PM Fico tries to shake off responsibility for the EFSF

Today the leaders of the four centre-right parties (SDKU-DS, SaS, KDH and Most-Hid) that are expected to form the new government, rejected the call of Prime Minister Fico to join him for immediate discussions over the unblocking of the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF). The €750 billion EFSF was agreed on in May by EU member states in an endeavour to secure financial stability across Europe and keep the euro afloat, primarily by bailing out Greece.

Head of the Government Office press department, Branislav Ondrus, informed how the European Council session from 17 June had called on Slovakia to unblock the use of the mechanism without delay. Ondrus said: “As the current Government has just a formal mandate, and because the right-wing parties that intend to take over power made it clear before the general election that they opposed the instrument, it is essential that they take responsibility for the governing role that they are preparing for”.

SDKU leader Iveta Radicova said that the PM was just looking for an alibi a mere few hours before the document was to be endorsed, and that her only mandate was as an MP. “We have nothing to talk about” she said in rejection of his invitation, stating that this was the stance of all four parties. The problem lies in the fact that even if Fico were to sign the agreement, it would have to be passed in parliament, where the new coalition will hold a majority. He therefore called on them to express their agreement with his signature, saying they would be seriously endangering the interests of the Slovak Republic.

However, representative of the European Commission in Slovakia, Tomas Halan, said that the European Union did not need the endorsement of all member states to go ahead, and so it was not reliant on Slovakia’s signature, as 90% of members would be enough to push through the motion.

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