Sabtu, 07 April 2012

China and Japan signal possible support for increasing IMF bailout funds - will this be conditional upon the US living up to its quota ?

The two nations said they will consult “very closely” on the issue after Christine Lagarde, head of the IMF, asked members to commit as much as $500bn (£315bn) extra to the Washington-based global lender for possible bailouts.
Jun Azumi, the Japanese Finance Ministe, said the pair would look at further funding to strengthen the IMF's financial base, following talks with his Chinese counterpart Xie Xuren in Toyko.
“Rather than make decisions independently, we’ve agreed to consult each other very closely,” he said. “Although a critical moment of the European issue has gone, we can never be optimistic.”
The IMF wants to ramp up its ability to attack Europe's debt crisis. The issue of increasing its firepower is expected to be top of the agenda at a meeting of finance ministers from the Group of 20 nations on April 20.
“It’s important for Japan to check China’s intention on this, while China probably wants to increase its political influence if it puts up money,” Tomoko Fujii, a senior foreign exchange strategist at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, told Bloomberg.
In Greece, already the recipient of two international bailouts, the conditions attached to the support offered by the IMF and its other lenders are proving a political flashpoint in the run-up to a general election, which could be held within the month.
"Elections will most likely be called on May 6, or a little later," Interior Minister Tassos Yiannitsis, who supervises the process, told parliament on Friday. The Greek government has so far held off from naming the date for a general election.
Leaders said that the parliament must first vote on a round of legislation tied to Greece's rescue by the European Union and the IMF. The last of these bills is expected to be approved by April 10.
The conservative New Democracy party leads opinion polls to win the vote, which promises more tensions over austerity measures imposed by the IMF on the country.
The party’s leader Antonis Samaras wants to renegotiate the country's loan contracts in order to put more weight on efforts to boost growth, arguing that two years of cuts have only worsened a recession which is now in its fifth year.
Concerns about Europe’s debt crisis were rekindled this week as Spain’s borrowing costs rose to a four-month high on fears that it may follow Greece, Ireland and Portugal in asking for a bailout.

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