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Romania: IMF Director To Meet New Leaders

By Ion Bogdan Lefter and Robert Lyle

Washington, 19 December 1996 (RFE/RL) - The head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Managing Director Michel Camdessus, will visit Romania tomorrow and Saturday for get-acquainted meetings with the country's new leaders and to assess Bucharest's economic situation.

An unnamed IMF spokeswoman says the managing director wants to learn about the new government's policies and objectives as well as to discuss Romania's short-term and medium-term financial needs in a broad sense. The spokeswoman emphasized that Camdessus will conduct no detailed negotiations.

Negotiations will be begin in January when a team of IMF experts will visit Romania to begin discussions on a possible new lending program.

The fund suspended a $449 million stand-by loan early this year after Romania's reform program went "off track." Romania had drawn about $132 million of the credit before it was stopped over a number of serious economic difficulties.

Romanian President Emil Constantinescu, whom Camdessus will meet tomorrow, has said the financial legacy of the previous government was "very serious." His office says tomorrow's talks with the IMF chief will symbolically show the commitment of his administration to the pace of reform.

Besides Constantinescu, Camdessus is scheduled to hold talks with Prime Minister Victor Ciorbea, Senate President Petre Roman, House of Deputies President Ion Diaconescue and representatives of opposition parties.