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EGYPT INDEPENDENT, AL-AHRAM (Egypt), AL JAZEERA (Qatar), BBC NEWS (UK)

Worldcrunch

Egypt's Salafi Nour Party has slammed the government's negotiations with the International Monetary Fund about a $4.8 billion rescue package, stating any potential loan that the government receives would be against sharia law.

Younis Makhyoun, a member of the ultra-conservative Islamist party said: "Borrowing from abroad is usury ... God will never bless a country based on usury."

Makhyoun added he would rather see the government reduce spending, apply an austerity policy, set a maximum wage and apply Islamic regulations to stock exchange speculations, reported the Egypt Independent.

Debate about IMF loan is representative of why Egypt's economy suffered for 60 yrs. Wealth begets national pride not the other way around.

— salamamoussa (@salamamoussa) August 23, 2012

Egyptian Prime Minister Hesham Qandil announced Wednesday that the Egyptian government has requested a $4.8 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Egypt requested a loan of $3.2 billion in May; however, negotiations were stalled by Salafi ministers in the now-dissolved, transitional parliament.

The IMF's Managing Director Christine Lagarde met with President Morsi and Prime Minister Qandil in Cairo on Wednesday, as part of continuing negotiations to help revive the country's ailing economy after the popular uprising in 2011.

The IMF stands ready to support Egypt's economic recovery. See my press statement bit.ly/TUtATw

— Christine Lagarde (@Lagarde) August 22, 2012

Al Jazeera reported Lagarde as saying: "I took note of their strategy and ambition for Egypt's economic and social future, and I assured them of our continued commitment to support Egypt and its people during this historic period of transition."

Dozens of socialist and leftist protestors were also opposing Christine Lagarde's visit to the Cabinet on Wednesday.

Mary Daniel, the protest's organizer, told al-Ahram: "Why did we have a revolution? Wasn't it to improve the living conditions of the people? We know that the money from these loans is pilfered by the authorities and will only lead to the further impoverishment of the people."

BBC News reported that Egypt currently has an internal debt of $193 billion and a foreign debt of $33.8 billion.

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