Fabian Demicoli

The Finance Ministers of the Eurozone are to finalise a deal next week on enlarging

The Finance Ministers of the Eurozone are to finalise a deal next week on enlarging the Eurozone's capacity to bail out a country with debt problems- The aim is to provide greater protection against the possibility that sovereign-debt problems might affect large eurozone countries such as Italy and Spain.

The German government had opposed increasing the €500 billion limit set for the eurozone's permanent bail-out fund, the European Stability Mechanism (ESM), which is to start operations in July. But it has softened its stance and agreed to the use of €200bn in unallocated funds from the temporary bail-out fund, the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF), which was set up in the early months of the sovereign-debt crisis. So the overall size of the eurozone's protective firewall will be €700bn, though the effective lending capacity will be less.

The deal will be agreed at the end of next week, when finance ministers and central bankers from the member states of the EU gather in Copenhagen for an informal meeting (30-31 March).

IMF assistance

Increasing the eurozone's bail-out capacity is a pre-condition for members of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to provide additional funds for lending to eurozone countries.

Christine Lagarde, the head of the IMF, has warned that without an increase in available funding, the likes of Spain and Italy might get into difficulties financing their debts on capital markets.

The annual general meeting of the IMF will be held in Washington, DC, on 20-22 April. At the meeting, member countries are expected to agree to increase the fund's capacity to lend to the eurozone by $500bn (€380bn).

What we can do for you










The Malta Chamber of SMEs represents over 7,000 members from over 90 different sectors which in their majority are either small or medium sized companies, and such issues like the one we're experiencing right now, it's important to be united. Malta Chamber of SMEs offers a number of different services tailored to its members' individual requirements' and necessities. These range from general services offered to all members to more individual & bespoke services catered for specific requirements.

A membership with Malta Chamber of SMEs will guarantee that you are constantly updated and informed with different opportunities which will directly benefit your business and help you grow. It also entails you to a number of services which in their majority are free of charge and offered exclusively to its members (in their majority all free of charge).