CZECH REPUBLIC – The Czech Republic is to prepare a draft outline of pension reform by the end of the year, according to the Czech government’s web site.

The site quoted prime minister Vladimir Spidla as saying that the government would prepare “a block of laws aimed at curbing grey economy and will draft outlines of a pension reform”. The move would take place by the end of the year.

The government is currently trying to put through public finance reform. Last week the main trade union groups organised a rally against the reforms in Prague. A general strike is planned for November, Czech radio said.

President Vaclav Klaus has weighed into the debate. "However necessary the reform is and however it is going in the desirable direction in a number of respects, it is still half-hearted,” he was quoted as saying by the CTK news agency.

“It will not resolve the real problems of this country of what to do with the public budget, the pension system and the system of social security."

The government’s pension-reform plans are believed to include individual-account schemes.