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October 2, 2022

FinMin Citu: Rating agencies cannot ignore Romania’s successful issue of bonds to the international markets

Rating agencies cannot ignore Romania’s successful issue of bonds to the international markets and the fact that it continued to have economic growth in the first quarter of the year, the Minister of Public Finance Florin Citu told an interview with AGERPRES.

“The fact that we had economic growth in the first quarter resulted in a reset of all macroeconomic models. We had those apocalyptic scenarios in the beginning of the year, but we cannot have those now, for any scenario is based on an econometric model and that econometric model must be reanalyzed based on this new information. This means that the situation has naturally improved because we had a stage. Which is why I wanted very much, when I discussed this with my colleagues, and through the measures that we took, to have measures that will help the real economy. And we did inject very much money in the economy in March and April and May. The measures that we presented as an example in the fiscal area, because this is what I am talking about, meant an implicit aid granted to the companies by postponing their taxes or by tax exemptions, bonuses, an aid that was worth 15 billion lei only in March and April. So you must realize that this injection of capital, because the money was left to the companies that know very well what to do with them, it did help the economy, and we saw that. And this is why I usually say that I am a moderate optimist. I believe that the rating agencies will take into account what we’ve done in these couple of months and they cannot ignore the success of the issue of bonds and they also cannot ignore the fact that we continued to have economic growth in the first quarter of the year. I hope they will maintain the rating. I would be surprised if they don’t appreciate the performance that we had in the first quarter,” said Florin Citu.

In regard to a possible downgrade of the country rating, the Minister of Finance said a decision like this would show its consequences in the long run.

“I don’t even want to consider it. A downgrade of the rating, especially as we still have a rating today that recommends us for investments, a downgrade of the rating, then, would generate problems not in the short run, because in the short run we can manage, we have resources, but it would have an impact in the long run on Romania. Plus that Romania has already been avoided by the investors in the past couple of years because of the socialist governments that chased them away. For we did have clear statements and measures that made the investors leave our country. We don’t need this. This government showed that it created a friendly economic environment for the local and international investors both and we don’t want to change this image. I don’t even want to think what consequences this would bring, we will see,” Citu told Agerpres.

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