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On Ghana, IMF Tells ICP Visit Ongoing, 1/2 Answer on Ukraine, Ebola Tomorrow

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, September 25 -- With Ghana hosting an International Monetary Fund visit, Inner City Press asked IMF Spokesperson Gerry Rice at his embargoed briefing on September 25 about what Ghana’s President John Mahama said this week at the New York Stock Exchange: "It is my hope that by January we should start a three-year IMF programme to try and stabilise the macroeconomic environment.”

Rice took the question from Inner City Press and said yes, an IMF team is in Accra discussing a program, and will have something to say once the visit concludes.

  Inner City Press also submitted this question: “Ukraine PM Yatseniuk yesterday said, 'We do understand that we have to readjust the program. Because when we started the program with the IMF, it was a peace program. For today, this is a wartime government and a wartime program.' What is the IMF's response to / comment on this?”

  While Rice said that there was no request for any “readjustment” yet, that the IMF will combine two reviews in November with an eye toward its Executive Board meeting on Ukraine at the end of the year or early 2015. He said the purpose of such reviews, generally, is readjustment.

  But Rice did in this answer address the appropriateness of IMF lending into what Yatseniuk called “a wartime government and a wartime program" speaking at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York. We'll have more on this.

  The IMF's Executive Board will meet on September 26 about Ebola, on which Rice answered Inner City Press' questions four weeks ago. Rice said indeed, the IMF is discussing an “Article IV” with Egypt, and hopes it will be before the end of the year. The IMF's head of communications Conny Lotze is heading to the European Central Bank in Frankfurt. And so it goes at the IMF.


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