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Norway offers IMF 7b euros to help eurozone

OSLO, Dec 21 – Norway on Wednesday offered the International Monetary Fund (IMF) about 7.0 billion euros ($9.2 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 told reporters.

Earlier this week, the 17 countries that share the euro pledged 150 billion euros ($195 billion) in bilateral loans for the International Monetary Fund to assist the debt-laden eurozone.

European Union leaders had called at a December 9 summit for 200 billion euros, including contributions from non-eurozone countries.

Britain, a member of the EU but not of the eurozone, has meanwhile refused to stump up its roughly 30-billion share.

“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.

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 lucrative oil industry, the Scandinavian country is concerned about an economic slowdown in Europe that would lead to a reduction of its exports.

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