05 July 2012 Fekter: “ESM will prevent a pan-European conflagration” Intense involvement of Austrian parliament unique in Europe

“In the ESM, we have created an ultramodern fiscal fire brigade that will prevent local problems from turning into a pan-European conflagration”, Austrian Finance Minister Dr Maria Fekter emphasised on 4 July in a speech to the Austrian parliament. “By tightening the rules under the stability pact and introducing tougher sanctions on unrepentant deficit and debt rule-breakers, we have already put stringent ‘fire protection measures’ in place”, Finance Minister Dr Fekter stated.

“In addition, we have made clear that the ESM will only provide financial support to financially distressed countries who have shown a real willingness to make reforms and who satisfy the conditions imposed on them”, Dr Fekter stated. “In these circumstances, it is completely unwarranted for people to talk mindlessly of apocalyptical scenarios or stick their heads in the sand”, Dr Fekter warned.

“We have adopted a balanced mix of measures in our Austrian reform package, just as EU policies now require: In addition to consolidating public finances, our reform package also includes growth -promotion measures in the interests of growing the economy and securing jobs”, Finance Minister Dr Fekter stated. “We have set aside EUR 6.4 billion for future-oriented projects in the realms of education, research and development, and have adopted a whole host of measures to save on administrative costs and increase efficiency”, Dr Fekter said. “This dual strategy of pursuing strict budget discipline whilst aggressively promoting future-oriented measures is a crisis strategy that works”, Dr Fekter assured listeners.

Dr Fekter went on to point out that the intensity of parliamentary involvement on the ESM was unique in Europe, referring to two newly created committees. “On any capital increase of the ESM, the finance minister will be bound by decisions of the national parliament just as he or she would be when appropriating capital that has already been authorised by parliament”, Dr Fekter stated, and in closing she expressly thanked her listeners for their broad-based support in connection with the adoption of the ESM.