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Finland reaches deal over bailout fund – news reports

Tuesday, 24 January 2012
The Finnish Finance Ministry says that EU finance ministers have agreed to its demands regarding the European Stability Mechanism (ESM). Under a deal reached late Monday in Brussels, Finland will be allowed to opt out of future bailouts it disagrees with. In other words, other countries will not be able to raise Finland’s fiscal responsibility without its approval.

The ESM will retain an emergency reserve fund to be used in case of non-unanimous decisions.
The Finnish government had been blocking on a new treaty setting up the 500-billion-euro bailout fund because of a clause allowing loan decisions to be made if backed by just 85 percent of its membership. That threw an obstacle in the way of getting the rescue fund up and running by July as planned.
Finland boasts one of the strongest credit ratings in the eurozone and therefore bears a crucial role in future borrowing.

2nd Finnish bailout dispute
Last autumn, Finnish Finance Minister Jutta Urpilainen hammered out a controversial 880-million-euro collateral deal with Greece as a prerequisite for taking part in the second Greek bailout, which will be the ESM’s first task. Finnish anger over eurozone bailouts was seen as a major factor in the surge in popularity of the Finns Party in last spring’s parliamentary elections.

The pact is to be approved at a summit next weekend. Before that it will be debated in national parliaments.
News source: Yle

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