European finance chiefs start work today on a revamped debt-crisis-fighting strategy with Germany easing its opposition to an expanded arsenal and Portugal insisting it will get by without an aid package.
Germany, the leading power in the 17-nation euro region, is eyeing a March deadline for bolstering the 440 billion-euro ($585 billion) rescue fund, drawing up a permanent aid facility and rewriting the blocÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s budget-deficit rules.
A rising euro and successful bond auctions in Portugal, Spain and Italy offered a respite last week from market pressure for steps that go beyond the emergency aid program and the European Central BankÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s unprecedented bond purchases.
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