EU leaders agree on sovereign debt fund
European Union leaders have agreed to make minor changes to the EU's governing treaty to set up a permanent mechanism from mid-2013 to resolve sovereign debt problems, diplomats said.
The leaders agreed to insert two sentences into the treaty stating: "The member states whose currency is the euro may establish a stability mechanism to be activated if indispensable to safeguard the stability of the euro as a whole.
"The granting of any required financial assistance under the mechanism will be made subject to strict conditionality."
EU Council President Herman Van Rompuy has said he wants member states to begin work on securing ratification for the changes by national governments next year, so that the amendments can come into force from January 2013 and the fund can be active from mid-2013.