March 30, 2012 / 11:06 AM / 8 years ago

Euro zone raises bailout capacity to 700 bln euros

COPENHAGEN, March 30 (Reuters) - The euro zone raised the combined lending ceiling for their two bailout funds to 700 billion euros on Friday from 500 billion, euro zone finance ministers said in a statement.

The 700 billion will come from 500 billion euros of the permanent bailout fund, the European Stability Mechanism, and the 200 billion euros committed under existing bailout programmes for Greece, Ireland and Portugal by the temporary European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) fund.

“The current overall ceiling for ESM/EFSF lending ... will be raised to 700 billion euros,” said the statement, distributed after talks of finance ministers in Copenhagen.

“All together, the euro area is mobilising an overall firewall of approximately 800 billion euros, more than 1 trillion dollars,” the statement said.

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