* Says economic reforms revised; seen as key to aid
* Sees end to unrest as even more vital than funding
CAIRO Feb 14 Egyptian Prime Minister Hisham
Kandil said on Thursday he expected an International Monetary
Fund team to visit this month for talks on a loan agreement seen
as vital to supporting the country's economy.
Asked when the IMF mission would return to resume stalled
talks on the $4.8 billion loan, Kandil said: "Within this month,
Egypt concluded an initial agreement for the loan in
November but in December postponed ratification because of
The Egyptian government has repeatedly said the IMF
delegation would return soon to finalise a deal.
Kandil said in an interview broadcast late on Wednesday that
the government had finished revising a programme of economic
reforms seen as vital to securing the loan.
Many economists believe the government could postpone
ratification of an IMF deal until parliamentary elections
expected to get under way in April or May to delay austerity
measures that could hit the popularity of the ruling Islamists.
The IMF accord is seen as vital to propping up the state's
battered finances. Ratification would also unlock billions of
dollars of further aid from foreign states, economists say.
Ratings agency Moody's cited uncertainty about the
government's ability to secure the loan as one reason for
cutting Egypt's credit rating on Tuesday.
"What we need desperately, even more than financing is for
the streets to calm down and for some patience and hard work
from the citizens," Kandil said.