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IMF Dodges Greek 6 Day Week & Hungary Unfriending, Ignores Rwanda, Sudan Reply

By Matthew Russell Lee

WASHINGTON DC, September 13, updated 11 am -- As IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde prepares on Friday to visit Cyprus, on Thursday morning the IMF ignored two -- all? -- questions about sub Saharan Africa, including one Inner City Press submitted about the Sudans and re-submitted about Rwanda. [See below on Sudan.]

It again called into question Lagarde's statement about children in Niger versus the protesting Greeks. What ABOUT Niger?

The closest the IMF's biweekly briefing got was Egypt, on which spokesman Gerry Rice used buzzwords like “homegrown program” about this it is “premature to discuss conditions.”

On Hungary as well, Rice wouldn't comment on the IMF being un-friended on Facebook. He selected questions on Argentina and the Dominican Republic, and answered Xinhua in-person about quantitative easing. The IMF's position that Basel III will have little negative impact was not asked about.

Two weeks ago, the IMF's media briefing center did not work for journalists not in DC. This time, Inner City Press submitted its questions, including on Belarus, through the online form on the media center, as well as by e-mail. But by embargo deadline, no substantive answers.

Most of the questions taken concerned Greece. Will there be a third program? Rice said said the IMF's goal is to get the current program on track. What about a six day work week? Watch this site.

Update of 11 am -- at 10:54 am, after deadline, the IMF provided an answer on Sudan, including that

"The Fund welcomes the preliminary agreement on oil-related issues and looks forward for its finalization and to the resolution of the other pending bilateral issues. The Fund stands ready to intensify its engagement through technical and policy advice [but] Sudan remains in arrears to the Fund and hence is ineligible to use Fund resources."

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