• January 18, 2012

After Meeting With IMF Representatives, FJP: Gov’t Will Focus on Economic Development, Not Borrowing

After Meeting With IMF Representatives, FJP: Gov’t Will Focus on Economic Development, Not Borrowing

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) delegation met Tuesday January 17 with representatives of the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) economic team. The meeting discussed the IMF’s view on the nature of the current relationship with the Egyptian government, which began – at the request of the government – new talks with the IMF for a loan of $3.2 billion.

Masood Ahmed, Director of the IMF’s Middle East and Central Asia Department, and Dr. Abdul Shakur Shaalan, IMF representative of Egyptian and Arab countries, reviewed economic challenges in Egypt, particularly those related to the decline in some of the financial indicators, confirming that the Egyptian government will in the coming days provide a program of economic reforms needed to obtain this loan.

They pointed that the IMF would finance the loan only if there is broad agreement on the deal among all political parties, especially the party winning the majority of seats in parliament, and that the IMF visit to the FJP was based on this.

Further, they stated that the IMF does not impose any conditions on the Egyptian government, and that its role would be limited only to providing technical support to the Egyptian government.

For his part, Abd Al-Hafiz Al-Sawi, FJP’s Economic Commission Chairman, stated that the party has no ideological pre-conditions with regard to international financial institutions, including the IMF, except that the party is looking to know Egypt’s full financial conditions, to emphasize the need to rationalize public spending in real terms, to exhaust all alternative domestic options to bridge the budget deficit, to strategically address the economic situation, and possibly issue dollar bonds for Egyptian expatriates, then it will consider foreign alternatives.

Al-Sawi stressed that the party’s position is clear on the issue of loans, which is: rejection of any new social or political burdens being imposed on the Egyptian citizen, especially in light of the high rates of poverty and unemployment in Egypt.

In conclusion, IMF officials stated they have not yet received the Egyptian government’s program, which it needs to submit in order to obtain this loan.