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IMF Seeks Broad Support in Egypt for Potential Loan Program

The International Monetary Fund wants measures attached to a potential loan to Egypt to have “broad political support,” a spokesman for the fund said.

A team just visited the country “to lay groundwork for the return of the technical team that can continue work on Egypt’s economic program,” spokesman David Hawley told reporters in Washington today. The IMF consulted with different stakeholders “to make sure that if and when a program is agreed, there is a clear understanding on both sides about the support needed for implementing policies.”

Egypt officially requested the loan from the fund in January, as the government seeks to boost an economy struggling to recover from a year of unrest in the wake of the uprising that ousted former President Hosni Mubarak. The economy grew 1.8 percent in the fiscal year through June, the slowest pace in at least a decade.

Hawley also said that upcoming elections in Greece are “not an obstacle” to the implementation of a new 130 billion-euro ($171 billion) program that the IMF helps finance. He said it is “premature to speculate about” the success of the aid program for Portugal.

Hawley declined to comment on the U.S. decision not to participate in an increase in IMF resources or on the right size of the firewall to stem Europe’s debt crisis.

Hungary, which is seeking a precautionary loan from the IMF, will first need to show a “strong commitment” to engage on policy issues “relevant to macroeconomic stability,” Hawley said.

“In this context support of the European authorities and institutions will be critical for the successful discussions of a new program,” he said.

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