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Slovakia last to vote on European rescue fund

Plans to resolve the eurozone crisis are on edge as Slovakia votes.

All eyes are on Slovakia, as the seventeenth Eurozone country voting on the expansion of the powers of the European rescue fund.

European stocks fell today as investors worried about the uncertainty of the vote, and one out of the four coalition parties, the liberal Freedom and Solidarity (SaS), indicated that the country is too poor to help others out of the crisis. If Slovakia supports the €440bn European Financial Stability Facility it will guarantee €7.7bn towards the fund.

"I have to say that the coalition partners have failed to reach an agreement," said the Slovakian prime minister, Iveta Radicova from the centre-right SDKU-DS party, who has tied the vote on the Eurozone bailout to a vote of confidence. Radicova said that it was unacceptable for Slovakia to isolate itself. She was however unable to convince her government and the SMER socialist opposition party, which has said that it will abstain its vote, to come to a conclusion.

The vote to support the EFSF would effectively give the rescue fund the power to buy up government debt and give credits to Eurozone states and banks. According to the BBC, however, analysts have now said that the fund would require up to €2 trillion to heave the Eurozone out of the current crisis through the EFSF.

Malta voted in favour of bolstering the bailout fund on Monday night. Despite Germany's reluctance to support the expansion of the EFSF, Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicholas Sarkozy said that they would come up with a concrete plan, after a consultation of other Eurozone states by the end of the month.

For the Slovakian coalition government, the troubles are by no means over once the vote is cast, as Miroslav Beblevy, an MP from SDKU-DS told the Guardian newspaper:

"I think it's quite possible that there will be some major government breakdown and there's no certainty how that could influence the vote," he said.