Eurozone member Slovakia has said people in his country were losing patience in the face of some partners in the bloc not sticking to their budget consolidation promises. It said financial help for them might soon stop.
Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico told German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin on Tuesday that his country's population was less and less willing to financially support fellow eurozone nations which cared little about meeting deficit reduction targets.
"Our people's patience is running out," Fico said amid a current debate about even more financial assistance particularly to debt-stricken countries in southern Europe. He stressed Slovakia was no longer willing to agree to more aid, if recipients kept falling short of implementing budget consolidation reforms.
"It's getting increasingly difficult to explain to Slovaks why they should help eurozone nations in which pensions for instance were three times as high as in my country," Fico told reporters in Berlin.
No pain, no gain
German Chancellor Angela Merkel agreed in principle, saying that there were strings attached to the financial aid granted to fellow member countries. "We are in agreement that jointly negotiated rules and regulations must be adhered to," Merkel said. "Solidarity and budget consolidation belong together."
Despite his political broadside against southern European eurozone nations, Robert Fico made it clear he did not favor Greece's exit from the currency bloc. He said he expected his country to post 2.6-percent growth next year, but added that the domestic economy would slip into a recession, should Greece's finances collapse.
hg/ng (AFP, Reuters)