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EU exec proposes euro fund for shocks, reforms, investment loans

European Union flags flutter outside the EU Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium June 14, 2017. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Commission proposed on Wednesday to create a euro zone pool of money to help countries deal with economic crises that are not of their doing, to support investment and give cash incentives for structural reforms to join the single currency.

The Commission package, to be discussed by all European Union leaders except Britain on Dec 15, aims to unite the EU around the single currency after growing anti-EU sentiment across Europe and Britain’s expected departure from the bloc in 2019.

“The measures will support Member States to make their economies more resilient and stable, and reinforce our crisis-management capacity,” Commission Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis told a news conference.

“To prosper, the euro area must be open and inclusive. We should support by all means the efforts of EU countries that wish to take a journey to joining the Euro, to make sure they can get fully ready to thrive and prosper within our currency union,” he said.

The Commission also proposed to create the post of a European Minister for Economy and Finance and to transform the euro zone government-owned bailout fund into an EU institution, overseen by the European Parliament.

Reporting By Jan Strupczewski and Francesco Guarascio; editing by Philip Blenkinsop