EU promises bilateral backing for embattled euro

By ASSOCIATED PRESS
May 10, 2010 06:33

 
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BRUSSELS — The European Union and the International Monetary Fund pledged a massive nearly $1 trillion defense package for the embattled euro Monday, hoping to finally turn back relentless attacks on the eurozone's weakest members and allow the continent to resume its hesitant economic recovery.

Under the three-year aid plan, the EU Commission will make €60 billion ($75 billion) available while countries from the 16-nation eurozone would promise bilateral backing for €440 billion ($570 billion). The IMF would contribute an additional sum of at least half of the EU's total contribution, or €250 billion, Spanish Finance Minister Elena Salgado said.

"We shall defend the euro whatever it takes," EU Commissioner Olli Rehn said after an 11 hour-meeting of EU finance ministers. The meeting capped a hectic week of chaotic sparring between panicked European governments and aggressive markets.

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