|Norway offers IMF €7 billion to help euro zone|
| [21.12.2011, 04:53pm, Wed. GMT]|
|Norway has offered the IMF about €7 billion to help bolster the European economy, Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg said. Norway has offered the International Monetary Fund about €7 billion to help bolster the European economy, Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg said. "Norway today offered the International Monetary Fund a loan of 55 billion kroner to help stabilise the European economy," Stoltenberg said.Earlier this week, the 17 countries that share the euro pledged €150 billion in bilateral loans for the International Monetary Fund to assist the debt-laden euro zone. European Union leaders had called at a December 9 summit for €200 billion, including contributions from non-euro zone countries.|
"We are doing this because it is in our interest to restore enough order in the international economy to be able to get out of the crisis we are currently bogged down in," Stoltenberg said. "It is not a gift, it is an investment," he insisted.
The loan requires approval from the Norwegian parliament and is conditional on other contributions from other countries, he said. Four non-euro zone members of the EU - the Czech Republic, Denmark, Poland and Sweden - each pledged on Monday to make loans to the IMF for use in stabilising the euro zone.
But Britain, also a member of the EU but not of the euro zone, has meanwhile refused to stump up its roughly €30 billion share.
Norway is not a member of the EU but its economy is heavily dependent on exports to the region. While the Norwegian economy remains robust thanks to its oil industry - it is the world's seventh-biggest exporter of black gold - the Scandinavian country is concerned about an economic slowdown in Europe that would lead to a reduction of its exports.