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Albania: IMF Paving The Way For Emergency Aid

Washington, 3 September 1997 (RFE/RL) - Officials of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and Albania are working out final details of a draft agreement to pave the way for emergency economic assistance.

Sources at IMF headquarters in Washington say the IMF team, which went to Tirana last week, is making "substantial progress" and is looking toward an agreement at "an early stage." The team is due to leave the Albanian capital at the end of the week.

The IMF is looking at providing about $13 million in quick help under the fund's post-conflict emergency assistance program. Albania would be expected to implement a number of economic reform measures as part of an initial recovery program, including raising the VAT tax, closing the remaining pyramid investment companies and improve customs and other tax collections.

The sources say an international donors conference later this year is also envisioned.