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Swiss to contribute to IMF crisis firewall

Finance Minister Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf is in Washington to take part in a meeting of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) hoping to double its lending power to troubled economies.

A statement said Switzerland was prepared to make a substantial contribution to international efforts aimed at protecting the global economy from the eurozone debt crisis.

However, the Swiss authorities did not disclose any details of their financial pledge which is subject to parliamentary approval.

IMF managing director Christine Lagarde on Friday said she expected a total of more than $430 billion (SFr392.3 billion) from member countries.

Switzerland, which has a seat on the 24-strong IMF executive board, is contributing SFr10 billion, according to an IMF document.

Widmer-Schlumpf, who also holds the rotating post of Swiss president, is leading a delegation with Economics Minister Johann Schneider-Ammann and the new Central Bank governor, Thomas Jordan.

A number of bilateral meetings, notably with the head of the United States justice department, Eric Holder, to discuss tax issues and banking secrecy are also planned according to officials.

swissinfo.ch and agencies


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