Determined to reach a deal before markets opened for Monday trading EU ministers forged the huge bailout after 11 hours of hard fought negotiations.
Faced with the very real prospect of the euro drowning in a tsunami of debt, EU leaders came out fighting against what they called the ‘wolfpack’ financial markets.
The package will see 440 billion euros coming from member states, 60 billion from the European Commission and a further 250 billion from the IMF.
There are also plans for a European Monetary Fund, with the ECB also buying eurozone government and private debt.
Speaking in Brussels EU Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said: This morning’s agreement will insure that any attempt to weaken the stability of the euro will fail. We cannot have a monetary union without a economic union. This is the point. We need a stronger coordination, an economic policy coordination. Until now the response of the member states has been in this direction.”
Britain’s finance chief, Chancellor Alistair Darling however refused to foot any part of the bill to save the euro.
But, some analysts believe the UK debt-ridden economy could also need European support at some point.