EFSF Deadlock: Radicova Rejects SaS Proposals
The Slovak government coalition is still in deadlock over approval of the new rules for the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) as the latest proposal of the defiant SaS party is rejected by Prime Minister Iveta Radicova.
The initial reactions to the SaS proposal were positive overall, with several coalition leaders seeing scope for an agreement, but some parts of the proposal were deemed unacceptable and the latest stance of the PM could spell more trouble in the vote and in the coalition.
Head of the SaS party Richard Sulik was surprised by PM Radicova’s rejection of the proposal, not just because it came swiftly via the media, but above all because part of it was her idea in the first place, he claims. Sulik and his party colleagues had to swallow the latest news at their party conference in Tatranska Lomnica on Saturday.
Freshly re-elected head of the SaS party caucus, Jozef Kollar, was also astonished by the PM, confirming that the wording of the first part of the proposal was the work of the PM. He and his party colleagues are therefore eager to see what the PM and the other coalition parties have to say later today at the Coalition Council meeting. SaS party head Sulik reiterated that his party would vote against the EFSF proposals if his coalition partners from SDKU-DS, KDH and Most-Hid reject their proposals.
One of the two biggest stumbling blocks in the SaS proposal concerns the establishment of a special committee in which all parliamentary parties would have the power to block individual loans in future. The other problem is the SaS proposal to reject the ESM, the EFSF’s successor.
Sulik was quick to point out that the proposed system of setting up a special committee comprising all parliamentary parties has also been adopted in Germany. Sulik says the main objective just now is to find a mechanism that will not block the EFSF, but which will also prevent Slovakia from coughing up money for it.
Some kind of agreement could still be found in terms of the special committee, but the proposals for the ESM could be a bigger thorn in the coalition’s side. Time is running out for the coalition, though, as they set the parliamentary vote on the EFSF for Tuesday 11 October. At least the ESM doesn’t have to be dealt with just now, but the SaS were hoping to use the stalemate to negotiate its rejection altogether.
“The ESM is far more dangerous and more expensive, and would oblige Slovakia to pay over EUR 600 million. We therefore want to reject it altogether, because Slovakia can’t block other countries in this mechanism,” said Sulik, in reference to how the ESM would work even without the participation of Slovakia.