Leaders from leading euro zone economies agreed Friday to push for a $130 billion euro stimulus package.
Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Francois Hollande and Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy also agreed on the necessity of greater integration between the countries that have joined the euro, the Los Angeles Times said.
Monti called the process “irreversible,” and that “the primary objective on which we concur is for the promotion of growth and investment and the creation of new jobs in Europe.”
“The 130 billion euros is a strong signal,” Hollande said, and is part of “a road map that presupposes fiscal and banking union.”
At the European Council summit in Brussels late next week, the four leaders would propose a growth package worth 1 percent of European gross domestic product, or roughly $163 billion, to address the stagnating or contracting economies within the 17 Eurozone countries, which share the euro currency, Monti said.
Hollande said he would continue to work for the swift introduction of euro bonds, which he described as “a useful measure for Europe” that the Germans have opposed for the near term, according to the New York Times.
Merkel now also has to contend with an appeal from the International Monetary Fund, which late Thursday said the viability of the currency was being questioned and urged fast movement toward the issuing of joint euro zone debt, the Times said.
The fund also said it would like euro zone bailout funds to be lent directly to struggling banks – rather than through national governments – and appealed to the European Central Bank to take more aggressive measures to control volatile financial markets, such as increasing the money supply or resuming the purchase of the bonds of stressed sovereigns such as Spain.
No immediate details on what the package would include were available.
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