Monday

15th Aug 2022

Slovak government collapses over euro-bailout fund

  • EU council chief Van Rompuy consoling Slovak PM Radicova (Photo: Council of European Union)

The Slovak parliament on Tuesday (11 October) brought down the government in a no-confidence vote linked to the eurozone bail-out fund, a move putting in doubt a second rescue package for Greece as agreed by EU leaders in July.

The vote count showed 55 MPs in favour of extending the powers of the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) and nine against out of a chamber of 150 members. The remainder, including coalition members, were absent or did not register a vote. A majority of all seats was required for the motion to pass.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

Prime Minister Iveta Radicova had made the issue into a vote of confidence in order to pass the EFSF bill, Slovakia being the last out of the 17 eurozone countries left to approve it.

The main opposition party, the centre-left Smer, signalled however it may back a recast of the vote if early elections are held. "Smer is ready to back the EFSF in exchange for a deal on snap elections," Smer lawmaker Jan Pociatek said, adding the repeat vote could take place this week.

Former Slovak premier Robert Fico - currently leader of Smer - also reassured fretting Europeans that his party wants to ratify the EFSF deal: "For Smer, the ratification of the EFSF is a priority. Slovakia has to ratify the EFSF, without the mechanism, the situation can get worse."

The Slovak conundrum complicates eurozone talks on a second Greek bail-out accompanied by debt restructuring ahead of a special EU summit, which was delayed to 23 October.

"Slovakia has to create political conditions which will allow a positive vote on the EFSF as soon as possible," European Council chief Herman Van Rompuy said.

Markets have already reacted negatively to the development in Bratislava, lowering the value of the euro and stocks on Asian, British and US indices. The FTSE index in the UK is expected to open 17 points down on Wednesday, a drop registered by the Dow Jones index in the US, and following a 8.7 fall of the Nikkei in Asia.

European Central Bank chief Jean-Claude Trichet had warned on Tuesday that "clear decisions" are needed to "cope with a systemic crisis of which we are at the epicentre."

Slovak parties reach deal on EU bail-out fund

The Slovak parliament is set to approve legislation backing a strengthening of the eurozone’s €440 billion rescue fund after the centre-left opposition said it would back a fresh version of the bill in return for early election

Brazil pitches itself as answer to Ukraine war food shortages

Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro is pitching his Latin American country as the answer to the world food crisis following the war in Ukraine. The traditional wheat importer has now exported three million tonnes of the grain so far in 2022.

News in Brief

  1. Zelensky vows to 'target' Russian soldiers at nuclear plant
  2. Putin vows greater cooperation with North Korea and Taliban
  3. Hungarian judge slams Orbán's rule-of-law attacks
  4. Borrell condemns 'despicable' Rushdie attack
  5. Slow wind-farm approvals risk green goals, warns industry
  6. Increase in people crossing Channel to UK in 2022
  7. Swedish government to toughen gang-crime penalties
  8. Germany to help nationals cope with energy price spike

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. EFBWW – EFBH – FETBBConstruction workers can check wages and working conditions in 36 countries
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic and Canadian ministers join forces to combat harmful content online
  3. European Centre for Press and Media FreedomEuropean Anti-SLAPP Conference 2022
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic ministers write to EU about new food labelling
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersEmerging journalists from the Nordics and Canada report the facts of the climate crisis
  6. Council of the EUEU: new rules on corporate sustainability reporting

Latest News

  1. Germany needs to cut gas use by 20% to stave off winter crisis
  2. Europe's wildfire destruction set to hit new record
  3. How Putin and Erdoğan are making the West irrelevant
  4. Defying Russian bombs, Ukraine football starts 2022 season
  5. Sweden to extradite man wanted by Turkey
  6. EU must beware Beijing's new charm offensive
  7. Forest fire near Bordeaux forces over 10,000 to flee
  8. Estonia and Latvia sever China club ties

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us