COPENHAGEN (MNI) - The increase in the European financial firewall announced Friday should clear the way for a boost in resources for the International Monetary Fund, Olli Rehn, the EU economic and monetary affairs commissioner, said.
"We are satisfied with this decision," Rehn said at a press conference following the meeting of finance ministers and central bankers here. "I trust this decision will pave the way for an increase in IMF resources at the IMF spring meetings," he said.
His remarks echoed those of ECB Executive Board member Joerg Asmussen, who spoke at the same press conference.
Finance ministers on Friday approved a temporary increase in the lending ceiling of the combined European bailout funds to E800 billion from E500 billion. The actual amount of funds available for new lending were essentially capped, however, at E500 billion.
"We see this as a lasting decision," Rehn added. "We are finally complementing the monetary union with a truly integrated economic union," he said.
On other topics, Rehn said he welcomed the Spanish government's reaffirmation in the 2012 budget presented on Friday that it will reduce its deficit to 5.3% of GDP this year. He said it was of "paramount importance" that the target of 3% of GDP be reached by 2013.
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