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Romanian businessmen call for public debate on new IMF deal

Before Romania signs a precautionary agreement with the IMF, the manner in which money circulate between the National Bank of Romania's reserve and the public budget should be clarified first, Florin POGONARU, President of the Businessmen's Association of Romania (AOAR), stated for HotNews.ro's and Radio Deutsche Welle's "Bucharest Punkt Bonn" show. "There should be a public debate, maybe not necessarily on the prudent level of the National Bank's reserves but on some principles on the basis of which we judge whether this level is sufficient or not. Afterwards, we could talk about a precautionary agreement, an agreement that indisputably has good points too. A precautionary agreement is something that precedes obtaining money from the European Union and cheap financings", he added.

POGONARU added that AOAR was in favor of an agreement with the IMF precisely out of prudence having to do with potential attacks at the time of a severe crisis during which nobody foresaw what was next. "However, for the private sector, the agreement with the IMF surprisingly meant a VAT hike, higher arrears and the destruction of value-adding chains. We had a concrete discussion with IMF representatives whom we asked what are we going to do with these things. We were told that these things have to do with structural reform, something that will be tackled in the future agreement. So what do you do at that point? You get up and leave because the first agreement was an agreement for "squandering", for paying salaries", he underlined. The President of AOAR also underlined that our big problem is non-functional institutions. "We should no longer allow them to hide behind the IMF. After all, what are our complaints: one year has passed since structural measures were taken in the public sector, a year in which the funds from the IMF were spent, the so-called funds that were coming for the national reserve". On the other hand, POGONARU also stated that the efficiency of privatizations done until now should be analyzed instead of promoting privatizations for the sake of privatizations.

Published on 10.03.2011

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