08/01/2011 06:36 EDT | Updated 10/01/2011 05:12 EDT

Plans would push EU financing for develepment projects to 95 per cent for 6 weakest economies

BRUSSELS - The European Union plans to make it easier for its six most troubled economies to access some €2.9 billion ($4 billion) in development funds by lowering the amount of money they have to contribute to projects.

Monday's proposals would see the EU's part of the financing of infrastructure and education projects rise to up to 95 per cent for Greece, Ireland, Portugal, Romania, Latvia and Hungary.

Traditionally, states have to cover between 15 per cent and 50 per cent of the costs, a requirement that has kept weak economies from using the funds designated to them.

All six countries affected by the proposals have had to seek emergency loans as markets worried about their economic stability.