1 February 2013

Egypt: Transcript of a Press Briefing by Gerry Rice, Director, External Relations Department, International Monetary Fund


Excerpt from an International Monetary Fund Press Briefing:

QUESTIONER: Given the violence in Egypt, already there are some discussions about delaying the expected talks. The IMF said that it would go there or could be there shortly, within two weeks. Given the crisis now, I was wondering whether that could be delayed, or whether you could have those discussions even here? I mean, the big thing with Egypt is whether they can implement the program, you know, given the political situation. So what are the chances of that happening, and, therefore, moving forward with the program?

MR. RICE: We're following developments closely. And, of course, we regret the violence and loss of life.

The IMF continues to stand ready to help Egypt. We understand that the Egyptian authorities are still working on revising their economic program. And, to answer your question, once we receive the authorities' updated economic program, we'll discuss with them the timing of possible mission to Cairo.

QUESTIONER: So, given the violence, could Egypt actually implement this program? I mean, you've known from previous countries where there has been this kind of political uncertainty that they can't implement those programs. Politically, it's difficult. How does the IMF move forward in a program like this, where a country needs the money and assistance, but you're not sure whether the country can actually implement it?

MR. RICE: Well, again, we're monitoring developments closely. We stand ready to help. Our understanding is that the Egyptian authorities are working to revise their program, and we would have discussions on that basis. I don't really have much more than that.

Let me just mention to my team that my screen is not showing any questions. So if there's a technical problem, it would be good to fix it so we can interact with colleagues online.


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