25 Jun 2011

Egypt turns down IMF loan

Egypt's governing military council has said that the country "didn't need outside finance."

Three things seem to have help it arrive at the decision not to saddle citizens with foreign debt: Firstly, both Saudi and Qatar have promised around $500 million each in assistance - apparently, on better terms than the cabal of international financiers; Secondly, the council also managed to pare it's fiscal deficit forecast from 11% to 8.6% of GDP - partly by reducing subsidies to industries, and partly by raising the income tax rate on firms and individuals earning over $1.67 million from 20% to 25%; and thirdly - and perhaps most significantly - the Finance Minister, Samir Radwan, revealed that the first draft of the budget was discussed with "activists, writers, the business community, trade unions and non-government organizations."

Overall, a very progressive move indeed. Godspeed, Egypt!

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