Zeman believes that the Constitutional Court will probably reject the reduction in the valuation of pensions

Zeman believes that the Constitutional Court will probably reject the reduction in the valuation of pensions

Zeman thinks that the valorization of the pension will be reduced by the court

Illustration photo – Press conference at the Kempinski Grand Hotel on the second day of President Miloš Zeman's visit to Slovakia, February 7, 2023, Štrbské Pleso, Slovakia.

Prague – President Miloš Zeman believes that the Constitutional Court will probably reject the reduction in the valuation of pensions because the standard was adopted in a state of legislative emergency. If he were still president, he would veto the bill. However, the amendment will only be dealt with by the new president, Petr Pavel, whose inauguration will take place on Thursday. Zeman spoke about the pension amendment on CNN Prima News in the program Partie Terezia Tománková. According to him, the government did not want the law to be discussed before the presidential elections. “It's voter fraud,” he said.

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In the House of Representatives, opposition speakers accused the government of the same, stating that it knew in advance about the need for an extraordinary valorization of pensions, but waited because of the outcome of the presidential election. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Labor Marian Jurečka (KDU-ČSL) rejected it. According to him, the decisive impetus for the government's proposal was the January inflation figures published by the Czech Statistical Office on February 10. The opposition also stated that the conditions for approving the law in a legislative emergency were not met, the governing coalition is convinced of the opposite. ANO and SPD have announced that they want to turn to the Constitutional Court because of the norm.

The amendment, which will increase pensions by only 760 crowns instead of the expected 1,770 crowns from June, was approved by the lower house on Saturday after several days of obstruction by the opposition, and now it will be given to the Senate for consideration. The new president, Petr Pavel, will decide whether he will eventually sign the amendment or return it to the deputies. He will take office on Thursday. Zeman's mandate ends on Wednesday.

“If I were still president, I would definitely veto this law,” Zeman said on CNN's Prima News. He repeated that a state that saves on pensioners is not a good state. According to him, there are substantive and legal objections to the law. He called the “nonsensical declaration” of a state of legislative emergency a legal objection. “In my opinion, this is a legal error, because of which the Constitutional Court will probably reject it,” he said.

Another objection he considers is that the state is not complying with its own laws by changing the valuation. “The lawyers rightly say that since January of this year there was a legitimate expectation that, according to the law, a certain amount of valorization should take place, because already in January inflation exceeded the set value,” he said. Therefore, according to him, the Minister of Finance Zbyněk Stanjura (ODS) should have included funds for this valorization in the budget. He would seek the necessary money that the government wants to save in a return to the so-called super-gross wage, which was abolished by the votes of ANO, SPD and ODS deputies during the government of Andrej Babiš (ANO).

According to Zeman, the government did not want him to be the law on the reduction of valorization was discussed even before the presidential elections. He also noted that the opposition has a “sacred right” to obstruction and he understands its reasons for doing so. If there was a demonstration against the decision of the House of Representatives, Zeman would support it.

The amendment to the pension law was pushed through by the government coalition on Saturday after extensive obstructions by the opposition. The meeting lasted over 97 hours. Zeman already told the Parlamentní listy server on Saturday that the opposition capitulated when it finally did not prevent the coalition from pushing for a lower valuation of pensions.