No pre-conditions for upcoming Egypt loan talks: IMF's Lagarde

Reuters and Ahram Online, Saturday 6 Oct 2012

International Monetary Fund head Christine Lagarde denies, Saturday, any stipulations attached to expected October talks with Egyptian government over $4.8 billion loan

Christine Lagarde
International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde (Photo: Reuters)

No preconditions will be imposed on Egypt by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) which intends to resume talks in October with the Egyptian government over the $4.8 billion loan, confirmed IMF chief Christina Lagarde during a Saturday press conference.

Egypt's negotiations for a $4.8 billion loan from the IMF have been delayed to give the Egyptian government more time to draw up its economic reform programme, the two sides said last week. Talks are expected to restart by the end of October, the IMF managing director added.

On Thursday IMF's spokesman Gerry Rice said that Egypt's long-awaited economic reform programme should take the protection of the country's economically "vulnerable groups" as one of its central planks.

Rice added that "the broadly important elements [of the programme] are the objective of macro-economic stability and that it be homegrown and have broad popular support." Egypt had asked for more time to "advance those preparations," he added.

Lagarde was speaking at a news conference after meeting with senior officials of the Gulf Cooperation Council, which includes representatives from six wealthy oil-exporting countries: Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain and Oman.

The IMF chief praised Gulf oil exporters on Saturday for their help in stabilising the global economy by managing oil prices, despite complaints by some Western countries that energy costs are still too high.

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