March 30, 2012 / 7:40 AM / 5 years ago

HIGHLIGHTS-Euro zone finance ministers meet on firewalls in Copenhagen

2 Min Read

COPENHAGEN, March 30 (Reuters) - Euro zone finance ministers are likely to temporarily almost double their financial backstops on Friday as one of the final moves to end the sovereign debt crisis, although Germany continues to favour a smaller increase.

Below are comments made by euro zone finance ministers as they entered the informal talks.

Finnish Finance Minister Jutta Urpilainen

"Finland is ready to increase the capacity. But 940 billion is not possible for our side, it's too high, and now we are looking for the result we and other countries could accept."

Irish Finance Minister Michael Noonan

"Five hundred (billion euros for the firewall) is insufficient. And the two funds together at 700, in my view, is also too low. (German finance minister) Wolfgang Schaeuble mentioned 800 last night -- that seems to me to be getting into the ballpark of what is required.

I think 1 trillion dollars is a serious firewall. If you are talking 800 billion euros, it is over 1 trillion dollars and that is a very serious firewall. The maximum I think that could be on the table today would be 940 billion euros. That would be a very impressive figure."

French Finance Minister Francois Baroin

"I am confident of our capacity to reach an agreement, we will reach a consensus. The amount? I have hear the debate in Germany, there are naturally positions on both sides. The right size of the fund depends on how your approach the issue."

Eu Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn

On Spain

"Spain is in a very difficult situation, but on the other hand Spain has many strengths. Now it is important that Spain continues with consistency in order to impose the sustainability of its public finances."

Belgian Finance Minister Steven Vanackere

"We must find a good middle ground between those who seek a maximum firewall and those who want it kept to a minimum."

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