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Top EU official calls for bigger bailout fund

Source: AP - Wed 12th Jan 2011

The European Union's top monetary official says the euro440 billion bailout fund for debt-ridden countries should be increased and given more powers.

Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn said Wednesday that discussions with the 17 eurozone governments on boosting the size of the fund were currently going on "and progress is being made."

Rehn says "we need to review all options of the size and scope of our financial backstops."

Analysts fear that the existing backstop might be too small if a big economy like Spain runs into financial trouble. Portugal is holding a bond auction Wednesday that investors are scrutinizing to gauge the extent of its debt market problems.

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