Eurozone Leaders to Hammer Out New Deal Details in Next Weeks

Bulgaria in EU | December 9, 2011, Friday // 15:45|  views

President of France Nicolas Sarkozy (L), German Chancellor Angela Merkel (C) and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso (R) chat during the EU summit in Brussels, Belgium, 09 December 2011. EPA/BGNES

Further talks on the legal details of the new eurozone deal, which Bulgaria along with 22 more EU member states supported, are expected to resume in the next few weeks.

The new treaty will be on the agenda of the next regular EU summit in March 2012 and then be submitted for ratification.

Four countries including Britain however refused to back a new intergovernmental treaty to deepen the integration of national budgets, raising concerns that the EU may turn into a two-tier system.

Sweden and the Czech Republic will consult their parliaments before making a decision, said European Council President Herman Van Rompuy. He confirmed that Latvia, Lithuania, Romania and Bulgaria are all in.

Hungary also said it will not play a part in a new inter-governmental agreement, but reports say Budapest may change its mind to stave off isolation.

The main measures agreed to as part of the new agreement, called a "fiscal compact" include:

- a cap of 0.5% of GDP on countries' annual structural deficits

- "automatic consequences" for countries whose public deficit exceeds 3% of GDP

- the tighter rules to be enshrined in countries' constitutions

- European Stability Mechanism (ESM) to be accelerated and brought into force in July 2012

- adequacy of EUR 500 B limit for ESM to be reassessed

- Eurozone and other EU countries to provide up to EUR 200 B to the IMF to help debt-stricken eurozone members

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