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Smer invites party leaders to discuss EFSF and ESM

The largest Slovak opposition party, Smer, on Thursday, August 18, sent invitations to the leaders of other parties to discuss proposals aimed at helping to stabilise the debt crisis in the eurozone and the related EFSF and ESM mechanisms, the TASR newswire reported, citing Smer spokesperson Silvia Belešová.

The largest Slovak opposition party, Smer, on Thursday, August 18, sent invitations to the leaders of other parties to discuss proposals aimed at helping to stabilise the debt crisis in the eurozone and the related EFSF and ESM mechanisms, the TASR newswire reported, citing Smer spokesperson Silvia Belešová.

According to Smer leader Robert Fico, the talks will be the most important decisions made since the Slovak Republic was established in 1993.

However, the leader of the largest governing party, the Slovak Democratic and Christian Union’s (SDKÚ) Mikuláš Dzurinda, said he would not discuss the issue of the European bailout mechanism with Fico yet, as he wants to arrive at an agreement with his party's coalition partners first.

"I thanked the Smer chairman for his invitation and asked him to postpone these talks until we reach consensus within the governing coalition," Dzurinda said after a session of the SDKÚ presidium on Thursday.

The coalition's Freedom and Solidarity (SaS) party is the principal group opposing Slovak support for the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) and the European Stability Mechanism (ESM). Without SaS votes the rest of the coalition would have to rely on Smer in order to get parliament's backing for Slovak involvement in the bailout mechanisms. Dzurinda conceded that it is not possible to hope for instant consensus on every issue and stressed that no one is asking coalition partners to change their opinions.

Dzurinda said he believes that SaS chair Richard Sulík could lend his support to the European bailout funds in spite of the fact that he has heaped criticism on the EFSF and ESM. "Governments come and go but a nation remains. There are moments, indeed, when one should pull in one's horns and show a little humility." Prime Minister Iveta Radičová (SDKÚ) added that her party is aiming to achieve consensus across the entire political spectrum.

Source: TASR

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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