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How much will $15 billion IMF loan really cost Iraq?

The International Monetary Fund's loan to the Iraqi government may come with too many strings attached.
A man leaves the Iraq Stock Exchange (ISX) in Baghdad, April 2, 2013. Last month's scene at the headquarters of the Baghdad bourse revealed the struggle which Iraq faces to modernise its financial system: it must overcome primitive, ultra-conservative savings habits born of decades of war and political instability. Picture taken April 2, 2013.  REUTERS/Mohammed Ameen (IRAQ - Tags: BUSINESS) - RTXY6V0
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BAGHDAD — On May 19, Iraq signed an agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a loan for as much as $15 billion over the next three years. Observers are wondering how Iraq will be able to repay the loan and meet the conditions imposed by creditors, which include various countries and the World Bank. One such condition is that Iraq must lift its oil and food subsidies.

The Iraqi Ministry of Finance said the IMF Stand-By Arrangement (SBA) will help Iraq in its battle against the Islamic State (IS) to liberate Iraqi territory, while also helping cut the budget deficit, which is projected at $25 billion, a figure that could worsen because of lower oil prices. The ministry said the loan will not affect government spending on social and health services, but rather it will bring about real financial and economic reform.

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