IMF aid awaits Turkey’s reform program
The International Monetary Fund is awaiting the outcome of the the current discussions on the economic reforms in Ankara, before providing future financial assistance to Turkey. IMF spokesman Thomas Dawson said to newagencies that “the next step is for the government to formulate the program and translate it into fiscal terms and then we'll see what that implies for financing."
Turkey shook international financial markets in February in the wake of a political dispute between Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit and President Ahmet Necdet Sezer, which sparked fears of financial instability and wreaked havoc at the markets. The crisis forced the government to abandon a pegged exchange rate—the backbone of an IMF-backed disinflation program in place since December 1999.
At the time, the IMF granted Turkey $11.2 billion in assistance, of which it has drawn all but about $6 billion. Turkish Economy Minister Kemal Dervis said earlier this week that Turkey needed an additional $10-12 billion in foreign financial aid.
The IMF and Turkey agreed on March 19 on the broad outlines of a revised economic program, though the details are to be worked out by mid-April. For the moment, according to Dervis, the Turkish legislature must approve 15 bills aimed mainly at reforming the country's failing banking sector and speeding up privatization. — (Albawaba-MEBG)
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