Euro zone finance ministers are attempting to strike a deal on boosting the size of their emergency fund for countries in financial trouble.
Some reports at the meeting in Brussels say there are no indications the ministers are close to an agreement.
But others are more optimistic. The Belgian finance minister Didier Reynders said: “First of all we are in a good process to increase the capacity of such a fund. Not only with a better quantity of money. But also with another quality of interventions. And on the other side there is a sort of agreement to do more in fiscal consolidation.”
The European Financial Stability Facility was set up in May last year in response to the sovereign debt crisis.
Money is borrowed on the markets, with euro zone governments providing guarantees of up to 440 billion euros.
However, the effective amount available to lend to countries in need is about 250 billion.