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Summary Box: Europe debates speeding new bailout

The Associated Press

SPEEDIER RELIEF?: The 17 countries that use the euro are debating building up their new rescue fund to its full €500 billion ($670 billion) capacity faster than originally planned as part of a broader effort to beef up the currency union's financial firewalls.

THE BACKGROUND: Under current plans, the countries' capital payments into the fund would be spread out until 2015. That would mean that, when it comes into force in July, authorities would only be capable of lending out some €200 billion in new rescue loans.

THE PROPOSAL: But two European Union officials said Wednesday that the eurozone is debating whether to make two payments next year, with the final one coming in 2014, instead of 2015. Under that scenario, about €400 billion in loans could be doled out by next year and the full €500 billion loan capacity would be reached by 2014.