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Fico: Government would require stake in banks if bailout is needed

If Slovak banks were to need state help, the government would be ready to provide it, but only if it acquired an ownership interest in return, Prime Minister Robert Fico said on October 14.

If Slovak banks were to need state help, the government would be ready to provide it, but only if it acquired an ownership interest in return, Prime Minister Robert Fico said on October 14.

"If the state was supposed to spend money on saving banks, it wouldn't be for free," he stated.

Fico is convinced, however, that the Slovak banking sector doesn't need any help in terms of capital at the moment.

The coalition-party chairmen agreed to increase protection for clients' bank deposits, most probably up to 100 percent of their value. According to ĽS-HZDS chairman Vladimír Mečiar, his party will support the unlimited protection of deposits. Mečiar had commented earlier that if a 100-percent guarantee were introduced, the state should demand ownership interest in the banks. But the Coalition Council has now agreed that this would only happen if a bailout is required. TASR

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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