U.S. says IMF can help Europe, not a substitute

Fri Dec 9, 2011 5:47pm EST

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(Reuters) - A senior U.S. official said on Friday the International Monetary Fund can help Europe deal with its debt crisis but can't substitute for full-scale commitment by European nations to come to grips with the situation.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that European leaders had made progress at a summit meeting on measures to more deeply integrate their economies but need to show European resources are being used to take the brunt of risks.

There is still a question whether financial markets will find Europe's efforts to settle its debt crisis to be large enough to be credible, the U.S. official said.

One element of Europe's efforts will be to provide bilateral loans to the IMF that might be used for emergency rescue loans but the senior official said the United States would not make any such loans.

The U.S. official also said that there was no intention within the Obama administration to go to Congress to seek additional resources for the IMF.

Any move to do so would undoubtedly meet strong opposition among lawmakers opposed to what might be seen as a bailout of Europe.

(Reporting By Glenn Somerville; Editing by Andrew Hay)

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