The head of the IMF mission to Romania, Jeffrey Franks, denied – in an interview to “Adevarul” – that he had asked the Government to pay damages to the National Investment Fund (FNI) investors out of the state budget, according to sources quoted by Mediafax. The official admitted, however, that he had asked that a solution be found, given that the National Securities Commission (CNVM) cannot make any payments, but explained that this did not mean the Government would have to pay the damages. Normally, there is a legal procedure that allows the calculation of amounts lost and their verification at individual level, but, according to the Fund’s official, this procedure does not work as it should. In another interview, this time to TVR, the head of the IMF delegation spoke of investments needed in the energy sector, arguing that the plan to create two national energy giants has existed for two years, but nothing has happened so far, partly because Fondul Proprietatea filed legal contestations, considering “it is a misguided idea”. Franks argues that, in Romania, “social contributions are high, because some do not pay taxes”, but claims the Government may consider reducing taxes if conditions allow it. The IMF official added that Romania was not even half-way nearer to joining the euro zone and argued that, as far as possible loans from Asian countries are concerned, China, for instance, does not grant loans to ensure macroeconomic stability.