August 12, 2010
The Slovakian Parliament has overturned the decision by the country’s previous government to help fund the €110bn eurozone bailout of Greece. Slovak MPs voted by 69 to two to refuse to take part. Slovak Finance Minister Ivan Miklos trashed the logic behind the bailout, telling the Slovak Parliament:
I do not consider it solidarity if it is solidarity between the poor and the rich, of the responsible with the irresponsible, or of taxpayers with bank owners and managers.
The European Commission, being the non-political organisation that never meddles in national politics that it is, rushed to condemn the move. EU Economic Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn yesterday said,
I can only regret this breach of solidarity within the euro area and I expect the eurogroup and the [economic and finance ministers’] Council to return to the matter in their next meeting.
And in what can only be considered a thinly veiled threat, Mr. Rehn’s spokesman added that Slovakia will not face any legal penalty for its Greek u-turn but should expect unspecified “political consequences.”
But Mr. Miklos had a thing or two to say himself,
It’s true the top politicians in the eurozone are not excited by our position and that we have irritated them quite a lot. But this is only because they have been creating alibis for themselves and we have held up their behaviour to a mirror.
NB: At the same time, Slovak MPs did back the country’s participation in the eurozone’s overarching €750 billion bailout fund, the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF), which puts Slovak taxpayers on the hook for €4.4 billion.Open Europe blog team