New Eurozone rescue fund launched

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The eurozone's new permanent fund to bail out struggling economies and banks has been formally launched at a meeting of finance ministers in Luxembourg.

The European Stability Mechanism (ESM) will have a full lending capacity of 500bn euros (£400bn; $650bn) by 2014.

Europe's largest economy, Germany, will make the biggest contribution to the fund, about 27% of its total.

Jean-Claude Juncker, the Prime Minister of Luxembourg and chair of the Eurogroup said the launch was an important moment for the Eurozone.

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