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The Freedom and Justice Party has not yet decided its stance on a potential US$3.2 billion IMF loan, the party said Saturday, adding that the cabinet has not submitted to Parliament the economic plan to be implemented as part of the agreement with the IMF.
"The party does not have any [hostile] position toward international financial institutions, including the IMF, but is looking forward to being informed of Egypt's financial situation, and emphasizes the need to rationalize public spending in reality through domestic alternatives to fill the budget deficit and address the economic situation [before resorting] to foreign alternatives," said Abdel Hafez al-Sawy, head of the FJP's economic committee.
Egypt is seeking a $3.2 billion emergency loan from the IMF that could pave the way for loans from other donors.
Economists estimate Egypt will need up to $12 billion in external funding over the next year and a half. The country is also in talks with the World Bank on $1 billion in budget financing.
The IMF has stipulated that all political parties, especially the party with a majority of seats in the Parliament, agree on the terms and economic projects of the loan, according IMF Middle East Director Massoud Ahmed.
Sawy said that when Prime Minister Kamal al-Ganzouri's cabinet suggested borrowing US$11 billion over the next two years to cover the state budget deficit, it had to provide specific sources to repay the loans so the next cabinet would be able to follow up on it.
He said that the FJP's position on the issue of loans is clear, as it rejects imposing additional social and political burdens on the Egyptian citizen, especially in light of the high rates of poverty and unemployment.
An IMF delegation is scheduled to arrive in Cairo for talks and to sign a preliminary memorandum of understanding on the terms of agreement to be submitted it to the People's Assembly.
Sawy said that the mission will meet representatives of the FJP's economic committee on Monday.
Translated from Al-Masry Al-Youm