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(Updates with Luxembourg approval in first paragraph.)
Sept. 15 (Bloomberg) -- Spain and Luxembourg today became the latest countries to approve expanded powers for the euro- region’s rescue fund. They join France, Italy and Belgium in having authorized the enhancements to the 440 billion-euro ($604 billion) European Financial Stability Facility.
All euro-region nations, excluding Greece, Portugal and Ireland, which are already receiving emergency European Union funds, need to approve the plan adopted by European leaders on July 21. European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy have called on governments to ratify the plan by the end of this month.
Under its expanded power, the EFSF would take over bond buying responsibilities from the European Central Bank and be able to lend to nations before they need a bailout.
The following is the status of the EFSF passage by country, based on Bloomberg News reporting and research published yesterday by Barclays Capital analysts Michaela Seiman, Jussi Harju and Laurent Fransolet. Bailout recipients Greece, Ireland and Portugal are not included.
AUSTRIA: After Parliament’s finance committee rejected adding the EFSF overhaul to the agenda of its meeting yesterday, Finance Ministry spokesman Harald Waiglein said the legislature will call a special meeting of the committee that will have the question on the agenda. No date has yet been set for the committee meeting, though it may be this month, he said. A vote in Parliament would follow.
BELGIUM: The Senate gave final approval to the EFSF expansion on Sept. 14 following its passage in the lower house.
CYPRUS: The approval process is unclear. Nicholas Papadopoulos, the chairman of Parliament’s finance committee, said by phone today that he has received no notification of when the committee may get the legislation for consideration. There is speculation the government may submit the bill to Parliament next month.
ESTONIA: The EFSF changes are expected to be approved by Parliament by the end of September, according to Finance Minister Spokeswoman Katrin Reimann.
FINLAND: Finland’s parliament is set to debate the changes to the EFSF beginning Sept. 20 and vote on the bill on Sept. 28. The government, which has a majority in parliament, has set collateral as a requirement for Finland’s participation in the second Greek bailout, approved at the same time July meeting as the enhanced EFSF.
FRANCE: The Senate approved the plan on Sept. 8, one day after its passage in the National Assembly.
GERMANY: The Cabinet ratified the measures on Aug. 31, and the lower house of Parliament, the Bundestag, will vote on them on Sept. 29. The two main opposition parties have indicated they will back the legislation, ensuring that it passes.
ITALY: Italy ratified the expanded EFSF powers as part of a deficit-reduction bill that received its final passage in parliament yesterday.
LUXEMBOURG: Parliament approved the plan today.
MALTA: Parliament is in recess until Oct. 3.
NETHERLANDS: Dutch parliament is scheduled to approve a supplementary budget, which includes the proposed EFSF changes, in first week of October, Niels Redeker, a Finance Ministry spokesman, said today. Finance Minister Jan Kees de Jager plans to provisionally sign a framework agreement for the EFSF this weekend to pave the way for the parliamentary vote, he told lawmakers in The Hague late yesterday.
SLOVAKIA: The earliest Parliament will vote on the package is in mid-October, Speaker Richard Sulik said in an interview yesterday.
SLOVENIA: Parliament may begin debating and voting on the measure next week, provided the government survives a confidence vote on its budget plan the legislature tomorrow. Should the government fall, the vote may be delayed until early next year.
SPAIN: The lower house of Parliament approved the plan today. Final approval by the Senate, largely a formality, is due on Sept. 20.
--Editors: Andrew Davis, Alan Crawford
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