EU leaders to agree on permanent bailout fund

By REUTERS
January 30, 2012 02:02

 
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BRUSSELS - EU leaders will sign off on a permanent rescue fund for the euro zone at a summit on Monday and are expected to agree on a balanced budget rule in national legislation, with unresolved problems in Greece casting a shadow on the discussions.

The summit - the 17th in two years as the EU battles to resolve its sovereign debt problems - is supposed to focus on creating jobs and growth, with leaders looking to shift the narrative away from politically unpopular budget austerity.

The summit is expected to announce that up to 20 billion euros of unused funds from the EU's 2007-2013 budget will be redirected towards job creation, especially among the young, and will commit to freeing up bank lending to small- and medium-sized companies. and

But discussions over the permanent rescue fund, a new 'fiscal treaty' and Greece will dominate the talks.

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