoted by the TASR newswire. “Thus, we have made a deal that salaries will increase symbolically by €1.”

Opening the discussion

MPs’ salaries have not changed since 2011. They currently amount to €3,346 (for those living in Bratislava) or to €3,576 (for those living outside Bratislava) per month.

The coalition now plans to change this in the short-term via an amendment to one of the tax laws.

“The recent steps are an attempt by the coalition to open a discussion on how to remove the deformation of constitutional officials’ salaries and nominees in state-run companies. It will not be an easy job,” Fico said.

Read also:Why Fico is threatening the fall of the cabinet

“It is necessary to set certain coefficients which the salaries of constitutional officials and political nominees in state-run companies will depend on,” the prime minister continued.

“It is important that the coalition leaders manage to explain to one another the existing problems,” added Andrej Danko, speaker of parliament and chair of the Slovak National Party (SNS).

He also claimed that the opposition lied to the coalition. Though he has recommended that they learn more about the proposal of his party colleague Anton Hrnko, the opposition has refused to do so.

“It is comical, particularly if they now disagree with the increase in salaries,” Danko said, as quoted by TASR.

Opposition responds

The coalition representatives are ready to introduce the final solution for the remuneration of constitutional officials in the first half of next year.

“By a fundamental approach and searching for compromises the coalition has found a solution that will meet the expectations of people as well as politicians,” the leader of the third coalition party Most-Híd, Béla Bugár, said.

“The most important thing is that we did not unfreeze salaries and opened a debate on the solution,” Bugár said, as quoted by TASR. “It has to be a systematic and comprehensive solution to avoid any future freeze.”

Responding to the coalition agreement, chair of the opposition Ordinary People and Independent Personalities (OĽaNO) Igor Matovič said that it is clear that the people have won again. The only thing Fico is afraid of is the rage of people, so he has given up.

“However, if Fico, Andrej Danko and Béla Bugár think everything will be forgotten after six months and that they can try to silently increase salaries again, they are mistaken,” Matovič said, as quoted by TASR.

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