Geithner Suggested EU Beef Up Eurozone Fund

By DAVID McHUGH and GABRIELE STEINHAUSER | September 16, 2011 | 12:45 PM EDT

Eurogroup president Jean-Claude Juncker, left, and European Central Bank governor Jean-Claude Trichet speak at a press conference during an informal meeting of the Economic and Financial Affairs Council (ECOFIN) in in Wroclaw , Poland on Friday, Sept. 16, 2011. Rescue partners will decide in October on a crucial payout of bailout loan money to bankruptcy-threatened Greece. Juncker and other eurozone finance ministers were discussing Europe's financial crisis at an informal meeting in Wroclaw.(AP Photo/Czarek Sokolowski)

WROCLAW, Poland (AP) — Ireland's finance minister says U.S. Treasury Chief Timothy Geithner suggested his European counterparts give their bailout fund more firing power by allowing it to draw on money from the European Central Bank.

Michael Noonan said Friday that Geithner "talked about a system of the EFSF fund leveraging additional resources in combination with the European Central Bank."

Leveraging the euro440 billion ($605 billion) European Stability Facility could mean using eurozone states' guarantees for the fund to also back loans from the ECB, which would give the eurozone more crisis money without further commitments from governments.

However, a European official said there was opposition to such a scheme from Germany, the largest eurozone economy. The official was speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the discussions.