Olli REHN, European Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs : "A consolidation pact with two equally important components"
"I welcome that ECOFIN's decisions on fiscal consolidation and on the European stabilisation mechanism are by and large based on the Commission's proposals. I am referring to the stabilisation mechanism with a total volume of up to € 500 billion, which was the decision of yesterday."
What emerges from today's meeting of ECOFIN can be summarised as a consolidation pact which has two equally important components. First, a full and strong commitment to intensify and anticipate fiscal consolidation by Member States. This is particularly crucial for countries that have been under speculative attacks in recent weeks. They need to take action now. And in this sense I am satisfied to note that Portugal and Spain have expressed their clear commitment to take significant new measures soon.
Secondly, we have decided the creation of the European financial stabilisation mechanism, a financial backstop to ensure financial stability in Europe. It is composed of two elements: € 60 billion are foreseen on the basis of Article 122 of the Lisbon Treaty, which applies to exceptional occurrences beyond a Member State's control. The second component of up to € 440 billion is based on an intergovernmental agreement.
Moreover, following consultations with the International Monetary Fund and its Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn yesterday over night, the IMF will participate in financing arrangements and is expected to provide at least half as much as the European Union through its usual facilities in line with the recent European programmes. So, all in all, the fiscal efforts of EU Member States, the financial assistance by the Commission and by the Member States and the actions taken today by the ECB prove that we shall defend the euro whatever it takes."