Foreign minister critical of president’s veto of pension reform bill

Czech Foreign Minister Karel Schwarzenberg has accused President Klaus of damaging the country by vetoing the government’s pension reform bill. Speaking in New York, where he is attending a session of the UN General Assembly, the Czech foreign minister said the pension reform should have been effected 15 years ago and delaying it further was putting an immense burden on the state budget. President Klaus on Monday vetoed the bill on the grounds that the government had failed to secure consensus on the reforms among experts, politicians and the broad public. The bill must now go back to the chamber of deputies where the governing coalition will need to secure 101 votes to override the president’s veto. Since the government no longer has a majority in the lower house this may prove highly problematic.