Outgoing finance minister regrets not making second pillar compulsory

Assessing his performance in office, outgoing finance minister Miroslav Kalousek said he was handing over the country’s finances in a far better shape than in which he received them from then-caretaker prime minister Jan Fischer. Mr. Kalousek said his one big regret was not having convinced the coalition government to make the second pillar of the pension reform compulsory for all. He blamed the failure of the second pillar scheme on what he called a "massive counter-campaign by the opposition”. The second pillar enables people to put part of their pension funds into private insurance companies. Interest in it has been far lower than expected and the opposition Social Democrats say they will scrap the scheme if they get to form the next government.