The Christian Democratic Movement’s (KDH) vice-chairman, Pavol Hrušovský, said on June 22 that he does not support the Freedom and Solidarity (SaS) party’s negative stance towards increasing the funding of the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) and its successor European Stability Mechanism (ESM) before a political and expert discussion takes place, the TASR newswire reported.
"The whole of Europe is debating it so declaring a stance unilaterally isn't right. But it's legitimate for a party chairman," Hrušovský said ahead of a Coalition Council session that was convened at SaS's initiative as the government was supposed to decide on related agreements on June 22.
"I believe that Slovakia will take up a stance that won't raise concerns that we aren't able to live up to the spirit of Europe when crises emerge," said Hrušovský to TASR. Most-Híd caucus head László Solymos said he is convinced that the coalition will agree on supporting both financial mechanisms. Defence Minister Ľubomír Galko from SaS said supporting irresponsible states would equate to wasting the money of Slovakia's taxpayers.
The coalition partners did not manage to persuade SaS to support an increase in funding for the EFSF or Slovakia joining the ESM. "Our ministers will vote at the government session against these two points and when these [proposals] come to parliament, our MPs will vote against them," said SaS chairman Richard Sulík.
The Coalition Council meeting was initiated by SaS as agreements on EFSF and EMS were submitted to the government session on the same day by Finance Minister Ivan Mikloš. With a government mandate, Prime Minister Iveta Radičová (SDKÚ) would be able to sign the agreements in Brussels on June 23. The agreements must be ratified by parliament as well and Sulík estimates that they will be voted on in September. "In our opinion, this is a waste of Slovak taxpayers' money," said Sulík.
The chairman of the opposition Smer party, Robert Fico, called on Radičová to discipline Sulík. In the end, Radičová's government approved the European financial stability mechanisms.
"The Cabinet adopted both proposals with a majority of votes," the prime minister told SITA, adding that SaS ministers and conservative KDH Interior Minister Daniel Lipšic did not
support them. Radičová, however, explained that even though the cabinet approved the agreements she could not guarantee their adoption by parliament.
According to the agreements, Slovak participation in the EFSF would increase and an ESM II, where states would also send cash, would be created. Slovak guarantees to the EFSF would increase from the original €4.37 billion to €7.72 billion. The guarantees in the system would altogether increase from €440 billion to €779 billion. The result is to provide more capacity for the mechanisms which was originally intended to be €440 billion. The finance ministers of euro-zone countries agreed on increasing the EFSF guarantees in mid May.
Source: TASR, SITA
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.
23. Jun 2011 at 10:00