The Open Europe team must confess to have developed a certain fascination with Slovakia of late - a small country which hides a core of tenacity and strength, not least when bullied by outsiders.
You certainly can't accuse the political class in the country of being conformist. Slovakia joined the euro in 2009. Less than two years on, doubts are apperantly mounting over that decision. In an op-ed for Slovakian economic daily Hospodarske Noviny, Speaker of the Slovakian Parliament Richard Sulik (see picture) writes:
"We need to stop trusting eurozone leaders blindly and draw up a plan B: going back to the Slovakian Koruna."Sulik argues that Slovakia made great efforts to join the euro because it was promised "a stable currency and solid rules". However, he notes, "two years later, it is sad to see that the rules are not the same for everyone, not to say that they do not exist at all."
Sad but true and credit to Sulik for speaking truth to power.
Slovakia was the only eurozone country which refused to contribute to the Greek bailout a couple of months ago, following a vote in its Parliament. On that occasion, the newly elected Prime Minister Iveta Radičová said:
Yes, we were the only ones who said 'no' loudly. But I'm sure that 'no' was in the heads of all representatives of the EU countries [...] What should I tell our citizens, that we should help those who aren't willing to help themselves?Hard to argue with that, eh?