The Straits Times
Published on Sep 24, 2012

Germany calls report of $3.2 trillion bailout fund 'completely illusory'


BERLIN (AFP) - Germany on Monday dismissed as "completely illusory" a press report suggesting that the euro zone's bailout fund could be leveraged up by a factor of four to around two trillion euros (S$3.2 trillion).

A spokesman for Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble told a regular news briefing that the figure, reported by newsweekly Spiegel over the weekend, was unrealistic and "completely illusory."

While there were discussions in Brussels over boosting the firepower of the European Stability Mechanism (ESM), due to come into force next month with a volume of 500 billion euros, it would be "abstract" to discuss figures, said the spokesman, Mr Martin Kotthaus.

"It's not feasible" to put a precise number on the potential final amount of the fund, he said.