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Albania: IMF Agrees In Principle On Loan Program

Washington, 4 September 1997 (RFE/RL) - A spokesman for the International Monetary Fund (IMF) says agreement in principle has been reached with Albania on an economic reform program that could be supported by an IMF post-conflict emergency assistance loan.

In a statement from the IMF resident representitive's office in Tirana, the spokesman said the program includes "strong initial measures" to contain the budget deficit -- especially by raising the VAT tax rate -- shutting down the remaining pyramid schemes and reforming the country's banking sector.

The loan, for around $13 million, will be considered by the IMF board in late October.

If all goes well in implementing the emergency reform program, the statement says, the IMF would be willing to consider a three year reform program under it's enhanced structural adjustment facility for poorer countries in transition to market economies.