European Financial Stability Fund ... On the night of the 9th of May 2010, the European Council - the summit of EU leaders, including our Taoiseach, agreed to set up the European Financial Stability Fund. This "Bailout Fund" comprised €440 billion of contributions of various sizes from all EU member states.
It was set up effectively to bail out Greece and to prevent Spain going to the wall when the markets opened on the following morning.
That fateful night will live long in European history as it showed that the EU was willing to defend the Euro, and the weaker member states, against the predations of international financial speculators, who were betting that the Eurozone would collapse.
It is a new point of departure for the EU as previously, there was no such fund for member states in trouble. There are now calls for it to be made permanent, alongside stricter rules governing how individual member states manage their finances.
The European Council Summit of October 28-29 has concluded that it should be made permanent and may require a treaty change.