BUCHAREST (Romania), December 16 (SeeNews) – Romania will probably receive the third tranche of its 12.95 billion euro ($18.85 billion) stand-by loan from the International Monetary Fund next February, Bucharest-based news agency Mediafax reported on Wednesday.
On Monday, Romania's Constitutional Court validated the victory of incumbent Traian Basescu in the run off presidential elections, opening the way for breaking a two months-old political deadlock that has delayed key reforms in the economy and justice system, on which the disbursement of the following tranches hinges.
The IMF would probably send an assessment mission to Bucharest in January and once it is completed its findings will be sent to the IMF board for approval as soon as possible, Mediafax quoted the head of the IMF mission to Romania Jeffrey Franks as saying.
Political uncertainty has been high in Romania since the fall of the country's minority government in a no-confidence vote in October. It is currently governed by an interim cabinet. In November, the IMF said it would disburse no further tranches until the political situation in the country stabilises. The European Commission has also delayed the disbursement of a second tranche of aid to Romania, worth one billion euro, for the same reason.
On Wednesday, Basescu, who has to nominate new Prime Minister now, said he hopes a new government will be formed by Christmas.
Franks did not rule out the possibility that Romania will receive the fourth loan tranche simultaneously with the third one but added that nothing has been confirmed yet, Mediafax (www.mediafax.ro) said.
The third tranche from the IMF was worth 1.5 billion euro and was due in December. The fourth tranche from the IMF has been set at 820 million euro. The IMF has so far disbursed around 6.6 billion euro to Romania in the first two tranches of the loan facility.
An IMF technical team started a three-day visit to Romania on Monday to discuss the country’s 2010 budget.
Under the stand-by agreement, signed in May, the IMF pledged to lend Romania 12.95 billion euro, the World Bank is lending 1.0 to 1.5 billion euro and the rest will come from other international organisations, including the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.