An International Monetary Fund loan to Egypt has been delayed until next month, intensifying the political crisis gripping the country, it was announced on Tuesday. The announcement of the delay came as judges voted decisively against overseeing Saturday's referendum on a controversial new constitution. In a further sign of the seriousness of the country's political stalemate the defence minister in charge of Egypt's military, Abdel-Fatah el-Sissi, called for a "national dialogue meeting" on Wednesday to try to find consensus between the Muslim Brotherhood and opposition groups.
Egypt's interim government is to resume talks with the International Monetary Fund over an emergency $3bn ( 2bn) credit facility amid signs of a deepening crisis in its hard-hit economy. The economic problems in Egypt - where 40% of people live on or below the poverty line - has become one of the biggest problems facing the country a year after the start of the popular uprising that pushed the former president Hosni Mubarak from power.