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Poland requests IMF credit line

Poland has requested a $20.5 billion (£13.7 billion) credit line from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), according to a statement from the fund.

It is the second country after Mexico to apply for a precautionary arrangement under the IMF’s Flexible Credit Line (FCL) facility, launched in March to help combat the global economic crisis.

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the managing director of the IMF, said the fund would “move ahead rapidly in seeking approval by the Fund’s Executive Board of Poland’s request for an FCL arrangement”, because the country’s “economic fundamentals and policy framework are strong”.

Poland had previously ruled out needing IMF cash and opposed a European bail-out fund. However, the FCL is described as “a type of insurance policy for strong performers” rather than an emergency bail-out. The IMF says countries must meet strict criteria to qualify for the credit, but can then draw on it without having to meet specific policy goals.

The largest economy in eastern Europe (excluding Russia), Poland has launched a fiscal stimulus package and has a strong domestic economy, but has suffered from withdrawal of cash by foreign investors.

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