Talks on Egypt’s IMF loan “still ongoing”

13 February 2013

Negotiations on a $4.8 billion IMF loan to Egypt (see Update 83) stalled, although finance minister Morsy Hegazy reiterated in January that talks are “still ongoing”. Discussions were suspended at end 2012 due to heavy protests against expected tax increases. In November, 20 local NGOs and political groups wrote to the government and the IMF, warning that the “austerity measures associated with this potential loan agreement, including cutting subsidies as well as other deficit reduction policies, may aggravate the economic deprivation of a large section of the population, threatening their basic economic and social rights.” Prime minister Hisham Kandil had also indicated earlier in January that further negotiations reducing the public deficit, predicted to rise to almost $68 million by the end of the 2012/2013 fiscal year, were required.