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Basescu: I have no dispute with IMF; I support Agreement continuation, but not pointless fees

January 24, 2014

Agerpres, Bucharest, Romania

Jan. 24 -- BUCHAREST -- President Traian Basescu maintains that there is not a 'dispute' between him and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and that he is a supporter of continuing the Agreement Romania has with the IMF, but he does not approve of charging pointless fees. 'I shall unreservedly support keeping the current excise on fuels and I am not an enemy of the liberalisation of the energy prices, be them the electricity prices or the gas prices. (...) I insisted in underscoring these things, as I did not want people to understand that there could be a dispute between me and the Fund. I am certainly a supporter of continuing the Agreement with the Fund. (...) At the same time, however, I do not want to impose pointless fees to make pointless expenses in the state budget. I am mainly interested in an as small as possible deficit, but the quality of the expenses in the state budget to reach this deficit is very important. I would like very much for Romania's state budget to have high quality expenses, not expenses creating the impression that the times before the crisis could come back,' Basescu said on Thursday, January 23 , in the New Year's Reception, organised at the Romanian-German Chamber of Commerce and Industry , at the Palace of Parliament. The Romanian head of state reiterated the fact that the economic measures of 2010 were the ones having led to economic growth in the following years. 'In 2010, during an extremely powerful crisis, we made very painful decisions for the population, but which were meant to generate the macrostability we have now. Moreover, the idea was no longer to act in the direction of public finance, the taxation system, not to act procyclical, but countercyclical. The observation I am making about the manner in which the budget for this year was built is that we begin having the procyclical approach again and capitalising the slight economic growth we have registered for three years in a row in increases of material expenses, in increases of salary funds in the huge public apparatus we have. It could be the mistake that can make us vulnerable exactly in what it could mean evolution on the international markets, uncontrolled evolution,' Romania's President said. In context, he insisted in pointing out that this was the reason for which he opposed some measures agreed by Romania's Government and the IMF, such as the increase in the excise on fuels. 'This is also the reason for which I opposed some measures agreed between the Government and the IMF, related, for instance, with the increase in the excise on fuels. Romania has investment money, we have huge amounts from the EU, we have loans from the EIB, to co-fund projects with European money. We must take into account three fundamental elements for Romania's economic development and for sustainable economic growth: one is the state budget, which is fundamental, which must ensure economic growth, the second pillar is the European money and the third pillar are the direct foreign investments. That is why my public approach has nothing in common with political interests, I no longer run in the elections, but I would like us not to put an extra burden by excessively excising fuels,' Basescu concluded. ___ (c)2014 Agerpres, Bucharest, Romania Visit Agerpres, Bucharest, Romania at Distributed by MCT Information Services

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Source: Agerpres (Romania)

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