Slovakia Clears Way For Euro Zone Rescue Fund

Slovakia finally ratified new powers for the euro zone's rescue fund on Thursday, the last country to do so, clearing the way for a bolder effort to arrest Europe's sovereign debt crisis, which threatens global financial stability, Reuters reported. The vote came 10 days before a European Union summit called to approve a "comprehensive strategy" to fight the crisis, expected to include action to reduce Greece's debt burden, a plan to strengthen European banks and measures to stop contagion spreading to larger euro zone economies. The Slovak parliament approved the plan to bolster the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) after voting to hold early general election as demanded by the opposition. A junior partner in the ruling coalition brought the four-party centre-right government down on Tuesday by abstaining in a confidence motion linked to increased powers for the EFSF. Weeks of haggling over the EFSF in Slovakia and over Finnish demands for collateral on loans to Greece unsettled financial markets and highlighted the fragility of a euro zone decision-making system that requires unanimous agreement. Read more.