An IMF mission will visit Serbia as planned for two weeks starting February 26 to hold talks on a potential new funding arrangement, despite the news that early elections will be held in the country most likely on March 16 , the Fund's office in Belgrade confirmed for news agency Beta. The mission, which will be headed by Zuzana Murgasova, will resume the negotiations on a possible Fund-supported programme as talks will cover fiscal issues and structural matters related to the labour market, the measures to address the high unemployment, as well as the state enterprise reform and business climate issues. The mission is expected to end its visit on March 13 , several days ahead of the snap vote. The governing SNS party said in the weekend it will seek the elections only two years after the previous general vote held in May 2012 in a bid to speed up economic and social reforms. It now governs in a coalition with the Socialist SPS party of PM Ivica Dacic as back in 2012 SNS failed to grab enough support to form the cabinet alone. In the meantime, however, its popularity increased thanks to its leader and deputy PM - Aleksandar Vucic and his anticorruption campaign. Therefore, SNS believes it is already strong enough to be able to secure a parliament majority in the pending vote. Serbia's latest EUR 1bn stand-by deal with the IMF was frozen by the Fund in February 2012 over signs of fiscal slippage. Another attempt by the government to reach an agreement with the IMF failed in 2013 when the parties again disagreed over vital fiscal austerity issues with the Fund warning further support depends on cuts in the public sector and the pension system. The Serb finance ministry believes a possible deal would help Serbia implement the planned reforms and send a clear signal to foreign investors that the country is safe, stable and attractive market.
Most Popular Stories
- Obama Administration Releases Proposal to Regulate For-Profit Colleges
- Apple, HP, Intel May Take a Hit from Slowdown in Smartphone Sales Growth
- FDIC Files Lawsuit on Behalf of Banks Allegedly Hurt by Libor Scandal
- Elizabeth Vargas' Husband Marc Cohn Addresses Rumors
- Motley Crue's Nikki Sixx Marries Model Courtney Bingham
- Keurig Adds Peet's coffee, Alters Starbucks deal
- Chinese e-Commerce Giant Alibaba Gears for IPO in U.S.
- U.S. to Relinquish Gov't Control Over Internet
- Some California Cities Seeking Water Independence
- Will Missing Malaysian Jet Prompt Aviation System Change?