A bad translation of Quentin Peel's op-ed 'The Greek rescue plan: A fly in the ointment', published in the Financial Times, appears on the homepage of the Slovak Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Contacted by EurActiv.com, the FT was surprised to learn about the unauthorised re-publication.
Commenting on the Slovak parliament's decision not to spend hard-earned taxpayers' money on bailing out a fellow eurozone member that has "consistently carried out irresponsible fiscal policy," Peel argues that the move would be seen with sympathy in Germany, despite Berlin's official position of disapproval.
This, however, is the only message that could be seen as positive from the Slovak government's perspective.
Peel's op-ed is in fact critical of the new Slovak government led by Iveta Radičová (EurActiv 16/06/10), as he writes that her liberal-conservative coalition has created "embarrassment" in Brussels.
The coalition parties, two of which are affiliated to the centre-right European People's Party and a third which is seeking liberal ALDE affiliation, recommended their MPs not to support the loan.
Opposition party SMER - affiliated to the Socialists & Democrats - supported it, but did not take part in the vote. As a result, the ballot, held on 11 August, rejected the nation's participation in the Greece rescue package, with 69 votes against and one in favour amid 14 abstentions.
As agencies reported, Germany criticised Slovakia for its decision not to participate in the bailout loan to Greece, saying that European Union solidarity is "no one-way street".
"We regret that Slovakia isn't participating in the aid to Greece," a spokesperson for Chancellor Angela Merkel was quoted by Bloomberg as saying. "All member states committed themselves politically to assistance for Greece. Every member relies on solidarity; solidarity is no one-way street," the spokesperson added.
Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn issued a strongly-worded statement regretting the "breach of the commitment undertaken by Slovakia in the Eurogroup to provide temporary and conditional financial assistance to Greece".
"I can only regret this breach of solidarity within the euro area and I expect the Eurogroup and the Ecofin Council to return to the matter in their next meeting," Rehn states. Those meetings take place on 6 and 7 September.