The foreign financiers agree on postponement of gas price liberalization

The International MonetaryFund (IMF), the EuropeanCommission and the World Bank(WB) have agreed on the postponementof gas market liberalizationfor households and on thedeadlines proposed by theRomanian side, Minister-delegatefor Energy Razvan Nicolescu toldon Saturday.The minister held talks on thistopic with the foreign financierson Friday in Brussels.“The financiers have agreed onputting on hold the liberalizationschedule and on the deadlines wehave suggested,” Nicolescu said.In early Sept., Nicolescu said hewill request the Brussels authoritiesto allow a halt in the rise inhousehold prices for domesticnatural gas until July 1, 2016 andan extension until July 1, 2021from December 31, 2018 of theliberalisation deadline.Under the liberalisation scheduleundertaken by Romania in 2012before IMF and EC, the householdgas prices should have beenincreased by 3 percent startingOct. 1, 2014. Under the sameschedule, the prices were to befully liberalised as from Dec. 31,2018.According to the price liberalizationtimetable Romania committedto before the InternationalMonetary Fund (IMF) and theEuropean Commission (EC) in2012, the price of natural gas forhousehold consumers shouldhave grown by 3 per cent onOctober 1, 2014. The price forhousehold consumers would havebeen fully liberalized onDecember 31, 2018, according tothe same timetable. At the sametime, on Wednesday, MPs adopteda draft law on modifying theelectricity and natural gas law, theoil law and an emergency ordinance,the most important stipulationof the draft referring to theproroguing of the deadline, theextension of the timetable andthe maintenance of the naturalgas basket until 2021. The EC,IMF and World Bank teams,along with the Romanian authorities,have recently assessed thelatest developments in the majordomains of the stand-by agreementwith Romania, following avisit paid by Romanian governmentofficials to Brussels, SimonO’Connor, the EuropeanCommissioner for Economic andMonetary Policies Jyrki Katainen’sspokesperson, stated. “At themeetings the participants assessedthe recent developments in allmajor domains of the program.The talks were productive and willbe officially completed in time,”the European Commission’s representativestated.

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