Friday, March 23, 2012

EU Proposes a Beefed-Up Permanent Bailout Fund

Wall Street Journal
March 22, 2012

A permanent €940 billion ($1.24 trillion) fund—created by combining the euro-zone's temporary and permanent bailout funds—would be the most convincing and efficient way to boost the bloc's anticrisis firewall, according to a paper prepared for national governments by the European Union's executive arm.

Boosting the firewall has been regarded as an essential step in increasing the euro zone's immunity to further financial turmoil. It will be the main topic at a meeting of finance ministers at the end of this month in Copenhagen, where the European Commission paper, reviewed by The Wall Street Journal, will be debated. Senior finance officials from euro-zone governments are discussing the options at meetings in Brussels this week.

Other members of the Group of 20 leading economies, including the U.S., have been pressing for a convincing increase in the euro zone's commitment to lend to its troubled governments before agreeing to give the International Monetary Fund more crisis-fighting resources.


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