[Translation of an article from the Venezuelan website TeleSUR for December 10. See original here.]
Bolivian President Evo Morales on Friday signed the Law on Pensions, the content of which, for the first time in the history of the country, was drawn up by the workers and representatives of social movements. The president declared that the enactment is evidence of the strengthening of democracy the country is experiencing.
“What’s most important to emphasize is that when we workers get together, with our experience and our know-how, our ministers, it is possible to draw up, to propose, to develop a law for the benefit of the Bolivian people,” Morales said in a speech at the Central Obrera Boliviana (COB – Bolivian Workers’ Center) on Friday.
The text, approved a week ago by the Plurinational Legislative Assembly, establishes that long-term social security will be regulated through an Integral System of Pensions and will reduce the age of retirement for both genders from 60 to 58 years and to 56 years for miners.
The Bolivarian president stressed that approval of the Law on Pensions “is proof that Bolivia is going through a new period of the strengthening of democracy in which the citizens are the protagonists of decisions” being made.
Morales said the measure is of historical importance “not only because of the presence of the leaders, the ministers, the high military command” in the COB but because “in contrast with other governments, Bolivians develop our own norms to benefit the people.”
“Before, millions and millions of dollars were needed to make certain reforms to the regulations. Consultants were hired, experts from the IMF came in, paid experts came, guests of the World Bank, to impose laws against the Bolivian people,” he stated…
“There is still a lot to do in Bolivia and in the world, but we are a great international reference point,””he declared…
Pedro Montes, executive secretary of the COB, affirmed that the Law on Pensions “is not a gift but a recognition of the workers’ struggle.”
The union leader recalled that in the past laws came from “the desks of the bureaucracy and the bourgeoisie,” while now “a consensus with representatives of the citizens is sought”…