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EU finance chiefs meet to strengthen bail out fund

EU finance chiefs meet to strengthen bail out fund
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The euro zone’s money men are meeting in Brussels in an effort to strengthen and speed up the implementation of the bloc’s bail out fund.

Providing enough muscle for the European Financial Stability Facility to shield the euro bloc’s weakest member states is seen as a top priority, particularly with fears growing over Italy.

Jean-Claude Juncker, President the Eurogroup, said: “We will speak about Greece and also about Italy and we will come closer to defining the details on leveraging the EFSF. That is a highly complicated judicial process. I don’t think we’ll have any real decisions today.”

Despite the on-going political uncertainty back home in Athens, Greek Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos offered an upbeat assessment.

“After a difficult week we have now a new political situation, a new political frame in Greece. We have a new government of national unity and national responsibility. This is the proof of our commitment and our national capacity to implement the programme and to reconstruct our country,” said Venizelos.

From the EU Council in Brussels euronews’ Fariba Mavaddat said: “Euro zone finance ministers are gathering in Brussels again amid the backdrop of the changing political and economic situation in Greece and Italy. Despite the turmoil affecting Athens and Rome, it’s thought unlikely that any concrete decisions will be made this evening on implementing the deal agreed between EU leaders at last month’s summit.’‘