Vienna, 12 September 2012 Fekter : “Relieved to have a clear judgment” Austrian Finance Minister Dr Maria Fekter delighted at decision on ESM by German constitutional judges

“I am pleased that the judgment by the constitutional judges in Karlsruhe over the launch of the European rescue umbrella, the ESM, has been so emphatic”, declared Fekter. “And Austria's liability is also capped at EUR 19 billion. For any increase in the ESM's authorized capital and amount called upon, the consent of the Austrian National Assembly is required”, clarified the Minister.

“With the ESM now ready to launch, and the ECB's unlimited bond purchase programme, we have reached a milestone in terms of establishing a stable crisis infrastructure. This shows the unstoppable will to keep the Eurozone together and to act in unison. The ESM protects and supports the euro”, stressed Fekter, adding that governments which need aid would however be made to comply with their own obligations too.

Fekter also reported that in the autumn already, Austria will be transferring the first tranche for the ESM in the sum of EUR 900 million. “The funds are already earmarked in the budget, but without any effect on the deficit, because Austria will then hold an asset with a financial institution”, explained the Minister. In total, Austria will pay EUR 2 billion into the European Stability Mechanism and assume guarantees in the sum of EUR 17 billion. The launch of the ESM is scheduled for 8 October.

“I hope the permanent euro rescue umbrella will be positively received among the European population, because horror scenarios are eliminated as a result of the liability limitation”, reiterated Fekter. “This is a clear limit. Without the approval of Parliament, nothing can be done. The level of authorized capital cannot be arbitrarily increased”, assured Minister Fekter in conclusion.