Euro-Region Ministers Agree on Permanent Aid Fund, Finland Says

Euro-area finance ministers completed plans to set up a permanent rescue fund for the region, according to Finland’s Finance Ministry.

The ministers meeting in Brussels today agreed on all aspects of the European Stability Mechanism in a deal to be signed on Jan. 30, Martti Salmi, an aide at the Finance Ministry in Helsinki, said by telephone after the ministry posted a statement on its website containing some details.

Luxembourg Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker, who chairs the group of euro region finance ministers, will announce further details of the agreement later today, Salmi said.

Under the new rules, majority voting can only be used to authorize ESM loans and can’t be employed to increase countries’ liabilities, according to the Finnish statement. The agreement will also allow for the creation of an emergency reserve fund when a majority decision is taken, the statement said.

Finnish Finance Minister Jutta Urpilainen said on Dec. 9 that her country would refuse to back the fund if unanimous decision making was eliminated.

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