Friday, July 12, 2013

AFP: Romania to start talks on new IMF, EU deal

Romania will open talks on a new financing from the International Monetary Fund and the EU, an IMF official said Thursday, just weeks after a previous loan facility lapsed.

"An IMF mission will visit Bucharest from July 17 to 31 to conduct discussions on a successor programme with Romania," the IMF representative in Bucharest Guillermo Tolosa said.

"It will discuss with the Romanian authorities recent economic developments and priorities for economic reforms," it added.

Centre-left Prime Minister Victor Ponta last week said his government planned to negotiate a new agreement with the IMF and the EU in a bid to bolster investor confidence in the economy.

No amount of money was mentioned but authorities said they planned to draw upon the credit line only in case of emergency.

In 2009 when it was in the grips of severe recession, Romania concluded a 20-billion-euro bailout deal with the IMF and the EU, in exchange for strict austerity measures.

In March 2011 it signed a new, 5.0-billion euro precautionary-type agreement, which the IMF last month said was concluded successfully.

The Balkan country has notably kept the public deficit under control and escaped the EU's excessive deficit procedure.

It also sold stakes in major energy companies and moved to privatise its freight rail, although the tender was contested.

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