Jan. 24 (Bloomberg) -- German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said he’s “very confident” that leaders may finalize a fiscal pact for the majority of European Union countries faster than was envisaged.
“The December summit stipulated March 2012 as the date,” Schaeuble told reporters in Brussels today. “We’re not just talking, we’re making swift progress.”
For Germany it’s important to have a close link between the so-called fiscal compact and the treaty on the European Stability Mechanism, the euro region’s future permanent financial backstop, Schaeuble told reporters after a two-day meeting of EU finance ministers in Brussels.
“Within the framework of conditions in Europe, we’re making very good progress,” Schaeuble said. “All this is going to have an impact,” Schaeuble said, citing the likelihood that 26 EU countries will agree to stricter budget rules, that the fiscal compact may be passed by leaders in February and that the ESM has already been agreed.
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