The absence of MPs from the governing coalition’s Smer and Movement for a Democratic Slovakia (HZDS) parties as well as those from the opposition Hungarian Coalition Party (SMK) on May 12 meant that parliament was unable to debate the Greek rescue package at an extraordinary session summoned earlier this week following a petition signed by opposition MPs.
Only 47 out of the 150 lawmakers were present in the house, well short of the required quorum of 76. The speaker announced a 30-minute break, followed by a second attempt to launch the debate, the TASR newswire wrote.
However, the second attempt failed too and the debate was postponed until 09:00 on Thursday. The speaker, Pavol Paška, a member of the Smer party, said that he believed from the outset that the session itself, which was meant to discuss how Slovakia should proceed concerning its financial contribution to the package to revive Greek finances, was pointless.
Along with Prime Minister Robert Fico, he said that Smer would not take part in "this clowning around organised by the [opposition] SDKÚ [i.e. Slovak Democratic and Christian Union], as it has no sense at all". Slovakia is expected to contribute several hundred million euros to a package agreed by the EU to help Greece, a fellow member of the eurozone, avert a debt default.
Fico asked journalists to explain to him what the extraordinary session was designed for. "Tell me, I still don't know," he said, adding that his government has not submitted any proposals concerning aid to Greece to be ratified by the Slovak Parliament.
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.
13. May 2010 at 10:00