Europe considers boosting bailout fund

City A.M. Reporter
France's economy minister, Christine Lagarde, has said said that the size of the European bailout fund could be increased.

Ministers were also looking at extending the fund's scope to buy bonds directly on markets, she added.

Her comments follow suggestions from other senior European officials who feel the rescue fund is not big enough.

Opponents say increasing it would encourage economic laxity.

The 440bn-euro (£366bn) European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) was set up in May last year to try to protect the eurozone by rescuing troubled member states.

It is financed by the eurozone members themselves and has been used to support the Republic of Ireland.

"The increase in the EFSF is one option which we are looking at, of course," Lagarde said.