IMF expert team starts first review of Romania's new stand-by deal

By bne IntelliNews October 23, 2013

A team of IMF experts has arrived in Romania and started the first review of the country's new stand-by arrangement signed on September 27, news agency Agerpres announced.

The country has completed since 2009 two consecutive two-year arrangements with the Fund. During the four years, it has undergone robust fiscal consolidation and the macroeconomic stability has improved - but the government delayed reforming the state-controlled companies and addressing the payment arrears problem.

Among the topics discussed by the Fund's officials is the 2014 budget planning and the second adjustment of the 2013 budget. Romania's ESA budget deficit stayed below 3%-of-GDP in 2012, the EC has confirmed earlier this week. The government is committed to meet this year's targets also, despite revenues falling below expectations.

The Fund’s mission is accompanied by peer teams from the World Bank and the European Commission – the institutions that have joined the Fund in the past SBAs with Romania and in the latest follow-up arrangement, which is expected to be the last of this type. Apart from central bank and government officials, the experts will also meet representatives of political parties, trade unions, banks, investors and civic organisations. The outcome of the discussions will be made public at the end of the mission [on November 5], a press release of resident representative Guillermo Tolosa shows.

Romania benefits of EUR 2bn from the IMF under the current SBA while the EC also contributes with another EUR 2bn. The country however treats the loans attached to the programmes as precautionary – as was the case with the EUR 5bn financial package made available by the IMF and EU during the past two-year arrangement in 2011-2013.

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