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IMF chief asks for more cash at Davos

Lagarde pushed European leaders in Davos, Switzerland to boost financial firewall.

Legarde davos 2012 28 01Enlarge
IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde on December 6, 2011. (PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images)

International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde led a global push on Saturday for the euro zone to boost its financial firewall, saying "if it is big enough it will not get used," Reuters reported.

"It's for that reason that I am here, with my little bag, to collect a bit of money," Lagarde told leaders at the World Economic Forum.

Lagarde, who replaced Dominique Strauss-Kahn six months ago, is trying to raise $650 billion to further lend to Europe's battered economies.

Lagarde, with British finance minister, George Osborne, said the IMF is a "safe bet" and that no country had ever lost money by lending to the fund, the Associated Press reported.

But she was clear, that the euro zone nations facing a looming debt crisis, must act first.

More from GlobalPost: Euro woes dominate annual Davos conference in Swiss Alps

Countries outside the 17-country zone, such as Japan and the US, want to see its members allocate more funds to the IMF before they give additional resources.

The IMF has been a key player in the recent bailouts of Greece, Ireland and Portugal.

Many of those countries hardest hit economically have enacted tough austerity measures which Legarde said could "strangle" growth prospects, the BBC reported.

Instead, the IMF chief said the euro zone recoveries should be "tailor-made" to each nation: "Some countries have to go full-speed ahead to do this fiscal consolidation, [but others] should explore what to do... in order to help themselves."

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/europe/120128/imf-chief-asks-more-cash-at-davos