EU Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs, Olli Rehn signed, on behalf of the European Union, in Brussels Tuesday a 180 million euro Macro-Financial Assistance (MFA) package for Jordan, together with a Memorandum of Understanding and Loan Facility Agreement.The agreement was co-signed by the Jordanian Minister of Finance, Dr Umayya Toukan, and by the Governor of the Central Bank of Jordan, Dr. Ziad Fariz.
Speaking to journalists after the signing ceremony, Rehn said "the EU is helping Jordan to weather the severe impact of the regional economic and political crisis. We support the continuous efforts towards macroeconomic stabilisation." "This assistance will help ease Jordan's financing constraints and support its economic reforms, for the sake of improving the living conditions of the Jordanian people," he said.Since the outbreak of the so-called Arab Spring in 2011, Jordan has been severely affected by external and internal economic shocks and noted that the Syrian conflict and the disruption in gas imports from Egypt are having serious economic and social implications for Jordan, said Rehn.The financial assistance, in the form of a medium-term loan, will be provided during the course of this year in two instalments: 100 and 80 million euro.He also announced that the EU and Jordan were thinking of starting talks on a Free Trade Agreement.On his part, Toukan said Jordan "is trying to play a very moderating role in the region and we have pressures because of the Syrian situation as well as other crisis in the region in Egypt which affected our economy."We did political reforms and amended the constitution and introduced other measures to improve transparency, good governance and freedom of expression," he added.