EU to offer IMF $101 bn in top-up funds

March 20th, 2009 - 8:14 pm ICT by IANS  

Brussels, March 20 (DPA) The European Union (EU) is to offer the International Monetary Fund (IMF) 75 billion euros ($101.5 billion) in extra loans, the holder of the bloc’s rotating presidency said Friday.
The sum of “75 billion euros is the figure for a voluntary loan to the IMF to enable it to react better in the context of the crisis”, Czech Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek told journalists in Brussels after a summit with EU leaders.

Since the economic storm swept the world in September, the EU has regularly called for a strengthening of the IMF’s funds so that it can support countries hit by the crisis.

Ahead of the summit, EU leaders had been widely expected to call for a doubling of the IMF’s total funds. Early drafts of Friday’s summit statement had called for the bloc to pledge between 75 billion and 100 billion euros in quick loans as its contribution.

However, a draft declaration drawn up overnight to Friday scrapped the reference to a concrete sum, leaving only a general call for the fund to be doubled. EU leaders agreed to reinstate the lower figure of 75 billion euros after a debate Friday morning.

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