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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Picking up the pieces...

As expected, it now looks as if parties in the Slovakian parliament have come to an agreement over the ratification of the EFSF. The opposition Smer party, which abstained from the original vote in order to force elections seems to have got its wish, with early elections rumoured to take place around 10 March 2012. In exchange they have agreed to support the passage of the expanded EFSF in a vote on Friday. Between the Smer and the SDKU, the Premier's party, the proposal should pass without much (more) drama.

(A proposal on holding early elections will be submitted and, if all goes to plan, voted on by the parliament tomorrow. It needs 90 votes out of 150 to pass and is expected to achieve that threshold).

That clearly paves the way for the eurozone to move forward with its much rumoured 'grand package' for saving the eurozone. But what about domestic Slovakian politics? It seems to have been left in a ruinous state after the EFSF bill exposed huge divisions within the governing coalition.

The current government has fallen and a new interim one will be formed by the President, Ivan Gasparovic (see picture - although we expect he is far from this jolly right now). Discussions will take place between the largest parties over the coming weeks in an attempt to form a new coalition, whether the previous coalition can be salvaged to form a base for a new one remains to be seen. With elections not due until March, some form of government will undoubtedly be needed - not least because we're sure eurozone leaders will come knocking on Slovakia's door before long for approval of another set of 'solutions' to the crisis.

As for Sulik, leader of the SaS and proverbial thorn in the side of eurozone leaders, he along with his ministers have been asked by the Premier to resign, a call which they swiftly rejected. It still seems likely that they will have to leave the government and can be forced out during the President's reshuffling.

Ironically, the Speaker of the Slovakian Parliament, currently Sulik, is meant to announce any early elections, but that seems unlikely given the current circumstances. The job is therefore likely to turn to the deputy speaker.

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