Grigorij Mesežnikov Comments for the News Agency of the Slovak Republic

IVO president analyzes Slovak political parties’ stances on financial safety nets for eurozone.

SaS: Linking Vote on Eurozone to Confidence in Gov't Is Bad Idea

Bratislava, August 9 (TASR) - Speculation that has emerged recently concerning the possible linking of parliamentary votes on financial safety nets for the eurozone to confidence votes in Prime Minister Iveta Radicova (SDKU-DS) could increase the strain on financial markets even further, coalition Freedom and Solidarity (SaS) caucus leader Jozef Kollar said on Tuesday.

Jozef Kollar was reacting to an idea of Christian Democrat (KDH) MP Anton Marcincin, who proposed such a linked vote.

According to media reports, Marcincin even said that if SaS doesn't back the changes in financial safety nets, it will be pointless to remain with the party in the Coalition.

Kollar described linked voting as a hypothetical question that shouldn't be answered in haste. "We'll issue a statement if the premier does this, which hasn't happened so far. Nevertheless, we wouldn't view it as a fortunate solution," said Kollar.

Analyst Grigorij Meseznikov told TASR that SaS may well stick to its negative attitude towards safety nets and won't back them in Parliament. "Certainly, I don't think that this should be a reason for terminating coalition co-operation. The statement made by one KDH MP Marcincin, who was the only coalition MP to vote for the loan to Greece, is his personal opinion, and it surely won't find general support. SaS will become a target of criticism from its partners, however," said Meseznikov.

The analyst doesn't expect that Radicova will link the two votes anyway. "Letting the Coalition fall on such an issue wouldn't be the most fortunate solution taking into account the goals that it has set," said Meseznikov.

Meanwhile, the situation is a challenge for the opposition Smer-SD party, which positions itself as a very pro-European party. "In my opinion, it's under strong pressure from its partners in the Party of European Socialists," said Meseznikov. [There has been speculation that Smer may be tempted to vote against the Government if the two votes are linked. - ed. note.]

In any case, SaS leader Richard Sulik can't come out as the winner from this dispute, believes Meseznikov. "SaS's relations with its coalition partners and the European Liberal Democrat and Reform Party may become complicated, as the latter in principle inclines to the second safety net," said Meseznikov.

At the same time, SaS's attitude is paradoxical, as it presents eurosceptical opinions on certain issues, which is at odds with the euro-optimist European liberal mainstream, added Meseznikov.

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