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Germany May Accept Higher Aid Fund, Dutch Finance Minister Says

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Feb. 29 (Bloomberg) -- Dutch Finance Minister Jan Kees de Jager said he expects Germany may eventually agree to raising the European rescue fund to fight the region’s sovereign debt crisis.

“I think that we can say that in the end, when everything comes together and everyone has taken sufficient steps, including the southern European countries, that eventually Germany could take its responsibility,” De Jager said late yesterday in response to a lawmaker’s question about Germany’s refusal to raise the fund. “But that’s up to Germany.”

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Feb. 27 that there’s currently no need to increase the lending capacity of Europe’s bailout mechanisms, citing lower borrowing costs for heavily indebted euro-area states. De Jager said a decision on the size of the European rescue fund may be made ahead of the spring meeting of the International Monetary Fund in April.

“We’ve had informal contacts and hope that there we can decide about the IMF contribution. ‘‘That suggests that there will be pressure on one country, which hasn’t made this step yet, to make that step before that date,” De Jager told the Dutch parliament, referring to Germany.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jurjen van de Pol in Amsterdam at jvandepol@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Ludden at jludden@bloomberg.net

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