An International Monetary Fund delegation and Romanian Government representatives are meeting on Monday in Bucharest at the Finance Ministry headquarters to discuss the 2010 budget. The IMF visit takes place despite the fact that IMF reps had previously announced that talks with Romanian authorities will resume after a new Government was designated. Additionally, the Finance ministry Gheorghe Pogea declared on Sunday that the Executive was trying to convince IMF representatives to grant Romania the third instalment in January.

IMF experts are in Bucharest on Monday to finalise the 2010 budget project, alongside European Commission representatives. Romania might request for certain deadlines to be postponed, "depending new data", the Romanian representative at the IMF Mihai Tanasescu told Romanian press agency NewsIn on Friday.

  • "This will be a short mission, of one, two or three days, meant to finalise the 2010 budget. There is a small difference between us (IMF), the Commission and authorities... The To moment needs to be concluded, so that regardless who will come to power, they will consider certain public policies. There is a very small difference regarding income exposure and we will work together on the last indexes", Mihai Tanasescu explains.

PD-L Theodor Stolojan vice-president explained that it was possible for Romania to request the IMF experts and the European Commission representatives in Bucharest a derogation from the Pensions' Law, which should have been approved by December 31, 2009. Romania might also ask to receive the third loan instalment in January.

  • "It is possible to receive the IMF and the EC instalments package in January. If we manage the issue of the 2010 budget project is good. The mission's report could be included in the first IMF board meeting from January and, theoretically, it would be possible to receive the money", Stolojan said.

Pogea: The 2010 budget considers 38-40 billion lei worth of investments, namely 7% of the GDP

Temporary Finance minister Gheorghe Pogea told NewsIn that the main parameters on which the 2010 budget will be constructed are: 5.9% of the GDP budget deficit 0.5% economic growth, but the investments to receive finance from the state budget in the year to come will be more consistent - 7% - in contrast with the sum allocated for this year.

  • "The 2010 budget considers mainly the investments for infrastructure, environment, education and regional development in order to integrate the unemployed. For an estimated 525 billion lei budget, we consider investments spending worth of 38-40 billion lei, namely 7% of the GDP", Gheorghe Pogea stated.

The IMF granted Romania the first two instalments of the negotiated finance assistance package, worth of a total 6.57 billion euros. The third instalment - 1.5 billion euros - was initially scheduled for the first half of December, but it had been delayed until a new Government was in place.

The European Commission delayed the second loan instalment as well, that is 1 billion euros. The EC is to grant Romania a total of 5 billion euros over two years. The Commission expects the clarification of the political situation from Bucharest.