January 21, 2012 / 6:33 PM / 8 years ago

Italy wants EU bailout fund doubled - German magazine

Italy's Prime Minister Mario Monti speaks at a press conference at the London Stock Exchange, in the City of London, January 18, 2012. REUTERS/Andrew Winning

BERLIN (Reuters) - Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti wants the lending capacity of the euro zone’s permanent rescue fund to be doubled to one trillion euros ($1.29 trillion), German magazine Der Spiegel wrote on Saturday, without citing sources.

“Monti argues that such a measure would create confidence in the currency union,” Spiegel wrote. “He has informed the German government of his wishes.”

Spiegel said Monti’s fellow countryman and European Central Bank President Mario Draghi agreed the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) should beef up its effective lending capacity beyond the 500 billion euros planned.

He believes the leftover funds from the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF), the temporary 440 billion euro fund lending to Ireland and Portugal, should be put at the ESM’s disposal in addition to the 500 billion euros, Spiegel wrote.

The draft treaty establishing the ESM will be discussed by euro zone finance ministers on Monday and is likely to be approved by EU leaders at a summit on January 30, euro zone officials said last week. ($1 = 0.7740 euros)

Reporting By Sarah Marsh

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