The IMF’s provision of an exceptional access loan to Ukraine was presented as vital economic support, but many commentators fear that this loan is driven as much by political as economic necessity. Despite emphasising increased sensitivity to country circumstances, Fund policy recommendations in Egypt are very similar to its prescriptions for Ukraine.
Ukraine’s interim government concluded negotiations in late March for an IMF loan, likely to carry wide-ranging conditionality.
Updates on the Clean Technology Fund (CTF) from CIFs Monitor 9
Recent media articles on the IMF and the World Bank, recommended by the Bretton Woods Project
Chapter of CIFs Monitor 8 on the Clean Technology Fund (CTF)
IFIs are renewing their focus on Central and Eastern European states. This comes amidst fears that growth in the region needs to be rekindled. The World Bank has promised more funding for countries at risk of instability. However, IMF loans being negotiated with Romania and Hungary have met with controversy.
In early July, thousands of protesters took to the streets in the Ukrainian capital Kiev to try to block pension reforms promised as part of the country's IMF loan.
While Hungary has booted out the IMF, Greece is still toeing the line of IMF austerity demands. The IMF has softened its rhetoric in some places, notably on unemployment, but critics worry that many staff are still pushing fiscal retrenchment that may damage growth prospects.
The debate over IMF conditionality heats up as data comes in about IMF programmes; economic turmoil continues in countries such as Latvia and Ukraine, which face stern IMF demands.
The IMF's loans across Europe, from Iceland to Romania are stoking deep controversy and protest. Resistance is building from civil society aganist the austerity benig imposed.