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Response to Tansy_Gold (Original post)

Tue Jan 17, 2012, 12:38 PM

65. Analysis - Rescue fund downgrade raises pressure on euro zone

http://uk.reuters.com/article/2012/01/17/uk-eurozone-fund-idUKTRE80G1I820120117

(Reuters) - Political resistance is clashing with financial imperatives as the euro zone tries to strengthen its capacity to rescue debt-stricken member states after Europe's temporary bailout fund lost its top-notch credit rating.

Standard & Poor's downgrading of the European Financial Stability Facility to AA+ on Monday raised pressure on the 17-member currency area to end disputes holding up the launch of a permanent rescue fund, and to let both run alongside each other with full lending power from July.

The move cast doubt on whether the permanent 500 billion euro (415 billion pound) European Stability Mechanism will win a top S&P rating. The ESM will have a stronger structure than the EFSF, but both funds have the same shareholders - euro zone governments - nine of which were downgraded last week. France and Austria both lost their triple-A ratings.

EU paymaster Germany has rejected raising its contribution to either fund, which would require parliamentary approval. The Netherlands, Finland and Luxembourg, which along with Berlin kept their triple-A status, also ruled out putting up more money.

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