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Vienna, 23 November 2011 Fekter: We need the ESM in order to take coordinated and comprehensive action for dealing with the crisis Aid, reform, oversight, sanctions – a summary of the remarks of the Minister of Finance on overcoming the current crisis

“To counter the turbulence created by this crisis, we need a permanent stability mechanism that will enable us to take coordinated and comprehensive action in order to stabilise the Eurozone“, Austrian Finance Minister Dr. Maria Fekter emphasised at a meeting of the EU subcommittee of the Austrian National Council on 23 November 2011. “The goal of the ESM – the European Stability Mechanism – is to enable a country to obtain refinancing at the level of the market, because over the longer term it is not tenable to ask taxpayers to foot the bill”, the Finance Minister stated.

Furthermore, Fekter – just as the German Finance Minister – argues for an early effective date of the ESM, suggesting that it should be brought forward to the beginning of 2012. However, this demand is meeting with resistance, particularly on the part of France. Fekter’s response: "We were much closer to this goal previously. Now the ESM is again moving further into the distance." This is due also to the fact that the Eurozone countries are in disagreement on some of the main points: Firstly, the extent to which the private sector should be involved and secondly, the so-called emergency clause. “Austria strictly rejects this emergency clause for exceptional cases. Particularly the version of the clause in which a decision could be made in a concrete case by only 85 percent of the voting power is simply unacceptable”, the Finance Minister emphasised.

“Even if the ESM starting date was brought forward to early 2012, this would not entail any additional costs to Austria”, Fekter stated in closing.