Finance ministers from the 17 euro area countries Monday signed in Brussels the treaty establishing the new permanent European Stability Mechanism (ESM).
The ESM will be operational in July 2013, replacing the current financial European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF).
The fund will have a capitalization of 700 billion euro, of which 80 billion will be paid in cash.
The President of the Eurogroup Jean-Claude Juncker told the press that “we are gathered today to reach a milestone in the march toward stability in the euro area and in our work to maintain stability in the area and today we will sign the Treaty on the European Stability Mechanism.”
Meanwhile, EU Council President Herman Van Rompuy in a separate statement said he convened a coordination meeting today with the President of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso, Junker, the President of the European Central Bank Jean-Claude Trichet and EU Commissioner for economic affairs Olli Rehn ahead of the Eurogroup meeting.
They discussed issues related to the implementation of the decision on a new financial aid programme for Greece and also exchanged views on recent developments in the euro-area, he added.