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March 6, 2021

Liberal leaders, IMF delegation discuss budget construction, EU funds absorption, justice slippages

An International Monetary Fund delegation headed by IMF chief of mission for Romania and Bulgaria Reza Baqir met on Tuesday with leaders of the National Liberal Party (PNL, opposition).

According to a PNL release, the talks focused on topics such as the current budget construction, the Sovereign Investment Fund, the absorption of European funds and “slippages in the area of justice.”

“During the talks, the PNL leaders expressed concern about the oversizing of budget revenues, particularly of the EU funds absorption component, intended to mask the budget deficit. The senior Liberals also emphasized that the budget outlined by the PSD-ALDE ruling coalition is built for consumption and not for investment, and that its structure can in no way support economic growth in the long term,” the release reads.

The PNL leaders also expressed their concerns as regards the budget fixed expenses, particularly in connection with the component that is to support the current and future public sector wages.

“The sides also tackled the slippages in the area of justice, with Liberal leaders emphasizing the need to suppress initiatives that weaken the fight against corruption, but also the ordinances that clear the way for the discretionary spending of public money,” the release underscores.

According to the Liberals, the IMF delegation shared most of their concerns.

Attending the meeting on behalf of PNL were the party’s acting national leader Raluca Turcan, First Deputy Chairman Catalin Predoiu, Senator Florin Citu and Andreea Paul. Also present at the meeting on behalf of the IMF were Romania’s representative to the IMF Cezar Botel and IMF Resident Representative for Romania and Bulgaria Alejandro Hajdenberg.

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