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Brussels, 20 July 2010

EU Balance of Payments assistance to Latvia: signing of Supplemental Memorandum of Understanding (SMoU) paves way for further EU fund disbursement

Today Economic and Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn signed a new Supplemental Memorandum of Understanding (SMoU) between the EU and Latvia on continuing the EU programme of financial assistance to Latvia. Following the signature of the SMoU by Latvian counterparties last week, this paves the way for the next EU disbursement of up to EUR 200 million expected in September 2010. The SMoU follows a positive assessment of the implementation of the Programme conditions undertaken by the Commission during the third review mission in cooperation with the IMF and other lenders from 25 May to 7 June 2010.

"I am glad that the Programme is on track, financial conditions have largely stabilised and the economic situation is showing signs of improvement. Latvia is increasingly being hailed for the necessary decisions and measures taken to streamline public finances and improve competitiveness. However, the budget deficit is still very high and the debt level is increasing rapidly, thus calling for significant consolidation in 2011. The authorities have committed themselves to taking socially-just net measures in the range of LVL 395-440 million to bring the deficit to below 6% of GDP." said Commissioner Rehn.

"I see the commitments of the Latvian authorities confirmed in the SMoU as important elements in Latvia's efforts to become a dynamic, sustainable and competitive economy. Along with ambitious fiscal and financial sector measures, the SMoU puts strong emphasis on steps to improve the business environment, competitiveness, public procurement, public sector efficiency, EU funds absorption and other elements that are important for Latvia's economy to be efficient and competitive. The Commission, in close cooperation with the IMF, will monitor the implementation of the SMoU, which will be made public on 22 July."

For more information see the link to the webpage on the Balance-of-Payment assistance:

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