News / Europe

Slovakia Puts Off Crucial Bailout Fund Vote

Slovakia's Prime Minister Iveta Radicova holds a speech during a Parliament session during which the lawmakers will vote on the approval for more money for the EU bailout fund in Bratislava, Slovakia, October 11, 2011.
Slovakia's Prime Minister Iveta Radicova holds a speech during a Parliament session during which the lawmakers will vote on the approval for more money for the EU bailout fund in Bratislava, Slovakia, October 11, 2011.
TEXT SIZE - +

Slovakia has become the only European Union country to reject a crucial bailout fund for debt-strapped countries.  Slovakian lawmakers are expected vote again on the measure even as the fallout of Europe's high debt continues to spread, with tens of thousands of people protesting austerity measures in France.  

After 10 hours of debate, Slovakian lawmakers failed to approve a measure to expand the E.U. bailout fund.  The fund aims to help shaky economies like Greece and help stop a growing sovereign debt and banking crisis that threatens to spread well beyond Europe's borders.

European Union leaders had approved the measure in July.  But it needs to be ratified by the parliaments of all 17 countries sharing the euro currency to go into effect.  Sixteen countries have done so to date.  Slovakia is the last holdout.

But news services report the measure is expected to be approved in a second vote, with support from opposition lawmakers.

Slovaks generally look favorably on the European Union.  But Slovakia is one of Europe's poorest nations, and many of its citizens are unhappy about paying for what they consider are their free-spending counterparts in Greece.

But Slovakia Prime Minister Iveta Radicova argues the very survival of the eurozone is at stake.  She has also linked the parliament's vote to her own government's survival.

Slovakia is not the only nation grumbling about the bailout fund.

Many people in the Netherlands and Germany also opposed the measure.  For their part, many analysts say Europe must take more far-reaching measures to tackle the spreading debt crisis.

Meanwhile, austerity measures adopted by a number of European countries to tackle the crisis have sparked strikes and protests.  Tens of thousands of French were on the streets of Paris and other cities across France, demonstrating Tuesday against government cutbacks.

Fifty-nine-year-old French teacher Jean Carroy joined the march through the capital.

Carroy believes there must be other ways to resolve the debt crisis than cutting government spending.  He says the government's budget plans to slice thousands of teaching positions across the country.

Social worker Melanie Zede also joined the demonstration with her nine-year-old daughter Ines.

Zede says she sees people have less and less money and means to survive.  She blames both the eurozone crisis and bad choices by the conservative government of President Nicolas Sarkozy.

The government cutbacks come as Mr. Sarkozy faces a tough re-election next year.  His popularity has hovered at record lows for months.

You May Like

Multimedia Parents of Disaster Ferry Passengers Lash Out at Authorities

Twenty-nine bodies recovered from water but some 270 remain trapped on board More

War Legacy Haunts Vietnam, US Relations

US congressional delegation initiates $84 million Agent Orange cleanup project More

Wikipedia Proves Useful for Tracking Flu

Technique gave better results than Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Google’s Flu Trends More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid