Euro Leaders Seek Global Help

Boost in region’s firewall could pave way for more resources from IMF.

Efforts to resolve the two-year-old European debt crisis swung back to world leaders after euro-area officials boosted a firewall designed to overcome doubts about their crisis response and to lure additional emergency aid.

Finance ministers from the 17-member monetary union unveiled a package over the weekend that included 500 billion euros ($667 billion) in fresh bailout funds on top of 300 billion euros already committed to rescue programs, which together topped the symbolic $1 trillion mark. The total doubles when more than 1 trillion euros lent by the European Central Bank to aid the region’s banks is included.

First-Quarter Agreements

With finance ministers offering differing arithmetic to defend the firewall, it was unclear whether emerging nations including China and India would be persuaded to help bolster the IMF’s anti-crisis war chest at the fund’s meeting.

Bolder Action

“Finland is ready to increase the capacity, but 940 billion is not possible for our side -- it’s too high,” Finnish Finance Minister Jutta Urpilainen said on March 30.

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