Turkey pledges strong reforms in return for vital IMF loan
Turkey said Friday, November 16 that it had agreed to strengthen measures in an existing economic recovery program in return for a much-needed new loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for the cash-strapped country.
The agreement with the IMF involved "taking strong structural and financial measures as of the beginning of 2002 to bolster the economic program and gradually implement public reforms on government decisions," a written statement from Economy Minister Kemal Dervis' office said.
Earlier on Friday, IMF director Horst Koehler announced in Washington that he would recommend the Fund's board of directors to extend $10 billion in loans to Turkey under a new stand-by deal, to be discussed next month, to tackle the impact of the September 11 attacks on the troubled Turkish economy.
"Technical work on additional foreign assistance from the IMF will be pursued with the Fund delegation, which will come to Ankara in December," the statement added.
Turkey has been grappling with serious economic woes since a severe banking sector crisis forced the government to abandon a pegged exchange rate regime in February. Since then, the lira has lost more than 50 percent of its value against the dollar and chronic inflation has soared while the economy is expected to shrink up to eight percent this year.
In May, the three-party coalition in power introduced a program of tight reforms to put the economy back on track with multi-billion-dollar aid from both the IMF and the World Bank. — (AFP, Ankara)
© Agence France Presse 2001
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)