Finance minister Ivan Miklos could possibly resign if the coalition heeds the call made by SaS party head Richard Sulik on Friday to limit the mandate afforded to the finance minister in respect of Slovakia’s financial assistance to Greece.
The SaS wants to submit its proposal to parliament this week, but a source close to Miklos informed Hospdarske Noviny that Miklos might be considering resigning if parliament ties his hands in the matter. These rumours were confirmed also by PM Iveta Radicova on the political discussion programme ‘O 5 minut 12’ yesterday.
Hospodarske Noviny also published a blog entry of Ivan Miklos online today, and here The Daily provides an informative translation of the article:
The SaS party of Richard Sulík has taken up the position of principle opponent to increasing the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF), the creation of the ESM and also the new loan for Greece.
It is taking advantage of the fact that the majority of people (voters) pour all of this into the question of whether or not we are to lend more money to Greece, which is deteriorating the more time goes on.
Firstly, on the increase of the first bailout fund, the EFSF. The conditions of it were negotiated by Fico and Počiatek and all four new government parties (including the SaS) agreed with the entry of Slovakia to this system with the condition that it would have an effective loan capacity of EUR 440 billion. Later it turned out that it does now, because some countries (including Slovakia)_ did not posses an AAA rating. That is why it is now necessary to increase the originally considered volume of guarantees. This means satisfying the original commitment, to which also the SaS party acceded at the time. Now it no longer wants to.
The second bailout system, the ESM, is also being rejected by SaS, despite the fact that this is a systemic solution (a kind of European version of the International Monetary Fund) and that in negotiations on it we pushed through two fundamental changes that we were against in the case of the EFSF, namely: a fairer distribution key, which reduces the participation of Slovakia and the participation of the private sector in resolving the situation in problematic countries. This means that not only the taxpayers will foot the bill for resolving the problems of indebted countries, but also the private creditors, especially banks.
Now to the third point on the new loan to Greece. If anyone at all now pretends to be surprised that the mandate for approving the loan lies with the minister of finance and his representative in the EFSF, then they obviously do not know what parliament endorsed in the autumn of last year. This because the EFSF Framework Agreement was approved by the Slovak parliament and the rules of decision-making there are clearly set out. Saying that, I have no problem if parliament wants to reserve the right to fix the conditions under which I am able to fulfil my jurisdiction in this respect. In this case, even Richard Sulík and his party push through an open door. We decided on principle in the coalition two weeks ago on the conditions under which we could approve the new loan for Greece, and about the fact that we would discuss it in parliament. This concerned the participation of the private sector, the IMF, the commitment to privatisation, putting up collateral against the loan and a political agreement between the coalition and opposition in Greece. The only difference of opinion concerned the method of how the private sector would participate.
We are in a situation where there is no choice between good and bad solutions, just from bad or worse ones. We proved that we know how to act according to principle, but we should be realistic and responsible. Otherwise it could easily happen that we will choose the worst of the bad solutions.
Translation of text written by finance minister Ivan Miklos, taken from Hospodarske noviny