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Oct 13, 2011

Slovak libertarian party blocks EU bailout.

Image: Richard Sulik, leader of SaS.

The world is becoming used to the daily round of news of European nations in financial crisis, Greece being the current centre of attention. There are constant updates on efforts by the more solvent members of the Euro zone to prop up failing members in exchange for financial reforms. Meanwhile, long-suffering taxpayers are becoming increasingly outraged.

A current effort to expand the European Financial Stability Facility to 440 billion Euros has been blocked temporally by tiny Slovakia. The ruling coalition there failed to approve the measure when the libertarian orientated Freedom and Solidarity (SaS) Party, voted it down. The measure is expected to pass with the support of the opposition, probably requiring an early election as a condition.

This should give heart to angry voters across Germany, France, and the rest of Europe:

A recently-formed libertarian political party which represents just 12 per cent of Slovakian voters and barely 0.2 per cent of the eurozone's 332 million voters refused to vote with the three other parties in the ruling coalition, bringing the continent's bailout agreement to a halt.

With a population of just 5.4 million the small mountainous country in central Europe is now the centre of frantic efforts to revive the July 21 bail-out deal, which expanded the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) to 440 billion euros ($A603 billion) and gave it new powers to help Greece, failing banks and shaky nations such as Spain and Italy. …

But Radicova's four-party coalition failed to muster the required numbers because the hardline free-market party Freedom and Solidarity (SaS) objected to the eurozone bailout as a profligate waste of money on bankers and Greeks who it says should be made to pay for their own mistakes and laziness.

Richard Sulik, the millionaire economist who helped to develop the country's 19 per cent flat income tax and founded SaS in 2009, was unrepentant about his resistance to bailing out the Greeks.

"I'd rather be a pariah in Brussels than have to feel ashamed before my children, who would be deeper in debt should I back raising the volume of funding in the EFSF bailout mechanism.”

Slovakians had lower average incomes than the Greeks and "an honest solution" to the crisis would be "to let Greece go bankrupt," he said.

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