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EBRD: Romania's response to crisis - "stimulus", more imaginary than real, with negligible effects

de Dan Popa, transl/adapt. C.B.
Luni, 8 martie 2010, 11:35 English | Top News

The "stimuli" included in the 13 bln euros funds package programme announced by the Romanian Government have so far been "more imaginary than real", because very few projects were launched, Peter Sanfey writes in the "South-eastern Europe: lessons from the global economic crisis" EBRD study.

The programme's effect on the country's economic growth has been negligible, the EBRD analyst writes. Several governments in the region have announced various fiscal programmes that seemed to support the growth, but in reality, these had little impact on the economy. EBRD exemplifies showing the Executive in Bucharest and its plan to stimulate economic activity.

"Take the example of Romania, where the government announced in February 2009 a €13 billion stimulus package to help counteract the worst effects of the crisis. The idea was to earmark most of it (more than €10 billion) for infrastructure projects. So far, the 'stimulus' has been more imaginary than real; few projects have got off the ground and the effect on economic growth has been negligible", the EBRD document shows.

"Other countries have tried tax breaks to stimulate businesses. Serbia launched a package in February 2009 which included investment loans at subsidised rates to businesses, as well as consumer loans for the purchase of Serbian goods. In a similar vein, the FYR Macedonian and Montenegrin governments have tried to reduce the tax burden by selective cuts for businesses and households, while in Bosnia and Herzegovina, a targeted programme for the less well-off involved the exemption of certain essential goods from VAT. All of these measures have brought some relief here and there, but they cannot be said to constitute a coherent anti-crisis approach", the study underlines.

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