EU finance ministers on Saturday, April 21, called on the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank to accord "exceptional" financial aid to Turkey, one of 13 countries waiting to join the union. In a statement issued during a meeting with their candidate country counterparts, Swedish Finance Minister Bosse Ringholm, whose country holds the EU presidency until June 30, welcomed Turkey's efforts to resolve its current economic crisis.
It particularly noted "the new policy measures presented last week, including ambitious fiscal consolidation and major structural reforms such as restructuring of the financial sector. "We encourage the Turkish authorities to complete the program without delay, in close cooperation with international financial institutions," said the statement.
Turkey was accepted as a candidate at the Helsinki EU summit last year, but with the proviso that membership negotiations begin only after Ankara meets basic EU criteria on human rights, democracy and the rule of law, which it has yet to do. Ringholm's statement said Turkey's "efforts to restore stability and its strong political committment to a full-fledged (recovery) program deserve exceptional external assistance."
Although making no committments on the part of the EU, the statement said, "We ask the IMF and World Bank to provide additional financing. We also stress the need for continued support from the private sector." —(AFP)
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