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Slovakia: Parliament backs pension cuts for former communist officials

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By Euronews with AP
In this Nov. 26, 1989 file photo the last Czechoslovak communist prime minister Ladislav Adamec, right, attends a demonstration during the so-called Velvet Revolution
In this Nov. 26, 1989 file photo the last Czechoslovak communist prime minister Ladislav Adamec, right, attends a demonstration during the so-called Velvet Revolution   -   Copyright  AP Photo/CTK, Zuzana Humpalova, File
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Members of Slovakia's former communist regime will see their pensions cut after the country's Parliament approved new legislation on Wednesday.

Prime Minister Eduard Heger said the aim of the law was to correct “a terrible contrast” between the unjustifiably high pensions received by those who persecuted people, and the low pensions of those who were persecuted.

The law will enter into force in August and affect an estimated 5,000 people.

It targets those who worked for the communist government and its security and other institutions “whose main aim was to keep the communist regime in power at any cost.”

The reduction will be calculated on the basis of how many years they were employed in these positions.

Those who helped prosecute people, or athletes who were formally members of military and police sports clubs, will be exempted from the cuts.

The 41-year-communist rule ended in 1988 with the Velvet Revolution led by late Vaclav Havel. Slovakia became an independent state after the peaceful split of Czechoslovakia in 1993.

According to the memorial to the victims of communism in Prague, 205,486 Czecholsovakians were convicted and 248 executed during the Soviet era. 4,500 died in prison, 327 lost their lives trying to escape while 170,938 people emigrated.