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  IMF chief welcomes eurozone efforts to strengthen firewall  

  

 

International Monetary Fund (IMF) managing director Christine Lagarde said Friday she welcomed the latest eurozone efforts to strengthen its firewall to contain the eurozone crisis.

  WASHINGTON, March 30 (Xinhua) -- International Monetary Fund (IMF) managing director Christine Lagarde said Friday she welcomed the latest eurozone efforts to strengthen its firewall to contain the eurozone crisis.

  "The IMF has long emphasized that enhanced European and global firewalls, together with the implementation of strong policy frameworks, are critical for ending the crisis and securing international financial stability," Lagarde said in a statement.

  The combination of the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) and the European Financial Stability Fund (EFSF), along with other recent European efforts, would strengthen the European firewall and support the IMF's efforts to increase its available resources for the benefit of all IMF members, she said.

  Eurozone finance minister announced Friday the 17 eurozone member countries had agreed to build an 800 billion euro (about 1.1 trillion U.S. dollar) financial firewall against the current debt crisis.

  The bailout funds primarily comprise the temporary EFSF and the 500 billion euro permanent ESM.

  The ministers said eurozone countries had committed to providing 150 billion euros in additional bilateral contributions to the Washington-based IMF to step up its lending capacity.

 

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