The liberal Freedom and Solidarity (SaS) party will on October 10 propose to the ruling coalition council its solution to the deadlock around the ratification of changes to the European bailout scheme, the European Financial Stability Mechanism (EFSM). The SaS’ compromise was first offered last week and will be unchanged when it is proposed to the council. Their leader, Richard Sulík, has said it is unlikely that his party will change its attitude.
Moreover, at a recent press conference Sulík also claimed that someone is trying to push Prime Minister Iveta Radičová into linking the bailout vote with a vote of confidence in the government, according to SITA newswire.
“Some people oppose the European bailout not because of the threat of great damage but rather because they hope to put pressure on Iveta Radičová,” said Sulík, adding that Slovakia will be paying the highest share to the bailout mechanism.
The SaS boss also argues that the bailout fund contradicts the programme of the Slovak government.
“We refuse to take responsibility for the return of Robert Fico and the eventual fall of the government, and call on the prime minister not to allow herself to be dragged into power games,” Sulík said, as quoted by Sme daily.
Sulík offers his own interpretation of the bailout negotiations. When Radičová took over responsibility for bailout negotiations, he argues, Slovakia had a chance to resolve the situation in a way that would neither block Europe nor necessitate a single cent to leave the country, SITA newswire reported. This would, of course, have been acceptable to SaS.
According to Sulík, Radičová had, initially, successfully negotiated exemptions for Slovakia with European leaders. However, when indications emerged from Slovakia suggesting that the country would support the bailout fund extension, the possibilities for further negotiations in the direction of an exemption were undermined.
On the same day, daily Sme reported that Radičová has offered the leadership of her party the Slovak Democratic and Christian Union (SDKÚ) her resignation if the ruling coalition fails to reach agreement over support for the European bailout fund. Daily Sme referred to several sources from the party in their report.
The daily also has information that some SDKÚ members have responded by advising the prime minister to instead combine the vote on changes to the EFSM with a confidence vote in her government.
Prime ministerial spokesman Rado Baťo refused to confirm the information.
Sources: Sme, SITA
Compiled by Spectator staff from press reports
10. Oct 2011 at 17:30