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Egypt ‘will not sign emergency IMF loan’
Cairo, March 12, 2013
Egypt will not sign any "emergency" loan with the IMF, cabinet spokesman Alaa el-Hadidi said on Tuesday, appearing to rule out any recourse to a bridging loan which the IMF said on Monday was available to Cairo.
Hadidi added that any loan agreement would be within the framework of the country's economic programme.
Egypt is seeking a $4.8 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund to stave off a balance of payments crisis, but securing IMF aid would involve commiting to austerity measures that are likely to lead to unrest.
"There will not be a fast or emergency loan," Hadidi told reporters, adding that no timing had been set yet for an IMF mission to visit Egypt.
The IMF said in statements on Monday that Egypt had the option of using the Rapid Financing Instrument, a lending facility designed to provide rapid and limited assistance to member countries, and an Egyptian source at the finance ministry said Cairo was studying the offer.
"There is no agreement yet over the arrival of the mission and we are waiting for them," Hadidi said.
Earlier, Planning and International Cooperation Minister Ashraf al-Araby said an IMF mission was expected to come to Cairo in coming days. – Reuters