Eurozone finance ministers regard rescue fund sufficient

13:30, December 07, 2010      

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Eurozone finance ministers Monday did not increase the 750-billion-euro (about 1 trillion U.S.dollars) rescue fund set up in May this year to bail out countries that may fall prey to debt crisis like Greece.

Eurogroup Chairman Jean-Claude Juncker told a press conference that "no new major decisions" were made at the ministers' monthly meeting.

The ministers discussed consolidation measures announced by Portugal and Spain and the general economic situation of Europe, said Juncker, who chaired the meeting of the finance ministers of the eurozone countries, or Eurogroup.

Klaus Regling, chief executive of the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF), which is an important part of the rescue fund, said at the press conference that the fund is sufficient to address future bailout needs.

"The EFSF will use for Ireland much less than one tenth of its overall lending capacity and this implies that there are sufficient resources left to deal with other relevant cases, if needed," Regling said.

Belgian finance minister Didier Reynders told reporters on Saturday that the existing pool of resources should be expanded to curb speculation.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel Monday refused the idea, saying she saw no need to increase the fund at the moment since "only a very small percentage of it has been used".

Finance ministers of the 27-member European Union (EU) approved the aid package totalling 85 billion euros (113 billion dollars) to debt-crippled Ireland after an emergency meeting on Nov. 28.

According to the aid package, Ireland will draw 62.7 billion euros (82.7 billion dollars) from the 750-billion-euro rescue fund established in May this year jointly by the European Union and the International Monetary Fund to support Ireland's banking sector and budget financing needs.



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