IMF's Lagarde urges more economic reforms as Tunisia slides into recession

The managing director of the International Monetary Fund urged Tunisia to speed up reforms of its economy, as the North African country slid into a recession following devastating terrorist attacks.

Christine Lagarde said Wednesday in Tunis that "now more than ever is the time to push for the reforms that are necessary" to boost the economy, including a growth-friendly budget, reforming the banking system and business regulations.

The IMF has supported Tunisia with a $1.75 billion loan.

Tunisia relies heavily on tourism and terrorist incidents killed almost 60 foreign tourists in two attacks this year that have more than halved the number of arrivals.

The central bank said on Aug. 27 that the economy had entered a technical recession, defined as two consecutive quarters of economic contraction.