Slovakia certain to participate in EFSF, cabinet to discuss issue today

SLOVAKIA’S portion of the eurozone’s multi-billion-euro emergency rescue package will not change, said Prime Minister Iveta Radičová after talks with the president of the Eurogroup of eurozone finance ministers, Jean-Claude Juncker, in Brussels on July 13.

SLOVAKIA’S portion of the eurozone’s multi-billion-euro emergency rescue package will not change, said Prime Minister Iveta Radičová after talks with the president of the Eurogroup of eurozone finance ministers, Jean-Claude Juncker, in Brussels on July 13.

However, she said that Slovakia remains committed to finding an agreement on the conditions according to which funds from the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) would be drawn.

“The size of the share isn’t open to question, as this would translate into re-launching the entire process,” Radičová said, as quoted by the TASR newswire. “General consent is viewed as substantial political consent for tackling the situation with an emergency package.”

The Slovak cabinet is slated to discuss the issue, and the eurozone bailout loan to Greece, at its session today (July 14), TASR reported. According to Radičová, the question is not whether or not the government will approve the package, as it’s already been approved and confirmed.

“[Former] prime minister [Robert] Fico and the previous government failed to negotiate better conditions for Slovakia,” Finance Minister Ivan Mikloš said, as quoted by TASR. “If Slovakia is supposed to contribute 2.3-times more in terms of GDP ratio than the wealthiest EU country, Luxembourg, then it’s evident that the conditions have been negotiated poorly. However, it's impossible to negotiate on the numbers today, as the current form was already approved by the parliaments of other EU member states.”

Slovakia's participation in the EFSF needs to be approved by parliament first and signed by the Slovak president. However, the decision of these institutions is not required for signing the framework agreement, which means that Slovakia can unblock the guarantee mechanism today, following the cabinet session.

“What is being discussed are the conditions under which this mechanism will be effective for the market,” Radičová said. “We’re negotiating about consolidation programmes for individual countries, bank regulation, Eurostat procedures, the banking sector’s share in deficits, a revision of rating agencies and a possible opt-out from the eurozone.”

President of the Eurogroup Juncker said he understood that implementing a European decision such as this on a national level is not easy, but conveyed his hope that Slovakia would honour its commitments and participate in the financial security package.

“It's difficult to persuade people at home that Slovakia should take responsibility for mistakes made somewhere else, outside Slovakia,” Juncker said, as quoted by TASR. “But we don't want anything like Greece to ever happen again. Everyone must understand that we need the signature of Slovakia in order to make this mechanism functional. It’s the decision of the Slovak government.”

The new cabinet stated that Slovakia will okay the EFSF only if a binding agreement is made by eurozone countries concerning reforms in the banking sector, the European Commission, Eurostat, and rating agencies, Radičová’s spokesperson Rado Baťo told TASR.

The framework agreement on the EFSF needs Slovakia's signature in order to become operational. The EU and IMF are planning to make available a total of €750 billion to rescue the finances of states in trouble by providing them with emergency assistance. If signed, Slovakia’s share in the package will amount to €4.37 billion.

Source: TASR

Compiled by Michaela Stanková from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.

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