The head of the International Monetary Fund has called on Switzerland to contribute to a eurozone crisis fund.
Christine Lagarde made the appeal to Swiss Finance Minister Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos. The amount requested was not made public.
Widmer-Schlumpf said contributions by various countries were being sought. It now had to be discussed by the cabinet, she said, adding: “We need to do everything to reduce instability in Europe.”
The IMF wants to make $500 billion (SFr456 billion) available to deal with the eurozone crisis and its repercussions on the world economy. For that, eurozone states committed in December to provide $192 billion for the IMF in bilateral loans. Other member states are being asked to make up the rest of the fund.
Also in Davos, Economics Minister Johann Schneider-Ammann told journalists he expected the eurozone to survive the current debt crisis. The alternative would be a “catastrophe”. But nevertheless the Swiss cabinet had been making preparations in case of a eurozone meltdown, he said, as they needed to be ready for all possible outcomes.
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