Thursday, June 30, 2011

Egypt Rejects IMF Conditions

Analysis by Emad Mekay

"CAIRO, Jun 30, 2011 (IPS) - Egypt has cancelled plans to borrow 3 billion dollars from the International Monetary Fund because of conditions that violated the country’s national sovereignty and a public outcry that warned against terms that were blamed for impoverishing many Egyptians.

According to several Egyptian newspapers, General Sameh Sadeq, member of the country’s ruling military council, said the country turned down the loans, and those under discussion with the World Bank, because there were "five conditions that totally went against the principles of national sovereignty." Gen. Sadeq didn’t detail what these conditions were....

General Sadeq’s statements on Tuesday contradict statements by the government of Prime Minister Essam Sharaf and his Finance Minister Samir Radwan, who both served under ousted president Hosni Mubarak, that the new loans came with no conditions. Both officials have advocated publicly for more loans to ward off the specter of a budget deficit, a staple argument in many countries for IMF and World Bank loans.....

The Council for Revolutionary Trustees (CRT), a non-governmental organisation formed after Mubarak’s ouster of Internet and democracy activists who faced up to the powerful security forces of Mubarak over 18 days of revolution, issued statements saying "outside borrowing contradicts the principles of the Egyptian Revolution that called for freedom from all sorts of local and foreign pressure."

"The Egyptian people who are about to begin a new era do not want to start their new life with a new set of loans," the CRT said. "We prefer to live in hunger than to extend a begging hand to those institutions."

The move to borrow by the Sharaf government was surprising because it has been appointed as caretaker for less than six months and is widely believed to lack enough delegation from the Egyptian people. A host of columnists rebuked the government for taking such major decision without representation from the Egyptian people......."

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