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Weekly Newspaper "Chisinau Observer"

Thursday, January 23, 2003

IMF Mission to Moldova will discuss conditions upon its arrival

The IMF Mission to Moldova made official at the end of last week that the visit of the IMF delegation from Washington will be delayed. Officials said the visit is scheduled by the end of February or the beginning of March. The financial crediting of Moldova has been, therefore, suspended until later dates. This has in turn entailed the deferment of financing by European Union and World Bank and such donor countries as Sweden and Holland.

The resumption of crediting to Moldova is directly influenced by and dependent upon the International Monetary Fund, authorized to exert control over the financial standing of Moldova and the fulfilment of obligations crucial for Moldova’s adequate financial functioning. The IMF is also influential in terms of Moldova’s success and failure in the process of debts’ restructuring in the Paris Club, and, thereafter, the country’s economic and political ability to escape bankruptcy.

In an interview for the Chisinau Observer, Mr Edgardo Ruggiero, the Resident Representative of the IMF in Moldova, shed some light upon the matters in question.

CO.: How soon will the IMF resume crediting to Moldova under the Poverty Reduction and Financial Growth Programme and what are the conditions that Moldova is to fulfil?

E.R.: The financing for the programme will start only after the Mission comes to Moldova. The Mission will come and we will agree with the government about the set of policies. After the Mission leaves, we see the situation more clearly - within a minimum of one and a half month to two months.  But this is only if it is a crisis situation, but Moldova is not such an example.  It depends very much on the date when the Mission comes to Moldova.

What are the conditions that Moldova should fulfil? These questions cannot be answered specifically. I prefer not to think in terms of conditions; I will think more in terms of policies that we have agreed upon. For example, in order to achieve a certain objective, you need to implement certain policies. You may think of them as conditions, but these are conditions in the sense that, without them, you cannot achieve objectives that the government set for itself. We try to overlook the meaning of conditions; we look at them as elements of economic programme.

The conditions are the functions of what we want to achieve with the programme. The three conditions that we had agreed upon last October were relevant for the programme and are still relevant now. The Mission will come and discuss them with the government. Those conditions may be changed. At this point we cannot know for sure.

By Irina Severin