Crisis-hit Turkey seeks $25 billion aid package
Turkey is seeking $25 billion in foreign loans to tackle a financial crisis, Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit said Wednesday, February 28, according to Anatolia news agency.
Ecevit was asked by journalists about press reports that Turkish officials and representatives of a consortium of foreign banks were negotiating such a loan.
"This is our expectation, our wish," the prime minister was quoted as saying by Anatolia. He did not elaborate. Turkish newspapers said the release of such an assistance required the blessing of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank as well as a guarantee from the Turkish treasury.
Turkey is revising its major economic targets and anti-inflation strategy after floating the lira last week, leading to a 30 percent drop in its value against the dollar.
The government was forced to abandon a pegged exchange rate, the backbone of an IMF-backed disinflation program in place since December 1999, when a row between Ecevit and President Ahmet Necdet Sezer sparked fears of political instability and wreaked havoc at the markets.
The turmoil led to a severe cash crunch that sent interest rates to 4,000 percent at a time when the markets had just begun to slowly recover from a similar financial crisis last November. — (AFP, Ankara)
© Agence France Presse 2000
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)