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    TUSIAD again urges Turkish gov't to focus on economy and IMF deal

    HotNewsTurkey Staff
    17.10.2008 - 13:50 | Son Güncelleme:

    The Turkish Business Industrialists’ and Businessmen's Association (TUSIAD) urged the government Friday to leave aside criticism of the real sector and reiterated its call for officials to focus on the economy and conclude a deal with the IMF.

    It is time for both the government and real sector to act together and listen to advice, Arzuhan Dogan Yalcindag, the chairperson of TUSIAD said, in Istanbul.

     

    "It is not time to silence those who are speaking by saying 'we can do what is needed,’ and to blame the real sector, which invests, creates jobs, takes risks, and carries a basket full with eggs," Yalcindag also said.

     

    Restoring confidence in society and the markets are the most difficult factors facing the authorities while taking measures against the global crisis, she also said, adding that confidence in society was the most important issue to overcome these kinds of difficult periods.

     

    Yalcindag also warned of a crisis approaching for Turkey and said "Yes, there is no visible fire in Turkey, but we are under threat as the wind changes direction and strengthens."

     

    Mustafa Koc, a member of TUSIAD and chairman of Turkey's biggest family-run conglomerate Koc Holding, echoed Yalcindag's comments and repeated a call for the government to make the economy its top priority, including fiscal discipline.

     

    "Since the (parliamentary) election (in 2007), the economy has not been the number one priority on the agenda. There has been no decision on the IMF and relations with the European Union have been off the agenda," Koc said.

     

    IMF DEAL A PRIORITY

    TUSIAD also urged the government to sign up to a new loan agreement with the International Monetary Fund, made more urgent by the global financial crisis.

     

    A $10 billion standby IMF deal with Ankara expired in May and no follow-up deal has yet been agreed.

     

    "We should sign a standby deal with the IMF," Yalcindag said.

     

    "We are already unnecessarily late on this subject. Every passing day might make this deal with the IMF more difficult," she added.

     

    A team from the IMF is currently in Turkey as part of the organization's post-program monitoring process. The team will meet with TUSIAD on Friday and will then hold talks with officials in Ankara.

     

    The government is currently discussing a precautionary standby deal with the IMF, but a final agreement has not yet been reached. The government says Turkey does not need another standby loan deal, which would require the government to follow a set of strict financial targets.

     

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