< /p> Illustration photo – President Petr Pavel.
Prague – The new President Petr Pavel will give his opinion on the controversial government proposal to reduce the June valorization of pensions after a meeting with representatives of the opposition movement ANO, with whom he will meet next week on Wednesday. Pavel said this in today's interview for Czech Television. The pension amendment was approved by the lower and upper parliamentary chambers. It must be signed by the president in order to take effect. When asked if he had already made up his mind, Pavel replied that there were so many completely legitimate reservations that the decision “cannot be one hundred and zero, but it will simply be somewhere around fifty”.
The president will receive ANO representatives Alena Schillerová and Karel Havlíček on Wednesday morning. He said today that he will publish the opinion “perhaps shortly after the meeting”, he wants to leave room for the main opposition party. “If they come up with any new reservations or proposals, I would very much like to take them into consideration,” the president noted.
According to Schiller's earlier statement, the ANO leaders want to describe to Pavlov how the parliamentary proceedings, which were accompanied by large-scale opposition obstructions, looked like, but also to tell him the substantive arguments against the bill. In addition, there are doubts about its constitutionality in terms of possible retroactive validity, government officials do not agree with them. Controversies are also raised by the accelerated approval of the draft in a state of legislative emergency. Pavel noted today that it would not even be right for politicians to assess the constitutional aspects of the amendment, but it should be done by those to whom it belongs, i.e. the Constitutional Court. “Even the president is not the arbiter of constitutionality,” he said.
Before the approval in Parliament, Pavel said that as a citizen he has doubts about some aspects of the amendment, which are also pointed out by experts. However, he did not want to interfere with the legislative process with his statements.
According to the amendment, pensions are to increase by an average of 760 crowns during the extraordinary June valorization. According to the currently valid legal rules, it would be 1770 crowns on average. The cabinet justifies the reduction by efforts to stabilize public finances this year and in the following years.
Pavel generally believes that the current pension system is not sustainable and its “reset” cannot be postponed. He wants to try to make the debate between the government and the opposition on the pension reform factual, not emotional. “We're not just talking about the pension system, but about the entire system of public finances. You really can't manage like this,” Pavel pointed out. According to him, one must have the courage to explain to the public that the Czech Republic lived on debt and now it must be corrected.