Egypt to resume talks with IMF over $4.8 billion loan in January
Talks with the IMF were derailed earlier this month amid large rallies organized by opponents of Egypt's new constitution. The protests turned violent, leaving at least 10 dead.
Egypt's prime minister says his country will resume talks in January with the International Monetary Fund over a $4.8 billion loan, after they were suspended during this month's political turmoil over the now-adopted constitution.
Egypt is grappling with a crippling budget deficit and dwindling foreign reserves. The government hopes the loan will attract needed foreign investment.
The government suspended the talks which would have resulted in austerity measures, surely to add to public discontent.
On Sunday, Prime Minister Hesham Kandil said his government will start a public discussion of the plan and hopes that there will be "no drastic changes."
The deal on the IMF loan, which was agreed to after nearly three weeks of negotiations in Cairo, will support the government's economic program for 22 months, the IMF said in a statement last month.
"The Egyptian authorities have developed a national program that seeks to promote economic recovery, address the country's fiscal and balance of payments deficits, and lay the foundation for rapid job creation and socially balanced growth in the medium term," Andreas Bauer, head of the IMF negotiating team, said in November.
Egypt views the loan as crucial to addressing a range of economic troubles it is facing in the wake of last year's uprising. The new economic plan put forward for the loan includes reform of a long-existing energy subsidy program, an explosive issue in a country where more than 40 percent of a population of 83 million live on less than $2 dollars a day.
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