£500bn package to save Italy, Spain

by Robert Winnett
The Telegraph
November 28, 2011

Reports in Italy suggested that the IMF is drawing up plans for a €600 billion (£517 billion) assistance package for the country. Spain may be offered access to IMF credit, rather than a rescue package, to avoid it being “picked off” by the markets in the coming weeks.

Any IMF involvement in European rescue packages would be partly underwritten by British taxpayers, which could leave this country liable if Italy and Spain did not repay any international loan.

Britain provides 4.5 per cent of the IMF’s funding and would, therefore, face a potential liability to an Italian package of up to €27 billion (£23 billion).

An IMF rescue package involves a country being offered hundreds of billions of euros in return for agreeing to launch a major austerity programme to cut spending. A credit line is a more flexible arrangement which gives countries short term access to international finance.

Italy and Spain are likely to be forced to accept some international help as the cost of their debts has risen to unsustainable levels of about seven per cent.

The reports of an IMF rescue package being prepared – which was denied on Monday by an IMF spokesman who said there were “no discussions with Italian authorities” – come as European finance ministers meet tomorrow to discuss draft plans for a bail-out scheme.

Under the scheme set to be discussed, the euro area’s European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF), would have to “insure” bonds of troubled countries by covering the first 30 per cent of any unpaid debts.

To offer this guarantee, the European bail-out fund would have to be able to raise €1.4 trillion – a threefold increase compared to the current size of the scheme.

Last night, it was not clear if or how this money could be raised, although the EFSF may itself sell bonds to international investors.

At the weekend, European finance ministers from Germany and the Netherlands met and disclosed that IMF involvement was under discussion. Wolfgang Schauble, the German finance minister, said yesterday he was confident that the euro would be saved – and go on to become the most stable currency in the world.

The next fortnight is now seen as one of the final opportunities to resolve the crisis because European leaders will meet on December 9 for crunch talks on the package and changes to EU treaties.

About Luis Miranda
The Real Agenda is an independent publication. It does not take money from Corporations, Foundations or Non-Governmental Organizations. It provides news reports in three languages: English, Spanish and Portuguese to reach a larger group of readers. Our news are not guided by any ideological, political or religious interest, which allows us to keep our integrity towards the readers.

One Response to £500bn package to save Italy, Spain

  1. Norman says:

    I wonder what the U.S. % of I.M.F. will be? Bailing out the Europeans again, what an old story this is. I say, let them all eat cake, or, off with their heads, which is what should have been done in the first place, including here in this country.