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Brussels, 17 December 2009

Statement on Romania after EU/IMF joint technical mission

A joint technical team of European Commission and IMF staff visited Bucharest during December 14-16 to continue discussions under the multilateral assistance programme. Discussions focused on fiscal policy issues.

The mission found that good progress had been made to reach the 2009 budgetary target of a cash deficit of 7.3% of GDP. Yet, tight expenditure control remains essential .

Regarding 2010, the mission and the authorities agreed at technical levela set of fiscal consolidation measures amounting to about 2.5% of GDP, mostly on the expenditure side of the budget. Taking into account the better than expected macroeconomic outlook for 2010, these measures seem sufficient to achieve the government cash deficit target of 5.9% of GDP set in the programme. The new government is encouraged, when it is in place, to rapidly endorse the draft budget and to submit it to Parliament for adoption. To achieve a sustainable economic adjustment, it is also important to continue progress with important structural reforms such as the Fiscal Responsibility Law and the Pension Reform.

Provided these developments are confirmed, the Commission hopes to successfully conclude the review by end January 2010. This would release a tranche of EUR 1 bn under the EU balance of payments assistance programme.

On the Commission side, the mission was led by Fabienne Ilzkovitz, Head of Unit, and Matthias Mors, Acting Director at the Economic and Financial Affairs Directorate (DG Ecfin).

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