Slovakia pledges to approve Eurozone rescue plan

Slovakia’s political parties have agreed to ratify plans to expand the Eurozone's bailout fund after a second day of wrangling.

Slovak opposition leader Robert Fico said he and parties in the outgoing Slovak government coalition have reached an agreement to approve the plan to enlarge the European Financial Stability Facility by Friday and to hold an election in March.

Three parties in the coalition have held talks with Fico's leftist opposition Smer party after their cabinet collapsed in a failed confidence vote on Tuesday that Prime Minister Iveta Radicova had tied to ratification of the euro safety net.

Slovakia is the last of the 17 Eurozone members to ratify the plan and its approval means EU authorities can press ahead with expanding the facility’s role.

Prime minister Iveta Radicova's cabinet will remain in office until a new administration is formed. It will formally approve EFSF ratification again at the meeting and resubmit it to parliament, a government source told Reuters.

Parliament is next due to sit on Thursday afternoon, which would be its first opportunity to hold a new vote on the EFSF.

US markets have opened higher, led by the Standard & Poor’s 500 index up 1.1 per cent. The FTSe 100 is up 0.9 per cent.