Eurozone finance ministers have failed to make significant progress in their bid to establish a budget for the 19 countries using the euro currency during a meeting which ended today.
Chairman Mario Centeno said that there had been some positive outcome, but insisted there was still a lot of work to do following the meeting, particularly on the size of a budget and how it is funded.
Centeno, who is also Portugal’s finance minister and president of the Eurogroup, said the ministers had made “small steps” in a meeting that began on Thursday and ran into early Friday morning.
There are still fundamental features that remain unclear, though, with the parties involved yet to agree on how to fund it.
Speaking at a news conference in Luxembourg, Centeno said that a decision on the size of a Eurozone budget would be made by leaders of the European Union later in the year.
He also added that they had reached a “broad deal” on the reform of the Eurozone’s rescue fund, the European Stability Mechanism, to better equip it to handle future financial crisis.
That reform is expected to be finalised in the coming months.
A deal to establish a common insurance cshcme for bank deposits was not agreed, despite it being thought of as essential to strengthening the Eurozone’s banking union. It remains a divisive issue.
The European Union’s economics commissioner Pierre Moscovici was “very disappointed” that so little progress had been made.