As the world’s economy starts to shake in the wake of the potential crisis in the US, Europe is having its own problems as it tries to launch lifeboats to the sinking ships of the eurozone from the port of the European Financial Stability Fund.
Slovakia has been the rebel in the past after refusing to grant Greece its first loan, and it has been stirring up waves also this time around. Richard Sulik, head of the liberal coalition party SaS, which fought for better conditions for Slovakia in the mechanism, is not happy with the recent modifications, saying they take us down the “road to socialism”.
Following a meeting with Prime Minister Iveta Radicova, Sulik referred to the mechanisms as counter-productive and that it was like trying to put out a fire with a fan. He therefore ruled out his party’s support for the changes in parliament. Without the support of the SaS, the government will not have enough votes in parliament to give the green light to the EFSF changes, which European leaders agreed on.
This means the PM may now have to go begging to head of the opposition party Smer-SD, Robert Fico, in the hope of getting support. If not, Slovakia will once again be in the position of discontent little brother in the Eurozone, but Sulik doesn’t believe Slovakia will be alone.
Sulik says several countries were unhappy about how Brussels dealt with the situation and so they might also not support the changes. He made it clear that his party would do everything in its power to prevent the bill from being approved in parliament. Sulik also griped about how the European Central Bank had violated the ECB regulations by buying up Spanish and Italian bonds.
Sulik and the SaS party have their own idea about how these complex economic issues should be dealt with, and many would probably understand and agree with their arguments, if not for the risk of being picked out as a non-conformer. The Prime Minister wants as much discussion and agreement as possible on the issue, and so will be speaking to MPs on both benches and also President Ivan Gasparovic in the hope of getting a general consensus.