ECONOMY

FYROM meets IMF terms

SKOPJE (SeeNews) – The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) meets its commitments under the three-year standby arrangement with the International Monetary Fund signed in 2005, the government said yesterday. The IMF approved an arrangement for 51.7 million Special Drawing Rights (61.1 million euros) in early September. «We consider the program has been moving in the right direction, as the obligations for 2005 are fulfilled, bringing good fiscal and monetary results and being also favorable for the foreign sector,» the government’s press office quoted Finance Minister Nikola Popovski as saying after the completion of talks with the IMF mission. FYROM ended 2005 by meeting the agreed commitments on growth in gross domestic product, a reduced unemployment rate, better fiscal and monetary policy, and higher foreign currency reserves of some 980 million euros, contributing to lower interest rates, Popovski said. The country’s results in 2005, such as its growth of 4 percent, a low inflation rate and low current account deficit, will boost economic activity and investments in the future, the press office quoted the chief of the IMF mission in FYROM, Mark Griffiths, as saying. He added that the situation in the health sector is mixed, and both the IMF and the government are trying to prevent excessive spending and introduce better financial control.