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Eurozone finance ministers agree to proceed with bailout fund reform

(Xinhua)    09:14, December 01, 2020

BRUSSELS, Nov. 30 (Xinhua) -- Eurozone finance ministers decided on Monday to proceed with the reform of the European Stability Mechanism (ESM), the permanent euro bailout fund established in 2012 amid the European debt crisis.

The ESM will play a role as a common backstop to the Single Resolution Fund (SRF), a reform the ministers agreed to push into force by the beginning of 2022, revealed a Eurogroup statement following the ministers' video conference.

The SRF was created in 2014 to resolve failing banks in the eurozone and shore up the whole financial system.

The statement added that the ministers will sign the revised ESM Treaty in January before launching the ratification process.

"These decisions mark another important step towards completing the Banking Union," said the statement.

Since its establishment, the ESM, with a lending capacity of up to 500 billion euros, aims to play the role of "permanent firewall" to provide financial assistance to euro area countries experiencing or threatened by severe financing problems, as well as to provide loans for the recapitalization of troubled banks.

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