The Slovenian National Assembly on Tuesday passed a bill enabling the country to participate in the European Union’s bailout package for Greece.
Nevertheless, both supporters and opponents of the bill expressed their concerns about Greece’s ability to repay the loan, reported the Slovenian news agency STA.
With a vote of 47 to 34, the Slovenian parliament agreed to participate in the 80 billion Euro bailout package by providing 378 million Euros to Greece, over three years. Supporters of the bill said the loan would safeguard the stability of the Euro as a currency and the entire “eurozone.”
Finance Ministry State Secretary Mateja Vranicar, defending the package, said Greece had managed to meet the interest payments for the first installment of the bailout package, prior to Slovenia’s participation.
Nonetheless, even among supporters of the bill a number of concerns were raised. By providing aid to Greece, Slovenia was increasing its own public debt which could adversely affect its credit rating, said Alojzij Potocnik of Zares, a member of the ruling coalition. Meanwhile, Borut Sajovic of the Liberal Democrats (LDS), another coalition partner, called on the Slovenian government to be strict in linking loans to the implementation of Greece’s reform program.
Opposition politician Branko Grims was critical of the Slovenian government for demanding austerity from its own government employees while providing funds for Greek public servants, whose salaries are on average 50 percent higher than their Slovenian counterparts.