President-elect Petr Pavel.
Prague – The future president Petr Pavel granted the request of the opposition movement ANO for a meeting regarding the progress of the parliamentary debate on pensions. The leader of ANO deputies, Alena Schillerová, told journalists in the House of Representatives today that Pavel will receive her together with ANO vice-chairman Karel Havlíček next Wednesday. Schillerová criticized that the questionable reduction of the June valorization of pensions was approved by the Senate today, which, according to her, failed as a guarantee of constitutionality.
ANO leaders want to describe to Pavlo what the parliamentary proceedings looked like, but also to tell him the substantive arguments against the bill, Schillerová said. She reported on the written request for a meeting with the incoming president on Tuesday. “We received the answer a while ago, President Pavel will receive us on March 15, I guess at 09:00,” she said.
Pavel previously announced that he would announce his position on the amendment only after the presidential inauguration, which is on the agenda on Thursday. A week ago, he stated that as a citizen, he has doubts about some aspects of the amendment, which are also pointed out by experts. He did not want to interfere with the legislative process with his statements. Schillerová does not know whether the meeting will take place only after Pavel comments on the amendment. “That's totally up to him. I don't think he's ever said he's going to say exactly on March 10,” she said.
According to Schiller, the future president remained “the last hope”, since he is the only one who can “stop it because of the shameful law”. If the regulation were to be vetoed, according to Schiller, the opposition will do everything to ensure that the law is not approved on time.
For approval of the government's pension amendment, the discussion of which in the Chamber was accompanied by protracted obstructions by the opposition movements ANO and SPD, 48 members of factions voted today government coalition of 72 senators present. “The Senate has failed as a guarantee of constitutionality and democracy. It has shown that it is the extended arm of the government coalition of five,” said Schillerová.
Chairman of the SPD, Tomio Okamura, wrote to ČTK that the Senate approved the “robbing of all pension recipients.” “Now it's the turn of President Pavel, whom I again call on to veto this anti-social law of the Fial government, which would make it impossible to rob pensioners,” he said. According to Okamura, Fiala's government is throwing recipients of old age, disability, widow and orphan pensions “overboard”. “The SPD movement firmly stands behind all decent people in the Czech Republic and we will continue to fight for them,” he added.