At Wednesday’s press conference, Pavel Rupar presented three key developments in the pensioners’ movement he represents. Firstly, they are continuing to collect signatures for a bill to raise pensions. The movement also announced two other new changes. They are ending the collection of signatures for the abolition of supplementary health insurance, and they announced a trip to Brussels. Rupar plans to go there with two buses of supporters.
Igor Černoga, who is in charge of collecting signatures for the amendment to the law on the increase of pensions at the 1st of October Institute (Inštitut 1. oktober), said at a recent press conference that so far, they have managed to collect just under 8,000 signatures, even though they do not need more than 5,000 to submit the law to the legislative process. “The more signatures we collect, the more negotiating power we will have,” he said.
The initiative the Voice of Pensioners has drafted a bill that would increase pensions of less than 1,000 euros by 20 percent, and pensions not exceeding 1,500 euros would be increased by 10 percent. The deadline for collecting signatures is on the 22nd of June. Rupar also announced at the press conference that the bill to abolish supplementary insurance would be withdrawn. They started collecting signatures for it last month.
They wrote to von der Leyen
Rupar told those gathered at the press conference that they had written to the President of the European Commission, Ursula Von der Leyen, because of the media exposure, because he believes that the European Commission also stands for pluralism in media reporting. The movement has repeatedly pointed out in the past that, with the exception of some media outlets, media coverage has been distinctly unfavourable to them. They want to achieve justice and equality abroad, since they do not already have it at home. Therefore, Rupar plans to travel to Brussels with two buses of pensioners.
Victims of political violence
Rupar has also apparently become a victim of political violence, or of the violent attitude of those in power towards him and those close to him. He gave the example of having the window of his car smashed because of hateful statements made by those in power. Worse, his 14-year-old grandson was physically attacked and spat at.
Therefore, at the beginning of the press conference, Černoga called on the ruling parties not to spread hostility. “If they refrain from hostility first, no bad word will come out of our mouths either,” he said, adding that so far, they have only defended themselves with their communication.