miércoles, 12 de octubre de 2011

Slovak parties in talks after bailout fund rejection

 Slovak Prime Minister Iveta Radicova (left) with former coalition partner Richard Sulik in Bratislava, 10 October Prime Minister Radicova lost the support of former coalition partner Richard Sulik 
Political parties in Slovakia are in talks on their next step a day after parliament dramatically rejected plans to expand the EU bailout fund.
It is unclear whether a new coalition will be formed or early elections will be called after the existing government collapsed over the vote.
The Slovak president is cutting short a visit to Asia to supervise efforts to form a new government.
Correspondents say a new vote on the fund is likely by the end of this week.
Slovakia is the last eurozone state to vote on ratifying the expansion of the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF).
It is proposed to expand the EFSF's effective lending capacity to 440bn euros ($600bn; £383bn), as well as empowering it to buy eurozone government debt and offer credit lines to member states and to banks.
Slovak Prime Minister Iveta Radicova failed to pass the bill on Tuesday when a junior partner in her coalition, Richard Sulik's free-market Freedom and Solidarity party, refused to back it.
Top EU officials urged the country on Wednesday to ratify the bill swiftly.
"We call upon all parties in the Slovak parliament to rise above the positioning of short-term politics and seize the next occasion to ensure a swift adoption of the new agreement," European Council President Herman Van Rompuy and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said in a joint statement.
Ratification expected

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The feet of many Europeans stamp impatiently but these changes - however desirable - cannot be just nodded through”
Freedom and Solidarity asked why Slovakia's taxpayers should be asked to help cover the debts of richer countries.
Many Slovaks feel their country - the second poorest in the eurozone - should not have to bail out countries like Greece, correspondents say.
However, the EFSF stands a good chance of being ratified at a new vote because the main social democrat opposition (Smer), which abstained on Tuesday in order to bring down the government, actually backs the fund.
"We're saying 'no' to a rightist government, but we're saying 'yes' to the rescue fund," Smer leader Robert Fico said during the debate.
Michal Lukac, spokesman for Ms Radicova's Slovak Democratic and Christian Union, said the party wanted to vote again on the EFSF "as soon as possible, ideally on Thursday".
"Everything depends on whether an agreement with Smer is reached," he added.
Slovak President Ivan Gasparovic is expected to return from his Asian trip on Thursday, the next day when parliament is due to meet.
He will dismiss Prime Minister Radicova and her government as they lost a confidence vote on Tuesday, tied to the EFSF vote.
Mr Gasparovic may also name a new prime minister, while early elections are an option if approved by parliament.