Monday, March 9, 2009

IMF to send mission to Romania this week - agency

BUCHAREST, March 9 (Reuters) - An International Monetary Fund team of experts will visit Romania later this week, deputy Prime Minister Dan Nica was quoted as saying by state news agency Agerpres.

'They come mainly to see the state of the economy, if there has been an impact from the crisis, how big it is and how is the economy prepared to deal with this,' Nica was quoted as saying.

Last time, the IMF has sent a mission to Bucharest in late January.

Since the global crisis accelerated in October, Romania has turned from being the European Union's fastest-growing economy and an attractive destination for foreign investors into one of its most vulnerable.

Bucharest is increasingly likely to seek an IMF-led loan package as the country's economy teeters on the brink of recession and a financing crisis because of its heavy dependence on foreign cash at a time of global credit shortages.

But the centre-left coalition has been reluctant so far to confirm reports it is holding talks with the global lender for fear of alarming the public and sparking social unrest.

President Traian Basescu is expected to seek cross-party support for fiscal austerity in a speech to parliament on Monday, in a bid to prepare the public for possible International Monetary Fund aid.

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