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Iceland says needs $4 billion more in funding: paper

  Iceland needs $4 billion more in funding to help stabilize its ailing economy, its prime minister was quoted as saying on Monday.

 

“It’s hard to give an exact figure, but the situation would be good if we would get $4 billion more,” Geir Haarde was quoted as saying in Finland’s largest daily Helsingin Sanomat.

Crisis-struck Iceland called on the International Monetary Fund for $2 billion in aid on Friday to help fix a broken banking system, restart currency trading and soften the blow from a withering economic downturn.

The Washington-based lender said its staff in Reykjavik and Icelandic authorities had reached agreement on an economic program that would be supported by the financial assistance.

The deal still needs to be approved by the IMF board and Haarde said on Friday he expected it would take about 10 days for the review to take place.

Iceland’s economic collapse is prompting lawmakers and residents to re-consider European Union membership, Minister for Trade and Nordic Cooperation Bjoergvin G. Sigurdsson said. “I think there will be a growing debate in the coming months” over whether to join the European Union, Sigurdsson told reporters at a conference of Nordic ministers in Helsinki today. “Times have changed and we will have to go though these things all over again.” (Reuters, Bg)