EU leaders have pledged 75 billion euros in new loans to the International Monetary Fund and urged the G20 leading economies to help double the organisation’s funding.By the end of a two day summit in Brussels they had agreed to top up – to 50 billion euros – a crisis fund for struggling member states. As expected, US pressure to increase the size of economic stimulus packages was ignored. European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said: “This was a summit of delivery, an important step forward on the road to recovery. More work to follow, but Europe – I think we can say it – is showing that it is up to the challenge and that we have been able to come with this coordinated response that we can now bring as a contribution to the global response that is so much needed.” With the focus on exercising budgetary restraint, Britain’s Prime Minister Gordon Brown, who is to host a G20 meeting on April 2, said the EU was taking the right course of action: “We will discuss what the European Council has been discussing, the action that we can take all together to return the global economy back to growth and to invest in the future and the decisions that we have made today and the extra money that is being released will help ensure that we do everything in our power to return the world economy to growth at the quickest possible opportunity.” With the foundations laid for next month’s London summit, the EU also agreed to spend five bilion euros of unused budget funds for “truly European projects” such as new power grids and green energy.
EU wants G20 to double IMF funding