Bloomberg News

Slovak Opposition Smer Considers Backing Bailout With Early Vote

October 02, 2011

Oct. 3 (Bloomberg) -- Slovakia’s largest opposition party would help approve the European bailout-system overhaul if the ruling parties agree to early elections or the governing coalition is reshuffled, Smer party Chairman Robert Fico said.

The government of Prime Minister Iveta Radicova needs backing for the package designed by European Union leaders to strengthen the European Financial Stability Facility, the region’s temporary bailout fund. One ruling party, Freedom and Solidarity, or SaS, opposes the measures and Radicova must gain opposition support to push it through parliament.

Should the coalition fail to get SaS support in a Oct. 14 vote, Smer “will vote for the EFSF, but it wouldn’t be that this government will continue and pretend that everything is all right,” Fico said yesterday in a debate on state Slovak Television. “Don’t worry, the EFSF will be approved.”

A rejection of the package in Slovakia, one of the three euro area nations that haven’t ratified it, may derail the plan aimed at stopping the debt crisis from spreading. European Commissioner Maros Sefcovic urged national backing of the package during a visit two days ago.

SaS has said that Radicova has presented an unspecified compromise that may meet the party’s conditions for backing the overhaul. Still, on Sept. 30 she said that an agreement hasn’t been reached and negotiations will continue with the party’s head and parliamentary speaker Richard Sulik.

--Editors: Steve Geimann, Ann Hughey.

To contact the reporter on this story: Radoslav Tomek in Bratislava at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James M. Gomez at

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