Monday, October 24, 2011

German officials: Bailout fund will top $1.4 trillion

BERLIN – The eurozone bailout fund will increase from 440 billion euros, or $600 billion, to more than 1 trillion euros — $1.39 trillion — in efforts to contain the debt turmoil that threatens to rip apart the 17-nation alliance, according to German lawmakers briefed Monday by Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Eurozone governments hope a beefed-up European Financial Stability Fund, or EFSF, will be able to protect countries such as Italy and Spain from being engulfed in the debt crisis.

To do that, however, it needs to be bigger or see its lending powers magnified.

Frank-Walter Steinmeier, parliamentary leader of the opposition Social Democrats, and Greens leaders Cem Oezdemir and Juergen Trittin said the chancellor informed them that the EFSF's lending powers will be boosted significantly.


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