State Department urges Egypt to close $4.8 billion loan deal with IMF

Windsor Genova – Fourth Estate Cooperative Contributor

Washington, DC, United States (4E) – The U.S. Department of State on Tuesday urged Egypt and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to close a $4.8 billion loan agreement as soon as possible.

The department made the call in a statement issued to Ahram Online a day after advising Cairo to postpone the loan until January as Cairo failed to raise sales taxes on a wide range of consumer goods and services to lessen the government’s $23 billion budget deficit for the current year starting July.

The IMF approved the loan in November and its board of directors is scheduled to issue a final decision on Wednesday.

Last week, Cairo asked the IMF to postpone the loan as President Mohamed Morsi decided not to raise taxes due to public opposition. Public protests against Morsi were another reason for the postponement of the loan, according to IMF.

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