Members of the Slovak Parliament will not debate the €800-million loan that Slovakia, as a eurozone member, is slated to provide to Greece under the terms of an EU-agreed bailout plan. After parliament failed to reach a quorum for a fourth successive time after two days of trying, Speaker Pavol Paška decided on Thursday, May 13 to close the extraordinary session, which had been initiated by the opposition.
The debate, called to discuss Slovakia's approach to the Greek package, was stymied by the absence of MPs from the ruling coalition parties Smer and the Movement for a Democratic Slovakia (HZDS). Prime Minister Robert Fico (Smer) said that a parliamentary debate about the topic was unnecessary. Paška (Smer) had also criticised the proposal to debate the Greek package.
Today’s first attempt to launch the debate attracted just 57 deputies. Only five more attended the second attempt. The MPs who turned up were from the opposition Slovak Democratic and Christian Union (SDKÚ), Christian Democratic Movement (KDH), and Hungarian Coalition Party (SMK), and the Slovak National Party (SNS), which is a member of the governing coalition; lawmakers from Smer and the HZDS failed to attended. Parliament needs at least 76 deputies to commence a session.
The three opposition parties – the SDKÚ, KDH and SMK – initiated the extraordinary session saying they believed the prime minister should have asked parliament for a mandate before going to Brussels to discuss the Greek package last Friday. The opposition intended to debate Slovakia's role in the loan to Greece even though Finance Minister Ján Počiatek has already signed the framework inter-creditor agreement, which enables eurozone states to extend loans to Greece. SDKÚ caucus chairman Ivan Mikloš described Smer's behaviour as arrogant. "Robert Fico probably considers opening of sports areas of greater importance than a debate on such an important issue as Slovakia's assistance to Greece," he said, as reported by the SITA newswire. He did not specify whether the opposition would make another attempt to launch an extraordinary session on the issue.
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 14:00