Thursday , December 13 2018

Merkel pledges $100 million loan

Jordanian King Abdullah II welcomes German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the Jordanian Royal Palace in Amman on June 21. (AFP)

German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Thursday promised a $100 million loan to troubled Jordan, where mass protests over austerity measures forced the prime minister to resign earlier this month. Merkel visited the kingdom amid an escalating domestic row over migration. Standing next to Jordan’s King Abdullah II, she made no reference to the crisis that’s straining her ruling coalition.

The chancellor said Germany will provide the $100 million loan in addition to bilateral aid which amounts to about 384 million euros ($442 million) this year. She said she hopes the additional funds will help Jordan carry out economic reforms sought by the International Monetary Fund.

The IMF is seeking such reforms to lower Jordan’s public debtto- GDP ratio, which has risen to about 96 percent, in part because of the continued economic fallout from Syria’s civil war and other regional crises. “We are aware of the challenges you face, both in the realm of security and in civil society development,” Merkel said, adding that she wished the government success in implementing “needed reforms.” “The IMF, and it’s known for this, often has very ambitious ideas about reforms, and implementing them is anything but simple,” she said. (AP)

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