John Kerry plea for major economic reforms

US Secretary of State John Kerry. Picture: Getty
US Secretary of State John Kerry. Picture: Getty
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Newly appointed US Secretary of State John Kerry, above, stressed the importance of Egypt reaching an IMF loan agreement and the need for political consensus on painful economic reforms on a visit to the country yesterday.

Kerry arrived for talks with the leaders of a country mired in political and economic crisis two years after the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak.

With Egypt’s pound and foreign currency reserves sliding, a US official said that if Cairo could agree on a 
£3.4 billion loan from the IMF, this would bring in other funds from the US, EU and Arab countries. However, the official said Kerry believed Egypt needed to increase tax revenues and reduce energy subsidies – measures that are likely to prove unpopular during the country’s crisis.