A joint technical team of European Commission (EC) and International Monetary Fund (IMF) staff visited Bucharest to continue discussions under the multilateral assistance programme. Discussions focused on fiscal policy issues.
The mission found that good progress had been made to reach the 2009 budgetary target of a cash deficit of 7.3% of gross domestic product (GDP). Yet, tight expenditure control remains essential.
Regarding 2010, the mission and the authorities agreed a set of fiscal consolidation measures amounting to about 2.5% of GDP, mostly on the expenditure side of the budget. Taking into account the better-than-expected macroeconomic outlook for 2010, these measures seem sufficient to achieve the government cash deficit target of 5.9% of GDP set in the programme. The new government is encouraged, when it is in place, to rapidly endorse the draft budget and to submit it to Parliament for adoption. To achieve a sustainable economic adjustment, it is also important to continue progress with important structural reforms, such as the Fiscal Responsibility Law and the Pension Reform.
Provided these developments are confirmed, the EC hopes to successfully conclude the review by end January 2010. This would release a tranche of €1bn under the EU balance of payments assistance programme.
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A squeeze on skilled talent means it now takes an average of seven weeks to fill open permanent roles in finance in the UK according to new research from financial services recruitment firm Robert Half.