EU Bailout Fund May Face Delay

Efforts to set up rescue fund stall on dispute about bondholders' losses.

European efforts to speed the setup of a permanent rescue fund have lost momentum amid a clash between Germany and France over provisions to force bondholders to share losses, three people involved in the negotiations said.

Finance ministers this week failed to bridge divisions over the European Stability Mechanism, lessening the chances of activating its 500 billion-euro ($680 billion) war chest next July, said the people, who declined to be identified because the talks are in progress. Officials had hoped to bring the ESM’s start date forward to mid-2012 from its ultimate deadline of July 2013, the people said.

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