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Δευτέρα, 18 Δεκεμβρίου 2017
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Eurogroup Agrees on Backstop Role for ESM’s Bailout Fund at Schäuble’s Last Meeting

As the last Eurogroup meeting for the German finance minister Wolfgang Schäuble came to an end in Luxembourg, the eurozone finance ministers debated on Monday on a future backstop role of the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) and the future of the European Monetary Union (EMU).

The eurozone finance ministers head Jeroen Dijsselbloem, told the European press corps after the end of the first formal session after the German elections that the finance ministers of the 19 member states of the common currency are supportive towards an enhancement of the future role of the ESM, as a eurozone bailout fund a backstop role. According to Dijsselbloem, ESM’s new role could strengthen financial stability.

ESM’s managing director Klaus Regling agreed with Dijsselbloem that the new role of the fund could prevent more crises in the future. “Now it seems likely that the role of the IMF in the future might disappear,” said Regling and that “the ESM and the Commission should work together, that would mean a broader engagement on the design, and capabilities for euro area member states.”

Ministers also agreed the ESM should remain outside EU treaties, according to Dijsselbloem, as this would avoid a change in its governance in the near future that could be rejected by EU voters.

Schäuble’s last Eurogroup

“I think we will miss him because of his wisdom, also politically, and the fact that, though this is often not acknowledged, he was always looking for a compromise,” said the Belgian finance minister Johan Van Overtveldt at the Luxembourgish doorstep ahead of the meeting, while other ministers prepared souvenirs for the minister.

The 18 ministers put their autographs on a large European flag, while the French minister Bruno Le Maire handed him a bottle of wine, calling him a friend and thanking him for “playing an important role in the development of the eurozone”.

“Nothing will be quite the same again,” said the Greek finance minister Euclid Tsakalotos after signing the European flag.

“We have succeeded in eight years of crisis to keep the euro stable against many expectations. So for me it’s quite a good ending,” said the German minister for his legacy, avoiding further questions on the issue.

https://www.neweurope.eu/article/eurogroup-agrees-backstop-role-esms-bailout-fund-schaubles-last-meeting/

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