ECONOMY

Slovakia?s SaS says no to Greek aid plan

Slovakia?s Freedom and Solidarity Party is against the country?s participation in the European Union?s permanent aid fund and the new Greek rescue plan.

Richard Sulik, the chairman of the party known by its SaS acronym, said his party is against a July 21 agreement reached at a summit of EU leaders on a second rescue for Greece and the strengthening of the bloc?s bailout mechanism to assist other distressed member states.

Should any related proposals be submitted to parliament, SaS lawmakers will vote against them, he said on Monday.

EU leaders, struggling to keep the debt crisis from spreading, agreed to provide Greece with the second rescue package in 15 months, worth 159 billion euros. Even though Slovakia?s opposition alone can?t block the plan, Sulik?s comments add to increasing opposition in northern euro-region countries to the use of taxpayer money for solving the crisis.

?We are not solving anything, just delaying Greek problems,? Sulik said at a press conference in Bratislava. ?We are on the road toward a transfer union, in which responsible countries will subsidize irresponsible ones.?

Slovakia is the only country in the euro region that refused to participate in the 110-billion-euro bailout of Greece that was agreed to more than a year ago.

Where needed, the eurozone countries? parliaments must approve changes to the European Social Fund (ESF) and European Support Mechanism (ESM), based on agreements made by their heads of government, to allow them to achieve their maximum potential.

The Slovak parliament, where the coalition of Iveta Radicova holds a small majority, is expected to debate the proposals in the autumn. Without SaS support, the plans would need backing from the leftist opposition Smer.

Smer, led by the ex-Prime Minister Robert Fico, has a pro-eurozone approach and sees Slovakia?s membership in the euro area as a benefit, but there is no clear decision on how will it vote on the EFS and ESM.