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Eurozone looks to IMF for help

On Friday night, Eurozone leaders were looking again to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to help countries in distress as bond yields in Italy and Spain hit new highs and the credit-ratings agency Standard & Poor's (S&P) downgraded Belgium.

world Updated: Nov 27, 2011 00:48 IST

On Friday night, Eurozone leaders were looking again to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to help countries in distress as bond yields in Italy and Spain hit new highs and the credit-ratings agency Standard & Poor's (S&P) downgraded Belgium.

Meeting in Berlin, the finance ministers of Germany, Finland and the Netherlands even hinted at the prospect of an enhanced role for the European Central Bank (ECB) if all other steps to save the euro collapsed. But they again ruled it out as an immediate solution.

Their talks came ahead of Tuesday's meeting of the 17-member Eurogroup in Brussels.

Meanwhile Belgium, struggling to implement spending cuts following 18 months without a government, was downgraded on Saturday to AA from AA+ after S&P said the caretaker government of Yves Leterme lacked a mandate to deal with the crisis.

The Guardian