Euro Zone Launches Bailout Fund

Odd Andersen / AFP-Getty Images

The Euro sign is seen outside the ECB headquarter in Frankfurt on September 20, 2012.

A permanent fund established to defend against the spread of the European debt crisis will launch Monday, according to euro-zone officials. The €500 billion (about $653 billion) European Stability Mechanism was put in place by finance ministers to help return equilibrium to the 17-nation common currency. Officials have their eye on Spain, the latest front in the battle against spreading debt, as the fund launches. In July, €100 billion was set aside, and the country is expected to ask for about half that amount in coming months to help recapitalize Spain’s banks.