IMF approves $3 billion loan for Egypt

Young men show paintings depicting the recent events in Egypt, and the photos of martyrs who were killed in the violence leading up to the Revolution.

JEREMY HOBSON: The International Monetary Fund has agreed to loan Egypt $3 billion. Following the uprising there the country faces huge deficits -- and at the same time big demands for social spending.

As The BBC's Jon Leyne reports from Cairo.


JON LEYNE: The $3 billion loan from the IMF is just one of a series of cash infusions. Saudi Arabia has already given $4 billion in grants and loans. The United States has pledged $2 billion. Qatar says it is going to invest $10 billion.

But Robert Mabro, Director of the Middle East Centre at St. Antony's College Oxford, is skeptical about whether the IMF deal will shore up the gaping hole in Egypt's finances.

ROBERT MABRO: The sums are too big. The benefactors are not that generous and the political pressures, are quite strong.

Following the downfall of President Mubarak vital tourist revenue is down, and for a time much of the country's economy ground to a halt.

At the same time, the new government has increased the minimum wage and pledged to spend more money on housing, health and education.

In Cairo, I'm the BBC's Jon Leyne for Marketplace.

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