- debt - eurozone - financial crisis - Slovakia
Slovakia rejects expansion of eurozone rescue fund
Slovakia’s lawmakers rejected the expansion of the euro currency’s bailout fund Tuesday in a crunch vote that also effectively toppled the country's centre-right government. The package is expected to be approved at a later date.
AP – Slovakian lawmakers on Tuesday rejected the expansion of the euro currency zone’s bailout fund.
After 10 hours of debate in parliament, the measure failed to pass by 21 votes.
Slovakia remains the only country in the 17-member eurozone that has not approved expanding the bailout fund, which requires unanimous support to go into effect. The package of measures is designed to boost Europe’s firefighting capabilities in the region’s financial crisis.
Slovakia’s 1-year-old coalition government also fell with the vote because it included a no-confidence measure.
Prime Minister Iveta Radicova had urged the lawmakers to back the bill, arguing that the country was losing its credibility.
“It is the entire eurozone system which is under threat at the moment, not just a few small countries anymore,” Radicova said in the debate in Parliament. “Our euro is under threat. The changing situation needs a quick and immediate reaction.”
Earlier, Radicova had admitted that a coalition partner was not convinced.
EU officials still may be able to find a way of getting around the Slovakian rejection of the bill to boost the powers and size of the euro bailout fund, which is designed to contain debt market turmoil, but doing so would carry costs to European unity.