Austria approves expanding eurozone rescue fund

AP News
Posted: Sep 30, 2011 10:23 AM
Austria approves expanding eurozone rescue fund

Austrian lawmakers have voted to expand the powers of the eurozone's bailout fund, which is designed to help Greece and other potentially struggling countries deal with their debts.

Friday's passage means that Austria guarantees to provide euro21.6 billion ($29.4 billion) to the fund, compared to euro12.2 billion previously.

If all 17 eurozone nations agree to increase their share, the fund will have euro440 billion ($600 billion) at its disposal.

Parliament's backing had been expected, with the governing center-left coalition supported by the opposition Greens in backing the measure. Only two rightist parties opposed the bill.

Austria's endorsement comes a day after German parliamentarians approved beefing up the so-called European Financial Stability Facility.