EU May Speed Permanent Fund to Stem Crisis

by Zagros on September 24, 2020

By James G. Neuger and Aki Ito - Sep 24, 2020 11:26 AM PT

European governments are exploring speeding the start of a permanent rescue fund for their cash- strapped economies amid fresh signs they may bolster efforts to halt the worsening sovereign debt crisis.

Senior finance officials will examine next week the cost advantages of setting up the fund, known as the European Stability Mechanism, a year earlier than its currently planned July 2013 start, according to a document prepared for the meetings and obtained by Bloomberg News.

As Greece’s prospects darken and the 18-month debt crisis threatens to tip Europe and the global economy back into recession, the euro area’s managers are stepping up efforts to identify measures that can stop it from spreading. Their strategy to date has been criticized at the annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank, which continue today in Washington.

“Patience is running out in the international community,” U.K. Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne told reporters yesterday.

That pressure increased after concerns that a Greek default may be inevitable helped push global stocks into their first bear market in two years. Economists at Citigroup Inc. said yesterday they now expect Greece to begin restructuring its debt as soon as December, while those at JPMorgan Chase & Co. said the euro area will start shrinking in the fourth quarter.

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