Berlusconi made 'crucial input' to EU aid package

10th May 2010, Comments 0 comments

Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi's government Monday touted his "crucial input" in late-night negotiations leading to the approval of a massive EU aid package for troubled economies.

The bailout totalling at least 750 billion euros (a trillion dollars) for crisis-hit eurozone countries was approved early Monday after marathon talks and sent European stock markets soaring.

"Berlusconi, just before 1:00 am, called Chancellor Merkel. Up until then, negotiations in Brussels were getting bogged down," the government said in a statement.

After the phone call, "a new draft agreement hit the table, which would then become the final agreement," the statement said.

European Union leaders took 11 hours to hammer out the massive rescue package comprising 440 billion euros from the troubled eurozone and 60 billion from the European Commission's coffers.

The International Monetary Fund will contribute at least another 250 billion euros.

© 2010 AFP

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