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Romania: Loan Signed With European Banks For $175 Million

Prague, 17 October 1996 (RFE/RL) -- The governor of the Romanian National Bank, Mugur Isarescu, yesterday signed an agreement with a group of Western and Central European banks for $175 million in loans for his country.

The deal was signed in London. Romania is to pay back the loan over three years.

The loan is the last one approved by the current Romanian Parliament. The country will hold general and presidential elections on November 3. So far, more than $1.4 billion in foreign aid and loans have been provided to Romania this year.

Several minutes after the signing ceremony, Isarescu told RFE/RL in an interview that the action in London is designed to help pay Romania's foreign debt of $7 billion and rebuild the country's hard currency reserves. Those are currently estimated at more than $3 billion in cash and gold.

Isarescu said the move should help build up foreign trust in Romania and make the country more attractive to investors.