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IMF says plans no new visit to Egypt for now

Spokesperson Gerry Rice says IMF staff are working with Egyptian authorities from headquarters, but says he does not envision a visit to Cairo in the coming period

Reuters, Thursday 9 May 2013
(Photo: Reuters)
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The International Monetary Fund is not currently planning a new visit to Egypt to discuss the country's $4.8 billion loan program as it awaits new economic data and reform plans from the government, the Fund's spokesman said on Thursday.

"Staff are working actively with Egyptian authorities from headquarters," IMF spokesman Gerry Rice told reporters.

"We stand ready to support a homegrown program that addresses the economic and financial challenges that Egypt is facing, that is socially balanced, and has broad ownership so that it can restore confidence and be implemented successfully."

Rice also said he does not imagine there will be further discussions on official debt restructuring for Greece, which has been bailed out with some 200 billion euros ($260 billion) from the European Union and the IMF since May 2010.

"We do not envision any new OSI (official sector involvement) discussions at this juncture," he said, adding that the Fund's executive board is set to discuss the next disbursement of money to Greece on May 31.

The Washington-based lender said Greece's European partners promised to provide additional debt relief, possibly in the form of more generous loan terms, if Athens manages to meet its fiscal targets for 2013. The Fund says Greece's debt must fall to 124 percent of national income by 2020, and to below 110 percent of GDP by 2022, in order to be sustainable.

Rice also said Slovenia must follow through on its reform pledges in order to restore market confidence and return to growth. The Eastern European country has pledged to privatize 15 state firms and raise taxes in order to avert an international bailout, though it is still in discussions with unions over wage cuts for government workers.

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