G20 to Europe: show us the money

Sun Feb 26, 2012 6:15pm EST
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By Gernot Heller and Lesley Wroughton

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Leading economies told Europe it must put up extra money to fight its debt crisis if it wants more help from the rest of the world, piling pressure on Germany to drop its opposition to a bigger European bailout.

Euro zone countries pledged on Sunday at a Group of 20 meetings of finance leaders to reassess the strength of their bailout fund in March, which could clear the way for other G20 countries to contribute more funds to the International Monetary Fund.

"This will provide an essential input in our ongoing consideration to mobilize resources to the IMF," the G20 said in

the final communique of the two-day meeting of finance ministers and central bankers due to be released later on Sunday.

Germany, as Europe's largest economy, came under intense pressure to support enlarging the region's war chest. But facing political hurdles at home, it has sent conflicting signals over whether it was ready to move.

British finance minister George Osborne left no doubt the G20 requires a clear euro-zone commitment.

"We have to see the color of the eurozone's money first - and, quite frankly, that hasn't happened. Until it does, there's no question of extra IMF money from Britain or probably anyone else," he said.

The G20 is racing to line up massive international resources worth nearly $2 trillion - including existing and new funds - possibly by late April. That would help to draw a line under the financial crisis that erupted in 2008 when Lehman Brothers collapsed, spawned the deepest U.S. recession since the 1930s and now has engulfed Europe's deeply indebted countries.   Continued...

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble attends a meeting with media as part of Group of Twenty (G20) leading economies' finance ministers and central bankers in Mexico City February 25, 2012. REUTERS/Tomas Bravo