Romania faces future better than some in eurozone: IMF

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Romania faces future better than some in eurozone: IMF

Romania has a brighter outlook than some eurozone countries, the head of an International Monetary Fund mission in Bucharest told news agency Mediafax on Friday.

„We started to see a return to growth and the public deficit has been significantly reduced, so risks are lower for Romania,” Jeffrey Franks told Mediafax.

„I believe that the outlook is brighter than in some eurozone countries which are facing difficulties at the moment,” he added.

Franks underlined that the centre-right Romanian government had „already taken serious steps” to limit the public deficit.

Long before Greece or Ireland, Romania secured an international aid package in order to soften the impact of the global economic crisis.

The Balkan country is a member of the European Union since 2007 but has not joined the eurozone yet.

Under the deal signed in April 2009, Bucharest is receiving payments from an international 20-billion-euro (26.4-billion-dollar) loan in exchange for reforms aimed at curbing its public deficit.

Romania has pledged to bring down the shortfall from 7.1 percent in 2009 to 6.8 percent in 2010 and 4.4 percent next year.

In order to do so, the government has slashed public wages by 25 percent and raised the VAT sales tax on goods sales and services from 19 to 24 percent.

The IMF forecasts recovery in 2011 with a 1.5 percent growth after two consecutive years of recession.

Romania’s public debt amounts to 35 percent of GDP which is low by EU standards.

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