PM Ponta: Romania may seek new IMF arrangement, is better placed to withstand regional shocks

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Romania could negotiate a new type of arrangement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) once its standby aid deal expires next year, Prime Minister Victor Ponta told Reuters on Wednesday.

A new agreement could mean a flexible credit line, which the IMF created in 2009 for countries with good economic track records. Such deals come with fewer conditions than the quarterly reviews Romania has had to pass to keep its standby precautionary aid deals going.

“If we succeed to finish the aid deal successfully, and I think we will, we won’t need a new precautionary aid deal … Maybe we can discuss another arrangement. I think there are different types of deals with the IMF, for example with Poland,” Ponta said.

With falling fiscal and current account deficits, Ponta said Romania was better placed than ever to withstand regional shocks, especially the threat of gas supply shortages and of Russia.

The government will look to capitalize on an election-free year in 2015 to build a consensus on a tweaked royalties’ tax for natural resources, he said.

In an address to foreign news agencies correspondents in Bucharest, PM Ponta said Romania is better placed than ever. “Romania has a legitimate president-elect to take over his term on Sunday, has a government that has won an overwhelming confidence vote in parliament, we have a negotiated and approved budget by the international institutions, we have buffers to the central bank and the finance ministry and we have a sound economy, including the matter of energy supply. I want to convey a clear message of stability and that we are ready to face any problems,” Ponta said.

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