IMF says $1.78 bln loan talks with Tunisia at advanced stage

WASHINGTON Mon Feb 4, 2013 2:16pm EST

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WASHINGTON Feb 4 (Reuters) - Talks between the IMF and Tunisia on a $1.78 billion loan deal are at "an advanced stage" and the authorities intend to use the funding as a precautionary measure to help the country during its political transition, the International Monetary Fund said on Monday.

The IMF said economic and reform measures outlined in the government's economic program were correctly focused on ensuring that growth benefits everyone, and not just a few, and will help reduce high levels of unemployment.

"In the coming weeks, the mission will continue to work with the Tunisian authorities to finalize the stand-by arrangement that supports Tunisia's economic program for presentation to the IMF executive board in March 2013," the IMF said in a statement.

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