There was some serious arm wrestling going on behind closed doors in Brussels, of that you can be assured of. KGS
EU Business: European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso thanked Slovakia on Thursday for finally granting its approval to a crucial rescue fund for debt-laden members of the eurozone. “I want to use this opportunity to congratulate Slovakia,” Barroso said after Bratislava approved the revamp of the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF). “This is an important decision for all of us in Europe,” he told journalists in Sofia, where he was taking part in a meeting of the centre-right European People’s Party. “I never had any doubt that Slovakia would support it because it is in the interest of that country, in the interest of all euro-area countries, and in the interest of the European Union as a whole.”
The vote in the Slovakian parliament, which removed the final hurdle to expanding the European bailout fund to 440 billion euros ($600 billion), came however at a price, toppling Prime Minister Iveta Radicova’s centre-right government and setting the stage for early elections. Barroso congratulated Radicova on Thursday “because she has fought for what she believed was important for her country and for Europe.” “This is the kind of leadership that we need in Europe,” he added. The EFSF rescue mechanism was set up in May 2010 after Greece was first bailed out to save it from default. Slovakia was then the only eurozone member to abstain from the first Greek rescue package.