Germany rejects ESM proposal for 250 billion euro fund - Handelsblatt

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BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany has rejected a proposal by European Stability Mechanism economists to create a new aid fund worth 250 billion euros ($262.83 billion) for euro zone states, Handelsblatt newspaper reported on Thursday, citing a senior finance ministry official.

"The ESM is the fire brigade of the euro area. If the fire brigade doesn't have to be called out every day, that's good news," Florian Toncar, parliamentary state secretary in the Finance Ministry, was quoted as saying.

The ESM was established in 2012 to help euro zone countries avoid and overcome financial crises by providing loans and other financial assistance.

($1 = 0.9512 euros)

(Reporting by Riham Alkousaa; Editing by Andrew Heavens)