By Muhammet Emin Avundukluoglu
ANKARA (AA) - The leader of Turkey’s main opposition party claimed on Wednesday that the government met with IMF officials ahead of Monday’s announcement of a new economic program.
"The new program is an IMF program. The old programs were of no use, none of them worked," claimed Kemal Kilicdaroglu, head of the Republican People's Party (CHP).
On Tuesday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan reiterated that “the book on the IMF was closed in May 2013, not to be reopened,” referring to Turkey's paying off the last installment of its IMF debt.
Government leaders have asserted that Turkey is long past the point it might have needed help from the IMF.
Speaking to his party's parliamentary group, Kilicdaroglu said that members of his party and the opposition Good Party (IYI) had recently met with top IMF officials.
"IMF officials came, they [the government and IMF] talked for days, and made a new program," claimed Kilicdaroglu.
He added: "After the IMF officials met with our friends, the reality came out. Otherwise, nobody would have heard about the IMF officials’ visit."
Treasury and Finance Minister Berat Albayrak on Monday unveiled a new three-year economic program due to start next year.
The new program set out the country's targets for inflation, growth, unemployment, the budget deficit, current account, and financial stability.
The program targets inflation of 12% for 2019, 8.5% for next year, 6% for 2021 and 4.9% for 2022.
Kilicdaroglu said that the government's 2019 growth target was 2.3%.
"The new growth rate [for this year] is 0.5%. Just one year has passed, because the IMF told them to do that," he claimed.
The new economy program also targeted 5% annual growth for the next three years each and one million new jobs per year.
On the fiscal discipline side, the program aims to reach the budget deficit-to-GDP rate of 2.9% for the next two years and 2.6% for 2022.