The Slovenia Times

Minister: Eurozone reform deal is step in the right direction


Bertoncelj said that the talks of the finance ministers of the 27 EU member states without the UK showed big differences among them.

He said the differences were the greatest between the north and south, and that the opinions clashed the most on the EU budget, which was a very complex issue.

The ministers agreed only on the reform of the European Stability Mechanism (ESM), a part of the EU strategy designed to safeguard financial stability in the euro area.

Like its predecessor, the temporary European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF), the ESM provides financial assistance to euro area countries experiencing or threatened by financing difficulties and has so far offered favourable loans to Greece, Cyprus, Spain, Portugal and Ireland.

The security mechanism for salvaging banks, in which European banks not taxpayers will contribute money, is expected to become operational before 2024 as originally planned if sufficient progress is reached in 2020 on reducing risks.

The goal of the ESM reform is to improve resilience to crises.

The deal on the reform is outlined in a report, which will be forwarded to the leaders of the 27 EU countries and is expected to be confirmed at the summit next week.

The deal lacks a serious plan for setting up a eurozone budget, which France has been highlighting as a crucial element of the EU's revival after Brexit.

No deal has also been reached on a joint system of guarantees for bank deposits, which Germany opposes. The issue is to be broached again next June.


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