International Monetary Fund admits errors in Indonesian bailout package

JAKARTA, INDONESIA: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) managing director Dominique Strauss-Kahn admitted its bailout package designed for Indonesia ten years ago had mistakes, which led to several changes, local media reported Friday.

Strauss-Kahn, who held a press conference in the Indonesian capital of Jakarta after meeting with President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono for half an hour last Wednesday, said the experience with economic reform programs to handle Indonesia's economic crisis resulted in several changes within the IMF, the Jakarta Post reported.

The director stated that the IMF bailout packages had been "harmful and painful for the Indonesian people," but with the experience, the IMF has been able to avoid similar mistakes while distributing packages in other countries.

"But the consequence of this is that the IMF has changed a lot," Strauss-Kahn said. "The last reform we made in the governance changed the IMF to reflect better the state of the world. And in the current state of the world, Asia in general, Indonesia in particular, has a bigger role than in the past."

The IMF had an important role in the Asian financial crisis, which started in Thailand in July 1997 and spread to other Asian countries, including Indonesia.

With the IMF's $40 billion bailout package for Indonesia, the country found itself falling into a deeper recession.

Currently, Indonesia has already paid off its debt with the IMF, and Strauss-Kahn underlined that at the moment, the Asian country is in no need of another loan, predicting that Indonesia's economic growth could surpass 6 percent this year.


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