MER- Social Democracy (SMER -- SD) must realize that it is not the sole ruling party in Slovakia but a member of ruling coalition. Deputy Chairman of the People's Party-Movement for a Democratic Slovakia (LS-HZDS) Milan Urbani responded in this way to the situation which arose after LS-HZDS suggested the withdrawal of revision to the Law on Social Insurance from the parliamentary debate. Mr. Urbani stated in the radio talk show Sobotne Dialogy broadcast on Saturday by Slovak Radio (SRo) that LS-HZDS wants the coalition partners to once again discuss the disputable points in the draft amendment. He did not know whether the party would support the draft bill elaborated by the Minister of Labor, Social Affairs and Family, Viera Tomanova, at the next parliamentary session. Mr. Urbani is convinced that there is enough time until Monday to find a solution to controversial issues. He does not fear that the policy of LS-HZDS would cause a split in the coalition. "There is neither shaking nor nervousness in the coalition," he mentioned.
Chairman of the opposition Hungarian Coalition Party (SMK) Pal Csaky does not think that current dispute in the coalition could grow to a serious problem. He assumes that, in this way, LS-HZDS tries to put through its own demands as for the state budget. In his words, the situation around the Law on Social Insurance demonstrates the chaotic work of the government and the Labor Ministry in the area of pensions. Mr. Csaky repeated the arguments raised by the opposition that the government does not need to solve the deficit of the Socialna Poistovna social security provider by interventions in the second (capitalization) pension pillar, since it can be covered from higher economic growth. The problem of the coalition is that it then would have no money to hand out, the SMK head mentioned.
Mr. Urbani stressed that people saving money in the second pension pillar would suffer no losses as a consequence of the reduction of contributions to the second pension pillar, which the government is considering. LS-HZDS will demand that a legal guarantee be included in contribution reduction so that, in future, the Cabinet would return that money by raising the contributions to 9 or 9.5 percent. He did not rule out that the guarantee could have a form of a constitutional law. "It would be a certain loan from that second pillar for a transitional period," Mr. Urbani concluded.