Cairo, 20 Jumadil Akhir 1434/30 April 2013 (MINA) – leftist leader Hamdeen Sabbahi said on Monday (29/4) that Egypt should refuse a $4.8 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund rather than submit to terms that would further impoverish the poor and could spark a revolution of the hungry.
“Neither the global lender nor Egypt’s Islamist-led government had told the public the truth about austerity conditions attached to the proposed loan,” Sabbahi told Reuters, as Ahram reported monitored by Mi’raj News Agency (MINA).
The firebrand leader of the Popular Current movement met an IMF team that visited Cairo this month for talks which ended without an agreement partly due to a lack of political consensus to support the accompanying economic reform programme.
Sabbahi, who came third in a presidential election last year after the 2011 uprising that toppled autocratic President Hosni Mubarak, warns of new revolution in Egypt due to poverty once IMF loan conditions are implemented.
“If you look at any country the IMF has gone into, you will find that poverty has increased,” the 58 years-old guy said.
During in an interview in his modest 13th-floor apartment in a middle-class district of the capital he said, “Talk about plugging a budget deficit does not get food to the people.”
The media reported the only political memento on his living room walls was a painting of Gamal Abdel Nasser, the swashbuckling nationalist colonel who led a 1952 coup that overthrew King Farouk and ran Egypt as an ally of the Soviet Union until his death in 1970.
The conditions for an IMF loan have not been made public but Egypt, battling economic stagnation, rising inflation and unemployment, has twice balked at raising sales tax on all goods and services and slashing fuel and food subsidies.(T/P03)
Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)