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The Associated Press October 12, 2011, 3:53AM ET

Merkel still confident of EFSF passage

German Chancellor Angela Merkel says she's still optimistic eurozone countries will pass an expanded European bailout fund despite Slovakia's rejection of the bill.

The dapd news agency reports Merkel told journalists during a trip to Vietnam Wednesday that she is still convinced the measure will be approved at an EU summit later this month.

She says "I am very certain that by Oct. 23 we will have all the signatures of all the member states."

Slovakia's parliament rejected a bill Tuesday to expand the European Financial Stability Facility, or EFSF, threatening Europe-wide efforts to ease a debt crisis that is threatening the global economy.

The country's outgoing prime minister and her main opponent say they will work to try again for passage of the bill.

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