(AP) BERLIN — The eurozone bailout fund's firepower is set to be leveraged to more than euro1 trillion ($1.39 trillion), German opposition leaders said Monday following a briefing with Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Governments from the 17-nation eurozone hope that the euro440 billion European Financial Stability Fund, or EFSF, will be able to protect countries like Italy and Spain from being engulfed in the debt crisis.
To do that, however, it needs to be bigger or see its lending powers magnified.
Frank-Walter Steinmeier, parliamentary leader of the opposition Social Democrats, and the Greens' Cem Oezdemir said the chancellor informed them that the EFSF will be leveraged well beyond its current size.
That would be achieved through a combination of measures, Steinmeier said. It would insure investors against a percentage of possible losses on eurozone government bonds and also involve the participation of outside organizations such as the International Monetary Fund.