Estonia ratifies EU permanent bailout fund31.08.2012, 08:14
Estonia has become the last country in the Eurozone to ratify the European Stability Mechanism treaty, reports ERR News.
In the 59-34 vote in Parliament held yesterday, the coalition parties Reform and IRL were in favor of the rescue fund. The opposition Social Democrats split two ways and the Centre Party unanimously opposed ratification. There was one abstention.
The vote brings to a conclusion a months-long period of political soul-searching, including a constitutional challenge heard by the Supreme Court in July. A group of protesters rallied outside the Parliament building.
Estonia's participation in the ESM, prorated according to the country's GDP, will mean an up-front contribution of 148.8 million euros and over 1.15 billion euros in potential contributions down the road.
The second reading started at 10:00 on August 30, lasted four hours and covered a range of issues, such as whether ESM should be assigned a banking license and possible scenarios should Parliament not ratify the ESM. The Finance Committee reviewed 12 amendment proposals, including some of its own pertaining to changes to Parliament's home rules. In the third reading, speaker Ene Ergma put the bill to the final vote at 4.40 pm.
As reported, the legislation specifies that all decisions on financial commitments must be made by the plenary session of Parliament.
On Wednesday, Parliament's Finance Committee approved changes to a bill that would keep most decisions on the European Stability Mechanism in the purview of the full, 101-member legislature.