published: 21.10.2012, 16:26 | updated: 21.10.2012 16:27:20
Prague - Senators of the Czech opposition Social Democrats (CSSD) are preparing a constitutional complaint about the new social cards (sCards), saying they interfere with privacy of state benefits recipients, CSSD deputy chairman Lubomir Zaoralek said on Czech Television (CT) today.
Petr Simunek, deputy chairman of the Communist party (KSCM), said in Questions of Vaclav Moravec (OVM) on CT, his party will most probably join the complaint.
The benefits recipients are to withdraw the money with the cards from ATMs and to transfer them to their own accounts with their bank. They also can pay with them.
The opposition, trade unions and the handicapped people´s council have long criticised the project and called for a halt to issuing the cards.
The cards were also criticised by the ombudsman.
Zaoralek said the CSSD bases its constitutional complaint precisely on the ombudsman´s stand.
The CSSD has an absolute majority of 46 mandates in the 81-seat Senate after the elections to one third of the house that ended on Saturday while minimally 17 signatures are required for a constitutional complaint. The Communists have two senators.
The sCards system is operated by the Ceska sporitelna (CS) savings bank that won a tender. In January the Labour and Social Affairs Ministry concluded a contract for 12 years with it. The contract was signed by former deputy minister Vladimir Siska who has been in custody on suspicion of bribe in public procurement.
Minister Jaromir Drabek (TOP 09) will leave his post as from October 31. Prime Minister Petr Necas (Civic Democrats, ODS) said this week the government may have to revise some of Drabek´s steps, particularly in relation to the sCards.
According to Daily Mlada fronta Dnes (MfD), no revision is possible, however, and that possible changes would probably result in arbitration because CS is ready to defend itself.
MfD wrote on Saturday that Drabek lied when he said the sCard will not be used for the pensions that are now paid out via postal money orders.
The daily wrote that it ensues from the contract that the Czech Republic has pledged to send 98 percent of benefits, including pensions, via the cards.
The ministry´s spokeswoman Viktorie Plivova said the payment of pensions via the cards would require a change to legislation, but that nothing like this is being prepared now.
She said the contract only leaves this possibility open for the future, MfD wrote.
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