published: 24.09.2012, 14:28 | updated: 24.09.2012 14:40:20
Prague - President Vaclav Klaus certainly knows well that with some of his decisions he does not contribute to the government´s stability, Czech Prime Minister Petr Necas said today in reaction to Klaus´s veto on the government´s key pension reform bill.
Klaus vetoed the bill today, citing the lack of consensus on it on the political scene as well as in society.
Necas (Civic Democrats, ODS) said the government has taken steps to meet some of the opposition´s demands, such as making people´s participation in the new system of private pension saving voluntary.
"The president definitely knows that some of his steps, based on the [leftist] opposition´s arguments, do not contribute to the political stability of the government," Necas said in a press release.
Rebelling ODS deputies Petr Tluchor and Ivan Fuksa have already said they agree with Klaus´s words that the pension reform cannot he financed by tax increases. They did not say, however, what position they would take when the Chamber of Deputies will vote to override Klaus´s veto.
It is not clear therefore whether the government will have enough votes to definitively push through the bill that enables people to send part of their compulsory pension insurance contributions to private accounts managed by pension funds as from 2013.
Labour and Social Affairs Minister Jaromir Drabek (TOP 09) today said he wonders why Klaus has vetoed what is actually a technical norm, instead of protesting against other pension reform bills, passed previously.
Finance Minister Miroslav Kalousek (TOP 09) said Klaus has chosen substitute reasons when explaining his step. TOP 09 deputies will keep to the coalition agreement on supporting the pension reform bill, Kalousek said.
Necas said Klaus has the right to his opinion. However, a long-lasting failure to solve [problems ensuing from] structural reforms introduced by the former Social Democrat governments is no longer tenable, he pointed out.
A debate on the pension system´s stabilisation has been conducted in the Czech Republic for more than 15 years, he recalled.
"This government has stopped marking time and submitted a solution whose basic principles, embedded in the previously passed laws, were not vetoed by the president," Necas said.
Klaus, who explained his fresh veto at his website today, wrote that he let the previous pension reform-related bills make it through parliament without signing or vetoing them in view of the opposition´s obstructions accompanying the debate.
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