EU bailout: Q&A
Published 15/11/2010 | 10:23
How do you bail out a country? And who does it? Here is a list intended to untangle the facts.
Who gives out the money?
The European Financial Stability Facility.
It calls itself a "funding backstop" for member states in financial problems. Basically, it's there to stop one country's plight imperilling the euro itself.
Who can ask for help?
Any of the countries which use the euro. As of May this year, there were 16.
How does it do the bailing out?
The EFSF issues bonds, which are purchased on the international markets, the money raised is used as a loan to the country in question. The loan is guaranteed the 16 euro states.
How much can they give out?
Hundreds of billions can be loaned, secured by the guarantees of the €440bn total amount of capital invested by the member states into the European Central Bank. However, with assistance from the European Financial Stabilisation Mechanism and the International Monetary Fund, the total financial safety net available to euro-zone members is $750bn.
Who is the EFSF?
Only around 12 people work for the EFSF, which is based in Luxembourg. The real work is done by the German Debt Management Office.