Fico: Gov't Preparing Constitutional Amendment to Embed Social Rights

Fico: Gov't Preparing Constitutional Amendment to Embed Social Rights

Martin, December 9 (TASR) – Preparations for amending the Slovak Constitution have been launched in response to the adoption of the European Pillar of Social Rights by EU leaders in Gothenburg in November, to embed in the Slovak legal system the right for minimum wage, the upper retirement age and the existence of the first, second and third pension pillars, Prime Minister Robert Fico (Smer-SD) said at a party convention in Martin (Zilina region) on Saturday.

Fico noted that if the current setting of the retirement law in Slovakia is maintained, the retirement age in some two decades will stand at 65 or even more.

“The notion that people in Slovakia should work until reaching 70, considering conditions in which they worked in the past, is unacceptable for me. That’s why I want to find agreement in Parliament to stipulate in the Constitution the upper retirement age,” said Fico.

Meanwhile, Fico is determined to finalise measures from the current social package, including the increasing of bonuses for night and weekend work, despite certain resistance by employers. Nonetheless, the prime minister stated that he’s ready to fine-tune the measures in talks with businesses over the next two months.

At the same time Fico called on Finance Minister Peter Kazimir, also from Smer, to initiate palpable growth of salaries in the public sector.

One “huge problem” that needs to be tackled is the emerging lack of skilled labour force in Slovakia, as the country can’t afford losing its competitiveness and attractiveness for foreign investment, according to Fico, who pledged to present a set of measures in January to deal with the issue. This should include the retraining of unemployed, and when this pool is exhausted, the Government will be ready to cut the red tape for imports of labour force from abroad, concluded Fico.