Bulgarian President Mulls Retirement Reform VetoDomestic | December 9, 2011, Friday // 12:17| views
Outgoing Bulgarian President, Georgi Parvanov, says he always led an active dialogue with the syndicates. Photo by BGNES
Outgoing Bulgarian President, Georgi Parvanov, is meeting Friday with the leaders of the two major labor unions to discuss the controversial retirement reform passed by the Parliament Thursday.
In the beginning of the talks with the President of the Confederation of Independent Bulgarian Syndicates (KNSB), Plamen Dimitrov, and with Konstantin Trenchev, President of Podkrepa (Support) Labor Confederation, Parvanov stressed that he had followed with great attention all parliamentary debates on the issue and the reactions of the public, including the syndicates.
The outgoing President further stated that he will now conduct additional consultations to decide if he will approve the publication of the new law; impose a partial veto on some changes, or on the overall law.
Parvanov pointed out that public tensions will also be discussed during the meeting. He said that the Friday talks were part of the active dialogue between the syndicates and his institution over the years, but voiced disappointment that they often happened in moments of social tensions as is the current one.
The trade unions continue to firmly oppose the retirement reform which provides for a gradual increase of retirement age by 4 months each year in the next three years, effective 2012, until it reaches 65 for males and 63 for females.
The cabinet initially wanted to introduce in 2012 an increase of retirement age by one full year, but later retracted this plan under labor union pressure.
On November 13, KNSB and Podkrepa announced they were quitting the Three-Way Council, which now has only representatives of the business and the cabinet. The syndicates are outraged by the controversial and sudden increase of retirement age and eliminating years of service in determining wages of State servants.
The trade unions are threatening a nation-wide strike, but are yet to decide if they will wait until after the Holidays.
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