BERLIN (MNI) – German Chancellor Angela Merkel found broad support
in the center-right CDU/CSU parliamentary group on Tuesday for her
proposal to enlarge the European firewall against the debt crisis,
according to a source who attended the meeting.

Merkel said Monday that Germany is prepared to allow the some E200
billion in funds already committed by the European temporary bailout
fund, the EFSF, to run in parallel with the E500 billion of the planned
permanent rescue fund, the ESM.

The CDU/CSU parliamentary group today gave Finance Minister
Wolfgang Schaeuble the mandate to negotiate in that direction at the
Eurogroup meeting this week, the source said. The approval was “nearly
unanimous,” he said.

Earlier today, the free market-orientated FDP, the junior partner
in Merkel’s government coalition, also signaled support for the
proposal. FDP parliamentary leader Rainer Bruederle said “it makes
sense” to consider letting the two funds operate side by side.

–Berlin bureau: +49-30-22 62 05 80; email:

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