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Slovak politicians split over ESM

THE SLOVAK government has welcomed the September 12 decision by Germany’s Constitutional Court that enables final ratification of the permanent bailout mechanism and fiscal pact. The court struck down a raft of legal challenges aimed at preventing the euro-wide bailout fund and the new fiscal pact from becoming law.

THE SLOVAK government has welcomed the September 12 decision by Germany’s Constitutional Court that enables final ratification of the permanent bailout mechanism and fiscal pact. The court struck down a raft of legal challenges aimed at preventing the euro-wide bailout fund and the new fiscal pact from becoming law.

“We hail the decision of the German Constitutional Court, which opens a chance for the functioning of the permanent rescue mechanism,” stated Prime Minister Robert Fico, as quoted by the SITA newswire.

“It might seem that some of these measures are controversial,” said Fico. “What is important, however, is that that this cat catches mice.”

He added that the measures would calm the markets and lead to a strengthening of the euro. The European Central Bank’s recent action and the approval of the permanent European Stability Mechanism (ESM) bailout fund will not, however, automatically result in the eurozone crisis being resolved, Fico argued. He concluded that for this to occur, a substantial further step to boost integration within the EU will be needed.

Some opposition politicians expressed their disappointment at the German court’s ruling, while adding that it was expected. Freedom and Solidarity (SaS) MPs noted that the court had set conditions for the ESM’s introduction, for example blocking any further increases and insisting that all concrete decisions under the ESM should be ratified by both chambers of the German parliament.

“We don’t have such a legal brake on the … limits so far,” SaS MP Jozef Kollár told SITA. His party pledged to present a draft law that would limit Slovakia’s contribution to the ESM to no more than €5.768 billion.

The ratification process in Germany shows that sovereign member states still hold the power to decide Europe-wide issues in their hands, according to Christian Democratic Movement (KDH) MP Július Brocka.

He depicted the ruling “as one following which the European Union and its bodies will have to behave much more consistently in relation to the irresponsible members of the eurozone or the EU”, SITA wrote.

Slovak Democratic and Christian Union (SDKÚ) MP Ivan Štefanec also welcomed the two conditions the German Constitutional Court set for the ESM, saying that they had also been demanded by the opposition in Slovakia, SITA wrote.

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