Wednesday, April 30, 2003

Israeli $9 billion loan guarantee deal to be signed this week

By Haaretz Service - Following talks over the weekend between Israeli and U.S. delegations, the agreement granting Israel $9 billion in U.S. loan guarantees is expected to be signed this week, Israel Radio reported on Sunday. The Israeli delegation, headed by Finance Ministry director-general Ohad Marani, were presented with the U.S. conditions for transferring the loan guarantees, which include a demand that the principles of the government's economic austerity plan be passed by the Knesset. According to Israeli sources, the U.S. officials said that the most pressing conditions were the privatization of government corporations, cutting the public sector, and a deficit reduction. The U.S. Congress approved $9 billion in loan guarantees and $1 billion in security aid to Israel a few weeks ago. The guarantees are to be given in three installments over a three year period, at a rate of interest linked to the U.S. government bonds on the day of issue. The U.S. president will have the right not to approve any new Israeli issue of guarantee funds if Israel fails to keep its commitment to implement its economic austerity plan. >>Full story...

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