Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Message From Slovakia

"'Ere a bailout our nation commits to,
Some cold perspiration befits you,
As this saga has shown
That our currency zone
Is prone to financial jiu jitsu."

Well played, Slovakia. This tiny outpost of New Europe now holds the fate of the €440 billion European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) in its hands. As the last of the 17-member euro zone to take up the ratification of the EFSF, Slovakia roiled the waters Tuesday when its divided parliament voted No. Even though a majority of the Slovak parties support the stability framework in principle, the question is caught up in parliamentary maneuvering, with the government evidently headed for a no-confidence vote. In the meantime, France and Germany can only sweat it out, as they test the limits of their persuasive powers.

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