G20 London Summit > Global Action

EU leaders agree to lend 75 billion euros to IMF

Updated: 2009-03-20 23:48

BRUSSELS - European Union leaders agreed here on Friday at their spring summit to provide 75 billion euros (US$103 billion) in additional loans to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to boost its lending capacity for poor countries.

Czech Republic Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso (R) address a joint news conference during a two-day EU leaders summit in Brussels March 19, 2009. [Agencies] 

Czech Prime Minister Marek Topolanek, whose country holds the EU presidency, confirmed the sum at a press conference at the end of a two-day summit, which focused on economic issues amid worsening financial and economic crisis.

"Europe is showing it's up to the challenge," European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso echoed him on the matter at the same occasion.

They also reached an agreement to double the EU's medium-term financial aid, or crisis fund, to 50 billion euros (US$68 billion) to help Central and Eastern member states out of their financial crunch.

Topolanek said the money was earmarked for non-euro zone EU member states, which have been hit hard by the global financial crisis.

The European Commission raised the crisis fund from 12 billion euros (US$16.32 billion) to 25 billion euros (US$ 34 billion) in December 2008, when Hungary and Latvia received a total of 9.6 billion euros (US$13.06 billion).

More countries are expected to ask for such assistance, with Romania the next, as Central and Eastern European countries suffered even more from the crisis than their Western neighbors.

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