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IMF Halts Loan To Kosovo, Citing Absence Of Government

IMF representative in Kosovo Ruud Vermeulen
IMF representative in Kosovo Ruud Vermeulen

The International Monetary Fund says it will terminate a loan deal with Kosovo before its scheduled expiration date because the Balkan country does not have a government in place.

Ruud Vermeulen, the IMF resident representative in Kosovo, said on July 28 that "the expiration of the program means that the final disbursement of about 15 million euros ($17.6 million) will not take place."

Kosovo in July 2015 agreed to a 184 million euro ($216 million), two-year funding deal with the IMF, with a final review to take place in June and an expiration date of August 4.

Kosovo has so far received 169 million euros ($198 million) in three tranches.

The June review was postponed because of snap elections that month that led to no party or coalition gaining enough support to rule.

President Hashim Thaci has not yet given a mandate to Ramush Haradinaj, an opposition leader whose coalition won the most votes in the election, to form a new government.

Negotiations between political parties to secure a coalition are ongoing.

Kosovo's new parliament will convene for the first time on August 3, but it remains uncertain when a new government will be appointed.

Vermeulen told Reuters that with the August 4 expiration date there would be no time for a final review of the loan.

Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008, but Belgrade has not recognized it as a separate country. The United States and most of Europe are among the more than 110 countries that recognize its independence.

Based on reporting by Reuters, BalkanInsight, and RFE/RL’s Balkan Service

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