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Tunisia expects to reach deal with IMF loan within weeks, cbank chief says

Aziz El Yaakoubi

Jeddah, Saudi Arabia (Reuters) – Tunisia is expected to reach an agreement with the International Monetary Fund in the coming weeks on a loan of $2 billion to $4 billion . Three years, the central bank governor said on Sunday.

Tunisia, suffering its worst financial crisis, is seeking an IMF loan to prevent a collapse of public finances.

“The size is still being negotiated, I think it will be between $2 billion and $4 billion, and we hope to have an employee-level agreement in the next few weeks,” Marouan Abassi told Reuters.

Last week, the government and the powerful UGTT union signed an agreement to raise public sector wages by 5%, which could ease social tensions. But they did not announce any further agreement on the reforms needed for the IMF bailout.

Abbasi said the wage agreement was an important step in negotiations with the International Monetary Fund and would make clear the importance of wages in the economy. GDP for the next few years.

“This will give us a clear picture of the total wages that are expected to fall over the next few years,” he added.

Tunisia’s wage deal raised the odds of a deal with the IMF, Fitch Ratings said on Friday.

Abassi said a possible deal would open the door to bilateral financing, including with Japan and Gulf states.

“We have advanced negotiations with Saudi Arabia on bilateral financing,” he added.

The International Monetary Fund has said it will not proceed with the bailout sought by Tunisia unless the government joins the UGTT, which it says has more than 1 million members The economy shuts down due to strikes.

Tunisia is struggling to revive its public finances deteriorating due to concerns over inflation approaching 9% and shortages of many food items in stores due to the country’s inability to pay for some imports.



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