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    Econ Minister says gov't has full support to Turkey's CB

    Hurriyet English with wires
    21.05.2008 - 17:45 | Son Güncelleme:

    The Turkish Central Bank (CB) has the government's full support, Economy Minister Mehmet Simsek said on Wednesday amid reports in recent weeks of rising tensions between the bank and the ruling AKP government, Reuters reported.

    Simsek's comments, made in a parliamentary commission meeting, came a day after a central bank spokesman denied market rumors that Governor Durmus Yilmaz was about to resign. "The central bank is doing its duty and has our full support," Simsek said.

    According to media reports, differences of opinion on fiscal policy and interest rates have emerged between the government and the bank in recent weeks.

    Last week Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan rejected talk of tensions with the bank and said his government consults and negotiates with the Turkish Central Bank but does not interfere into its sphere of duties. His comments were sparked by newspaper reports that Yilmaz had been made to wait five hours to make a presentation to the cabinet.


    Simsek also said Turkey met the Maastricht criteria on public deficit which was very important in the European Union adjustment process at the meeting.

    Turkey met the Maastricht criteria for the last 4 years in public debt stock, which is above the average of 27 EU countries.

    Turkey met the criteria due to fiscal discipline and determined privatization policies, which were pursued in recent period, Simsek also said.

    The Maastricht criteria, set out in the Treaty of Maastricht, needs to be met by European countries that wish to become full members of the Economic and Monetary Union. According to the Maastricht criteria, inflation of the candidate country must not be more than 1.5 percentage points above the average rate of the three member states with the lowest inflation.

    The candidate country's national budget deficit must also be close to or below 3 percent of gross national product and public debt must not exceed 60 percent of gross national product in order to meet the criteria.




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