Bloomberg News

Slovak Coalition Is Close to Agreement on EFSF, Lawmaker Says

September 29, 2011

(See {EXT4 <GO>} for more on the sovereign debt crisis.)

Sept. 29 (Bloomberg) -- Slovakia’s ruling coalition is close to an agreement on approving the overhaul of Europe’s bailout fund, a lawmaker for the governing Freedom and Solidarity party said.

Jozef Kollar, the head of the party’s parliamentary caucus, told TV Markiza late yesterday that Prime Minister Iveta Radicova’s latest proposal meets the party’s conditions. The party, known also under by the acronym SaS, has previously said it wouldn’t vote for any measures to strengthen the European Financial Stability Facility.

“We want a solution that would meet two conditions: we won’t block other countries in approving the EFSF and it won’t require a single cent from Slovak taxpayers,” Kollar said. When asked whether an agreement within the coalition is in sight, he said: “Yes.”

Slovak approval would remove another obstacle to strengthening the EFSF, a key pillar of the euro region’s efforts to stamp out the sovereign debt crisis. The move requires the unanimous approval of all 17 euro governments. Nine have already ratified and Germany’s parliament votes today.

Slovakia will vote by Oct. 17, Radicova said yesterday. The government needs SaS votes to push the package through in parliament as the opposition has said it will not support it.

Fast Approval

The European Union and the European Central Bank have been pressing euro-region members for a speedy approval.

Kollar, speaking after a meeting with Radicova, didn’t elaborate on the details of the proposal. Government spokesman Rado Bato didn’t immediately respond to calls on his mobile phone and text message seeking a comment.

The enhanced powers of the 440 billion-euro ($596 billion) EFSF were approved at a July 21 meeting of European leaders in Brussels. The measures would allow the rescue fund to buy the debt of stressed euro-area nations, aid troubled banks in the region and offer credit lines to governments. The EFSF’s current role is to sell bonds to finance rescue loans.

--Editors: Kevin Costelloe, John Fraher

To contact the reporter responsible for this story: Radoslav Tomek at rtomek@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Kevin Costelloe at kcostelloe@bloomberg.net


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