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Indonesia, IMF Sign New Bailout Deal

From Associated Press

Fearing that growing economic hardships could spark new riots, Indonesia and the International Monetary Fund announced a revised bailout deal Thursday loaded with fuel and food subsidies.

The deal--the fourth struck by Indonesia and the IMF since October--calls for tough reforms while balancing the needs of the tens of millions hit hard by the region’s worst financial crisis in 30 years.

The agreement opens the way for the resumption of a $43-billion IMF-led rescue package, badly needed by an economy expected to shrink by more than 10% this year.

Asia’s economic crisis has hit Indonesia hardest, with the value of its rupiah dropping more than 80% in the last 11 months.

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