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Germany, France push reforms to tackle crisis
Question of the Day
To do that, the EFSF would likely need more money and the Commission has asked states to lift the fund’s effective lending capacity to the 440 billion euros initially advertised. At the moment, it can only lend about 250 billion euro due to various buffers required to make the EFSF’s bonds attractive to investors.
On top of that, there’s a push to cut the interest rates already bailed-out Greece and Ireland have to pay for their rescue loans. New bank stress tests, to be published this summer, are meant to clear up holes in the European banking system that previous rounds of tests failed to reveal.
At their meeting Friday, leaders are unlikely to decide in detail what concrete new powers will be given to the EFSF, but would signal a general willingness to make the fund more effective, said an EU official. The official was speaking on condition of anonymity because discussions were still ongoing.
Draft conclusions for the summit seen by the Associated Press, included a joint statement by eurozone leaders saying that by the end of March they would submit “concrete proposals” to strengthen the EFSF so that the “flexibility” and financial capacity necessary for adequate support could be ensured.
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