Bulgarian Cabinet Falls Out over Retirement Reform

Domestic | October 14, 2010, Thursday // 10:36|  views

The retirement reform set at odds Bulgaria's Social Minister, Totyu Mladenov (L), and Finance Minister, Simeon Djankov. Photo by BGNES

The retirement reform has caused heated debates among several members of the Bulgarian cabinet with Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister, Simeon Djankov, attacking his colleague, Social Minister, Totyu Mladenov.

Djankov accused Mladenov in inconstancy and changing his mind on the reform under pressure from the labor unions.

The reason for the scandal is the Social Policy and Labor Minister agreeing on postponing the planned for 2011, increase of retirement age and required years of service to 2015, along with very gradual raises of both, postponing the reform even further.

Djankov is adamant the reform should not be left to the next cabinet's term and insists that the required years of service begin going up pay by one year annually on January 1, 2011, until they reach 37 years for women and 40 for men.

The Finance Minister also wants to increase by 2 years the retirement age of special categories workers, now eligible for early retirement – miners, air pilots etc, an idea really firing up labor unions and firmly rejected by them.

It is expected that Prime Minister, Boyko Borisov, who was busy Wednesday with the visit of Polish counterpart, Donald Tusk, would play peacemaker Thursday and call his two quarreling ministers.

The Three-Way Council between the business, the labor unions and the cabinet, which is at stalemate over the retirement reform and the amount of social security payments, is scheduled to meet Friday.

The meeting was initially set for Thursday, but was postponed on Djankov's request over the fact his experts are still calculating different versions of upping social security payments.

Mladenov is quoted saying he had not received any of the above said calculations while the labor unions threatened to not attend the meeting at all.

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Tags: three-way council, trade unions, Plamen Dimitrov, Confederation of Independent Trade Unions, Bulgarian Industrial Association, GERB cabinet, Boyko Borisov, Simeon Djankov, Bozhidar Danev, healthcare, Retirement, pension, protest, Totyu Mladenov, budget 2011


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