Slovakia Votes Against Expanded EFSF

Slovakia’s government became the first in the eurozone to fall over opposition to bailing out indebted economies after the country’s parliament voted down approval for enhancing the bloc’s rescue fund, the Financial Times reported. After hours of debate, the final vote on approving new powers for the €440bn European financial stability facility failed late on Tuesday evening with only 55 of the parliament’s 150 MPs voting in favour, causing the coalition government of Iveta Radicova to collapse. Slovakia is the last of the 17 eurozone countries to approve the improved rescue fund. The political drama in Bratislava should not disrupt enhancements to the EFSF for long, but it underlines how fraught the political debate has become in some eurozone creditor countries. The Slovak parliament will remain in session and is likely to hold a second vote later this week. Three of the four parties in Ms Radicova’s coalition support it and the left-wing opposition SMER party led by Robert Fico – who called the vote a “fiasco” for the government – indicated that it would be prepared to support the measure. Read more. (Subscription required.)