Romania-IMF talks soon

BUCHAREST (Reuters) – Romania will discuss the 2005 budget with an IMF mission expected to arrive in the Balkan country next week for the first review of a new standby deal, Finance Minister Mihai Tanasescu said yesterday. Earlier this month, the International Monetray Fund approved a $367 million two-year precautionary accord for Romania. «Talks will focus on the 2005 budget, the continuation of structural reforms and last but not least on social reforms, mainly in the health and pension sectors,» a government statement quoted Tanasescu as saying. Last month Tanasescu said the 2005 budget deficit was planned at around 2 percent of gross domestic product compared with this year’s IMF-agreed target of 2.1 percent. The Romanian economy is forecast to grow by 5.2 percent in 2005 after this year’s 5.5 percent target.