IMF official arrives in Turkey to look into economic program
The head of the IMF's Turkey desk, Carlo Cottarelli, arrived on Friday, January 12, to examine the implementation of tight economic measures following a severe financial crisis last month, Anatolia news agency reported.
Cottarelli's meetings with Turkish officials were scheduled to start on Monday in Ankara.
His visit was the first following the International Monetary Fund's decision to release some $10 billion in emergency aid for Turkey in December when a severe cash crunch battered Turkey's markets and sent interest rates to 1,000 percent.
The turmoil had threatened to derail a comprehensive economic program implemented by Ankara under a $4 billion, three-year stand-by agreement with the IMF to put its troubled economy in order.
In return for the aid, Ankara pledged to speed up privatization and reforms in its ailing banking sector, where the crisis originated.
Since then the government has announced tenders for the sale of 33.5 percent of Turkish Telekom and 51 percent of Turkish Airlines.
It is also working to sell eight of the 11 banks bailed out by banking authorities after failing to fulfil their financial obligations.
The IMF package included $7.5 billion in emergency funds, and another $2.9 billion under the existing stand-by deal. The main target of the program is to establish fiscal discipline in Turkey's public sector and pull down its chronic inflation. —(AFP)
© Agence France Presse 2000
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)