Romania's current account deficit, EUR 14.4 billion between January and October last year, grew by 10.9 percent on the same period in 2007. The deficit was more than half covered by direct foreign investments of EUR 8.1 billion, according to Central Bank data. The lack of funding and poor financial results on various markets may prompt some of Romania's biggest foreign investors to slow down their pace of investments in Romania.
Former Primer Minister Calin Popescu Tariceanu agrees Romania doesn't need the IMF money at this moment and the country could revert to the European Commission for assistance.
The IMF assistance-related declarations followed a recent announcement from an IMF team which will visit Romania at the end of this month, in a regular meeting to evaluate the economic situation and discuss policies with the new government. This will be a routine visit from experts and does not relate to a possible agreement. The first suggestion of Romania possibly seeking IMF help came late last year, when international media included the country on the list of countries, along with Hungary and Ukraine, which were on the IMF's list for financial help.
The last IMF visit to Romania, in November last year, evaluated the Romanian financial system jointly with World Bank experts. Romania's stand-by agreement with the IMF ended in July 2006, since when the country has continued to collaborate with IMF experts.
The IMF is an international organization of 185 member countries. It was established to promote international monetary cooperation, exchange stability and orderly exchange arrangements, to foster economic growth and high levels of employment, and to provide temporary financial assistance to countries to help ease the balance of payments adjustment.