Future of rescue deals lies in 'bail-ins': small euro states

Three small eurozone countries -- Finland, Estonia and Ireland -- said Sunday the private sector ought to be involved in future financial rescue packages for member states.

"There must be some private sector involvement," Irish Minister of State for European Affairs Lucinda Creighton said on the sidelines of an informal retreat in Finnish Lapland on the future of Europe.

Finland, which hosted the two-day meeting of European leaders in Saariselkaeae, said the proposed Cyprus rescue package marked a departure from previous packages.

Cyprus and its creditors are trying to nail a deal that will restructure the island's banks and deliver up to six billion euros ($8 billion) from large bank deposits in order to resurrect an agreement for a bailout worth up to 10 billion euros ($13 billion).

"We are moving from a system of bail-out to a system where we decouple the connection between the bank and the sovereign. We are going towards a system of bail-in," Finnish European Affairs Minister Alexander Stubb said.

Under a bail-in, creditors share the burden by forfeiting part of their investment to help rescue a bank.

"I think that is the message that has been sent in this particular rescue package," Stubb said, stressing however that each rescue was "unique".

Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves said meanwhile that public willingness to save banks and countries with taxpayers' money was decreasing in several eurozone countries.

"There is not really much point pushing through something that is going to fail in your parliament," he said.

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