WASHINGTON Feb 4 The International Monetary
Fund said on Monday that its talks with Tunisia on a $1.78
billion loan deal are at "an advanced stage," and the
authorities intend to use the funding as insurance to help the
country during its political transition.
The IMF said economic and reform measures outlined in the
government's economic program were correctly focused on growth
that benefits everyone, and not just a few, and on reducing 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.
Tunisia's Islamist-led government has sought to revive the
economy since street protests ousted President Zine al-Abidine
Ben Ali two years ago and sparked political changes across North
Africa and parts of the Middle East.
The government said in November it was seeking a $2.5
billion loan from the IMF, but country's central bank revised
that figure to $1.78 billion in January.