Enhanced powers for bailout fund to be approved later this month – Merkel

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Enhanced powers for the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) will be approved later this month despite Slovakia’s rejection of the bill, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Tuesday.

Enhanced powers for the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) will be approved later this month despite Slovakia’s rejection of the bill, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Tuesday.

"I am very confident that by October 23 we will have all the signatures of all the member states on the EFSF bill," Merkel said during a visit to Hanoi.

Slovakian lawmakers voted down enhanced powers for the bailout fund on Tuesday. It is the only eurozone country that has not approved the amendments. However, political commentators expect the measure to come up for a repeat vote later this week.

Merkel also expressed confidence that the euro will remain strong and that the EU will not become "a union of debtors”.

The EU countries originally set up the EFSF in May 2010. At an EU summit in July 2011, leaders of the eurozone states decided to enhance the powers of the EFSF by allowing it to buy bonds on the secondary market, recapitalize banks and raise guarantee commitments to 440 billion euros.

The proposals require approval by all 17 eurozone countries to take effect.

The EFSF is due to be replaced by the European Stability Mechanism in 2013.

 

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