Slovakia will be the last eurozone member country to ratify changes to the temporary EFSF bailout fund and to agree to the establishment of the permanent ESM mechanism, Prime Minister Iveta Radičová announced after a meeting of coalition leaders on Monday, August 22.
The time in the run-up to the vote will be used to try to negotiate the support of coalition party Freedom and Solidarity (SaS). SaS has consistently opposed expansion of the eurozone bailout mechanisms and thus prevented the coalition from approving the measures in parliament without the help of the opposition. "It would be irresponsible to determine an exact date at this point," Radičová said when asked when the parliamentary vote would take place. She also said that she had notified participants of the European summit in July of the dissension within the coalition regarding the mechanisms. "That's why it's only natural that we should need more time for talks in an effort to reach agreement that will be the best solution, relatively, for Slovakia," she added, as quoted by the TASR newswire.
Radičová pointed out that some basic conditions for a new loan to Greece and changes to the EFSF have not been spelled out as yet, such as the issue of collateral for a loan. Speaker of Parliament and SaS leader Richard Sulík embraced the outcome of the session of coalition leaders. "I'm not aware of any reason why Slovakia ought to rush to be the first to put itself in a position that's not good for us. Let the rest of the EU reach agreement or not, we'll follow up with discussion then," he said. Sulík expressed the wish that Slovakia would not be the first eurozone country to reject the ESM bailout mechanism. But even if all other countries back it, SaS is not planning to alter its stance, he said.
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. Aug 2011 at 10:00