Wednesday, January 26, 2011

IMF mission starts visit in Romania, new deal considered

25 January 2011

(BUCHAREST) - The International Monetary Fund (IMF) started a new mission to Romania on Tuesday to examine recent reforms and start talks on a new agreement, a spokeswoman told AFP.

The mission is in Bucharest until February 8 and is to meet authorities, as well as union leaders, business associations and banks representatives.

The IMF representative in Romania, Tonny Lybek, said earlier this month that the mission would evaluate the country's "recent economic performance and discuss with the authorities the economic objectives for the remaining period of the current stand-by arrangement".

"The mission will also initiate negotiations on a possible successor arrangement," he had added.

Earlier in January, Romania's central bank said Bucharest had planned to conclude a new agreement with the IMF and the European Union when the current bailout deal expires, in April.

Romanian authorities said they wanted a precautionary credit line under which funds are drawn upon only in case of a major crisis.

In May 2009, crisis-hit Romania obtained a two-year 20-billion-euro lifeline from the IMF, the EU and the World Bank in exchange for key reforms aimed at slashing public spending.

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