Slovaks to vote on Greek aid after June election

Euro zone member Slovakia will vote on financial aid for debt-laden Greece only after its June election, the country's prime minister said.

Slovaks to vote on Greek aid after June election

Euro zone member Slovakia will vote on financial aid for debt-laden Greece only after its June election, the country's prime minister said on Monday, adding that Athens must do its homework on spending cuts before it gets any Slovak cash.

Left-wing Prime Minister Robert Fico is seeking re-election on June 12 and aid for Greece -- a country with higher wages and wealth than new euro member Slovakia -- has become a campaign issue for the opposition which rejects the package.

Greeks won approval from euro zone finance ministers on Sunday to draw 110 billion euros in loans over the next three years from euro zone partners and the International Monetary Fund.

Fico, who has expressed doubt about Greece's ability to implement the required savings measures, reiterated his earlier warning that the Slovak portion of the aid -- around 800 million euros -- would not come automatically.

"My government will not sign a blank cheque for Greece," Fico told reporters.

"If we see no cuts in wages, pensions, social standards in Greece, we have no intention to talk with Greece about a bilateral loan," he said, adding that Athens must do its homework first.

The finance ministry has said a change to the law on the state budget and on budgetary principles was needed to approve the aid in the parliament. Some opposition parties, lagging Fico's Smer in popularity, have objected to the aid and called for a special meeting of parliament before the election, adding such loans would lead to lax fiscal policies.

"We say an ultimate 'no' to this aid," Iveta Radicova, election leader of the strongest right-wing opposition party SDKU, said on Monday.

Reuters

Last Mod: 04 Mayıs 2010, 01:25
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