Fri 1 to Sun 10 Feb 2013

IMF task force to visit Egypt for $4.8bn loan talks

  • By Yafit Lazar and 1 other
  • Last Update: 4 years ago
  • Cairo, Muḩāfaz̧at al Qāhirah, Egypt

An IMF task force is to visit Egypt in order to continue talks regarding a crucial $4.8 billion loan. 

"They are coming this month," Government spokesman Alaa el-Hadidi confirmed early January. "The purpose is to reassure them that we agreed on last time is still there, and nothing has changed," the spokesman added.

The high-level working group met for the first time on November 14, 2012 in Cairo.

Egypt needs the loan to finance its budget and balance its payments deficits, which have rapidly increased since nationwide protests ousted President Hosni Mubarak in 2011. According to the Egyptian central bank, the country's reserves are at a critical level.

Loan talks were stalled in face of political rallies against President Mohammed Morsi over a new constitution which was approved by referendum late December.

"We hope that there will not be any fundamental changes in our plan with the IMF," prime minister Hisham Qandil said late 2012.

In return for the loan, the IMF wants Egypt to take long-term measures in order to decrease its budget deficit. It has also argued that steps must be taken to reduce Egypt's expensive fuel subsidies.

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