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EU Finance Ministers To Back Doubling Of IMF Funds

BRUSSELS (Reuters) -- European Union finance ministers will on March 10 back a call from the International Monetary Fund to double its funds to $500 billion at the G20 finance ministers' meeting this week, a document showed.

The paper, obtained by Reuters, spells out the EU position on economic policy, regulation, international institutions, the IMF, and Multilateral Development Banks for the G20 finance ministers and central bankers meeting on March 13-14.

"It is essential that the IMF has appropriate financial means to assist countries particularly affected by the current crisis," said the draft document, to be approved by ministers of the 27-nation bloc on March 10.

"EU member states support a doubling of IMF resources and are ready to contribute to a temporary increase, if needed," it said. It said the increase should be funded by direct borrowing from members, especially those with large currency reserves.

"The additional resources should be mobilized in the first instance via enlarging and expanding the NAB (New Arrangements to Borrow), on the basis of a fair burden-sharing, notably by encouraging countries that over the last years have accumulated significant foreign reserves to participate," the paper said.

G20 officials will on March 13 and 14 discuss how to deal with the global financial and economic crisis, which has made several European countries turn to the IMF for help.