Slovak MPs on July 6 defeated a parliamentary initiative by the co-ruling Freedom and Solidarity party (SaS) aimed at limiting Finance Minister Ivan Mikloš's powers to negotiate Slovakia's role in a second loan to Greece, the TASR newswire reported.
The proposal, backed by signatures of SaS, OKS and SNS lawmakers, gained the support of only 35 out of 148 MPs present for the vote, TASR reported. One MP voted against, 51 abstained and 61 did not vote.
Mikloš wants the power to make decisions vested in him. The proposal in parliament would have established five conditions: the participation of the private sector; the participation of the International Monetary Fund; the privatisation of Greek state property; appropriate collateral; and a political commitment to the plan by Greece.
Mikloš said he agrees with only four of them. The first condition is the main bone of contention between the minister and SaS. SaS wants to reduce the nominal value of bonds owned by Greece's creditors, which would automatically lead to the country's default. Mikloš claims that such a condition is not negotiable in Brussels.
During the parliamentary debate, SaS leader Sulík restated, as reported the SITA newswire, his previous comments that nothing would help Greece but default. He called the euro a good project provided that the set rules are respected. Sulík further argued that no one provided evidence that the debt-ridden country would be able to repay the second loan.
Mikloš, however, said that the proposal was the worst of all possible solutions as it would mean a disorderly default that could bring down more countries such as Spain or Italy.
The opposition Smer announced, prior to the voting, that it would not back the proposal. Smer's Pavol Paška accused the coalition of threatening Slovakia's position in Europe and rebuked both the Prime Minister and the Finance Minister for changing their attitude towards the Greek problem.
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.
7. Jul 2011 at 10:00