Turkish MPs to approve vetoed bill

ANKARA (Reuters) – Turkey’s Parliament will approve a controversial social security reform bill this week, overriding President Ahmet Necdet Sezer’s earlier veto, a senior ruling party official said yesterday. Sezer vetoed the IMF-backed reform earlier this month, saying it cut already-low pensions and set the retirement age too high at 65 in a country where the life expectancy is 66. The deputy head of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) parliamentary group, Eyup Fatsa, told reporters the government hoped to pass the bill through parliament tomorrow unchanged. The AKP has a big parliamentary majority. Sezer can only veto a piece of legislation once but he could ask the Constitutional Court to strike down the law if it is approved a second time. Turkey’s social security system has a large deficit, partly due to mismanagement and widespread early retirement. The reform aims to trim the losses.