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IMF chief gives new year press conference


08:28, January 18, 2013

IMF Managing Director's New Year Press Conference, Jan 17, 2013

Key Words: IMF; Christine Lagarde

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IMF Director Christine Lagarde is holding a press conference in Washington to discuss the IMF’s economic policy priorities for 2013. We can cross live now to the conference.

The International Monetary Fund is to release 838 million euros of loans to Portugal. The global lender says the country’s economic reform efforts are "impressive". But the IMF is also warning of an uncertain near-term outlook, and "sizeable" medium-term economic challenges. It also urges Portugal to boost its competitiveness. The latest money released is part of a 78 billion euro bailout agreed in 2011, to avert looming bankruptcy in Portugal.

Meanwhile, The IMF has also announced the approval of the disbursement of a batch of rescue funds for Greece worth over 4 billion US dollars. The decision comes after the IMF completed two reviews of Greece’s economic performance under a program supported by a four-year loan arrangement. The aid is part of a joint package of financing with eurozone member states over four years. The loans were granted on condition that the country imposes spending cuts and other austerity measures. Lagarde says Greece has made progress with structural reforms, reflected in recent actions to reduce non-wage labor costs and reform the product market. Yet much more remains to be done to boost productivity and lower prices.

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