Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Egypt scraps plans for IMF loan

Egypt's Finance Minister Samir Radwan has said that the government has scrapped plans to seek loans from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank. The news follows revisions of the 2011-12 budget, which have reduced the GDP from 11 per cent to 8.6 per cent.

The unofficial consensus seems to be that the decision was partly a by-product of the "pressure of public opinion" as many of those who took part in the country's uprising criticised the role of the IMF.

In May, Radwan decried the situation in Egypt, saying it needed additional funds to rebuild itself after the revolution. He subsequently agreed a £1.9 billion 12-month stand-by loan with the IMF, alongside other loan deals with the World Bank and the African Development Bank.

It later emerged that many Egyptians were unhappy with the prospect of an IMF loan, feeling it was a betrayal of the revolution. Radwan, however, did not confirm this to be the case but said that the loans were no longer needed as talks with business groups and the military council resulted in the deficit being cut from EGP170 billion to EGP134 billion.

The finance finister also added that Egypt would cover the greater part of the deficit from "local sources", and neighbouring States such as Saudi Arabia and Qatar, which gifted Egypt $500 million just in the past week.

Sources: BBC News, The Daily Star, Sydney Morning Herald

For more news and expert analysis about Egypt, please see Egypt Politics & Security.

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