10 Mar 09
Romania Asks EU for Emergency Loan
The Romanian government has sent an official letter to the European Commission asking to start negotiations for a loan aimed to shore up country's faltering economy.
"The Finance Ministry and the National Bank of Romania have started preliminary negotiations with the EC and International Monetary Fund's representatives over an evaluation of Romania's economic indicators and the country's financing needs," reads a press release from the Ministry of Finance.
Romania is facing the threat of recession and a potential financing crisis due of its heavy dependence on foreign cash at a time of liquidity shortages. An IMF delegation will visit Bucharest this week, following
preliminary discussions already held in Washington for a loan.
If Romania does take out a loan, it would be the next country in eastern Europe after Hungary, Latvia, Ukraine and Belarus to receive international assistance. Economists say the country needs around 10 billion euros for short-term debt servicing and to cover public spending.
Romania is one of the poorest members of the EU, joining the bloc in 2007 and receiving billions of euros in aid to bring it closer to richer western neighbors.
(Reporting by Marian Chiriac)