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.
Well, Sulik has finally achieved what I reckon has been his ambition all along. He made the main headlines on BBC World today. I just feel he loves the publicity that goes with being a member of a coalition but has never understood the real difference between being an opinion-column writer and a serious politician.
I’m not an economist but I do understand that it’s not Slovakia’s fault the Eurozone is in this mess. The main causes include Greece conning its way into being allowed to join the currency and the failure to establish any sort of mechanism at the outset.
But I also agree with Marek ; Slovakia was keen to join the Euro too and was keen to gain all those benefits that come with being one of the smaller, less-developed member nations. But those benefits also come with a few responsibilities. Radicova, Miklos, Bugar etc, for all their faults, at least seem to get this. Sulik, meanwhile, just continues on his ego trip.
Good for Sulik I say , at least for once a principled stand against the drones in the EU, who just follow France & Germany like sheep .
The main problem is that the most important people of the KDH, SDKU did not take his little party seriously, or help them inplement their small liberal agenda ( and all for very selfish ‘ Christian ‘ reasons ) and thought they ran things as a government agenda , just as they wanted ….now the small tail is wagging the huge dogs.
Looks like someone has the balls to tell the truth. Don’t think they are able to stand such pressure but even so, I’m glad they try….
With regard to Slovakia’s ruling parties and the EFSF vote, one is reminded of the words of Michael Collins on signing the Anglo Irish Treaty; ” “I have signed my own death warrant.”
I’m still astonished Slovakia is a full member of the EU with international obligations seeing how infighting and grade-school bickering is the norm here. Sulik & Co. might be best to understand that Slovakia is a direct beneficiary of EU funds as well and without such would likely be unable to change even a light bulb.