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EU ministers okay $525-bn fund

business Updated: Jun 08, 2010 22:52 IST

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European finance ministers agreed a new $525-billion fund for debt stricken nations and a right to oversee national budgets but Spain’s civil servants went on strike in a backlash against austerity drive.

Thousands of Spanish public workers disrupted emergency services to show their anger at cost-cutting measures.

With fears over Hungary adding to market tensions about Greece’s crisis, EU finance ministers fixed an unprecedented 440-billion-euro ($525-billion) fund to help debt-laden nations.

A month after the EU agreed a trillion-dollar “backstop” with the International Monetary Fund, EU Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn said the step showed there was “no uncertainty left.”

EU President Herman Van Rompuy said they also agreed to submit national budgets to review by other EU members. Britain is angrily resisting however, insisting that its budget should be approved by parliament first before the EU. France insisted that Britain should follow the example of others.

The IMF also warned in a new report that the time had come to end “fiscally unsustainable policies” in some eurozone countries.