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Double European emergency funding says top Dutch banker

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(THE HAGUE) - Dutch central bank chief Nout Wellink said Thursday he supported doubling European emergency funding to some 1.5 trillion euros to bolster crisis-hit countries within the eurozone.

"The fund must double to 1.5 trillion euros," Wellink told the Dutch financial daily Financieele Dagblad in an interview.

Asked about the private sector's participation in a new aid package for bailed out Greece, especially wanted by Germany, Wellink said it should be "truly voluntarily."

"If credit ratings agencies see a rollover (of debt) as involuntary and as a partial default, then contagion takes place in other euro countries on the periphery."

But Wellink said "nobody knows exactly where the border lies between voluntary and involuntary."

He added: "If you take the risk, then you must realise that you have to build a safety net," that is, "doubling the emergency fund," as eurozone countries discuss a plan for new financial aid to Greece.

The European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF), the body created by the European Union as a rescue buffer for EU countries facing critical problems over financing their debt, has 400 billion euros ($564 billion) available.

Further contributions from the European Commission and International Monetary Fund bring the total up to 750 billion euros.

"As you take more risks, you have to be willing to broaden your safety net to prevent contagion," said Wellink, who steps down as central bank governor at the end of the month.

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