Just a few days after widely reported sparring between Egyptian activist Wael Ghonim and IMF managing director Dominique Strauss-Kahn over past international financial support to the Mubarak regime comes news that Egypt is likely to ask the Fund for new funds. From Bloomberg:
Egypt, whose economy is reeling under the impact of a revolt that toppled President Hosni Mubarak in February, needs between $3 billion and $4 billion from the IMF for the remainder of the current fiscal year through June and the following 12 months, Radwan said in Washington after talks with the global lender. He also discussed obtaining a $2.2 billion soft loan from the World Bank, according to state-run Middle East News Agency.
Egypt’s budget deficit may widen to 9 percent of gross domestic product this fiscal year, Radwan said on April 3 in Cairo. Economic growth may slow to as low as 2.5 percent in the same period, compared with 5.1 percent in the previous 12 months, he said.
During their back-and-forth, Strauss-Kahn asked Ghonim whether activists would criticize the Fund if it responded to a new Egyptian request for aid. We may find out sooner than expected.