Egypt’s Government Requests Postponement of IMF Loan Opposed by Labour Unions

Egypt’s finance minister has requested a postponement of its loan agreement with the International Monetary Fund, which was concluded last month but for which no details have been divulged. The delay may result in renegotiation of some terms of the initial agreement that the IMF’s executive board was scheduled to approve on December 19.

Reuters cites government officials as stating that the delay would be for one month and allow time for "social dialogue."

According to the Financial Times, the postponement aims "to give the government time to explain to the people a package of austerity measures that was announced on Sunday and withdrawn hours later after a public outcry." Read the Full article.

Egypt’s independent trade union organizations, EDLC and EFITU, issued a detailed joint statement on the proposed IMF lending agreement and possible loan conditions a week before the agreement was concluded. Read The English translation of EDLC and EFITU’s statement and the original Arabic version .

by Peter Bakvis, director, ITUC/GU Washington office