Labour minister promises to top up dissidents’ low pensions

Labour and Social Affairs Minister Marian Jurečka has said the state will top up the low pensions of former dissidents to the national average and that his ministry would propose a draft law to address the problem. Individuals who stood up to the Communists have low pensions for reasons such as imprisonment, forced emigration or having to do menial jobs.

The minister voiced the assurances in an effort to cut short the protest of Charter 77 signatory Jiří Gruntorád who has gone on a hunger strike in protest of the treatment former dissidents were receiving under the minister’s management.  Gruntorád, who has demanded the minister’s resignation, has said he will not back down.