Tags: euro | bailout | fund | italy | greece

EU to Bolster Rescue Fund, Watch Greece and Italy

Monday, 07 Nov 2011 05:21 PM

European finance ministers pledged to roll out a bulked-up rescue fund next month, leaving Greece and Italy on the front lines until then in the battle to contain the debt crisis.

Greece was ordered to provide written acceptance of bailout terms in order to win an 8 billion-euro ($11 billion) loan installment by the end of November, while Italy was pressed to turn budget-cut promises into reality.

“It’s a two-way street; we do our part, Greece is expected to do its part,” European Union Economic and Monetary Commissioner Olli Rehn told reporters after finance ministers met in Brussels Monday. “It is essential that the entire political class now restores the confidence that had been lost.”

Europe is battling to regain the upper hand in the debt crisis after political dramas in Greece and Italy provided unexpected distractions and soured international confidence in a package of measures hammered out last month.

“This isn’t a crisis you can solve quickly, it is a monster with many heads,” Dutch Finance Minister Jan Kees de Jager said.

European officials are consulting investors and credit- rating companies over two options for translating the rescue fund’s 440 billion euros in guarantees into as much as 1 trillion euros of spending power.

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