Fico and Rasi Challenge Constitutionality of Covid Bill

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Smer-SD head Robert Fico (stock photo by TASR)

Bratislava, October 14 (TASR) – By shepherding the Protection, Support and Development of Public Health Act amendment through Parliament on Wednesday, Prime Minister Igor Matovic (OLaNO) has foisted responsibility for the fight against the novel coronavirus onto the Public Health Office, MP Richard Rasi (Independent) declared after the vote on the same day.

Rasi warned that the amendment might cause problems in the future, as some of its provisions might fly in the face of other laws and the Slovak Constitution.

Smer-SD chair Robert Fico claimed that even coalition lawmakers conceded that the drafting of the bill had been rushed and reiterated that many of its provisions might violate the Constitution. “We harbour a great objection against the provision stating that when measures that the Public Health Office will be allowed to introduce under this law are implemented, it won’t be possible to pursue any compensation for damages or lost profits. We can’t give this a thumbs-up, as it’s a considerable restriction of basic rights,” he said.

Rasi also criticises the fact that the coalition also attempted to put into the bill mandatory vaccination, but relented and withdrew it in the face of the pressure from lawmakers. He also warned of the fact that the bill will render impossible any demands for compensation from a number of businesses. “We don’t mean profits that they enjoyed in the past and now don’t, but they won’t have any claim even to compensation for operational losses or finances they lost by keeping the business in existence and afloat,” he added.

The bill, approved by Parliament, is aimed to do away with discongruences regarding measures of the Public Health Office. It was passed in a fast-tracked procedure.