PRESS CONFERENCE AT THE IMF OFFICE
The IMF Resident Representative for Moldova Hassan Al-Atrash believes that in order to resume crediting from the IMF, Moldova is to fulfill four main conditions. He called them for journalists at a press conference on Tuesday. First of all, it is necessary to annul the state debt undertook by the government as a result of signing the Moldovan-Russian agreement on natural gas supplies. Second of all, to pass the Civil Code oriented at the market that was passed by the Parliament in the first reading in October 1999. Third, to reach the progress in the negotiations with the World Bank as regards allotment of the SAC-III to Moldova. Forth, to fulfill the terms of the supplement to the Memorandum signed by the government in summer 2001. These terms, in particular, determine that the country's budget has to be balanced and if the new administrative-territorial reform, for instance, needs some additional expenses it is necessary to determine their source - whether they will be effected by increase of budget returns or by reduction of other expenditure. The terms of the supplement to the Memorandum also say that the government is to take some concrete steps as to the privatization of the "Moldtelecom", not necessarily to privatize but to reach a certain progress in the filed, emphasized Al-Atras. Presumably from February 25 through March 8 the IMF Mission will be working in Chisinau that is to determine wether the Moldovan government fulfills these conditions and if the negotiations' results are positive the issue of resumption of Moldova's financing may be considered at the sitting of the Board of Directors presumably scheduled from April 2002. According to Al-Atrash, one of the mission's objectives will also be the analyses of macroeconomic indicators of Moldova's development in 2001.
Hassan Al-Atrash has refuted the information that the IMF doesn't give funds to Communist governments. According to him, the IMF doesn't care about the concrete personalities and political aspect, what is important is that the government carries out the certain economic policy that may be supported by the IMF, Al-Atrash said. He noted that without resumption of the financing from the IMF, it will be practically impossible for Moldova to discuss the restructuring of external debts with the Paris Creditors Club. The total external debt to be paid by Moldova in 2002 is estimated by the IMF at $200 million, $25 million of which by the NBM and the rest by the government. In case Moldova's foreign financing lacks in 2002, there are three other sources of covering the budget deficit, in Al-Atras' opinion: at the expense of the privatization, new concession credits, for instance, from the World Bank, at expense of the National Bank of Moldova. In the last case, the unfavorable pressure at the financial sector will be stronger and the important macroeconomic indicators - inflation and stability of the national currency - will be shaken. As for repayment of eurobonds by the republic in summer 2002 at 75 million, Hassan Al-Atrash said there had been no cases when some country failed to meet these obligations but there had been precedents when their repayment was restructured for some time.
The IMF Resident Representative for Moldova Hassan Al-Atrash told the lessons he learned during his work in the country. According to him, in order to sustain growth, Moldova needs to reform the energy sector that is the least transparent sector- it is responsible for a geometric increase in debts and it's the major source of corruption. The second lesson the sustained growth requires is to reform the public sector. The very low salaries in the public sector make it very difficult to attract good specialists, so it fills corruption and collusion with mafia. The third lesson is that in order to develop, it is necessary to change the attitude towards the reforms, local authorities have to understand that they really need reforms. Hassan Al-Atrash's mission will be completed in February 2002.
CONFERINTA DE PRESA LA OFICIUL FMI
Reprezentantul permanent al Fondului Monetar International in Moldova, Hassan Al-Atrash, considera ca pentru a reinnoi creditarea din partea FMI Moldova urmeaza sa indeplineasca patru conditii principale.
Ele au fost numite ziaristilor la conferinta de presa de marti. In primul rind, trebuie anulata datoria statului, pe care si-a asumat-o guvernul in urma semnarii acordului moldo-rus privind livrarea de gaze naturale. In al doilea rind, a adopta Codul Civil, orientat spre piata, care in prima lectura a fost adoptat de parlament in octombrie 1999. In al treilea rind, a obtine un progres in negocierile cu Banca Mondiala privind acordarea Moldovei a SAC-III. In al patrulea rind, a indeplini conditiile anexelor la Memorandumul semnat de guvern in vara anului 2001.
Aceste conditii prevad, in special, ca bugetul tarii urmeaza a fi echilibrat si daca, de exemplu, noua reforma administrativ-teritoriala cere cheltuieli suplimentare, este necesar de a determina sursa acestor cheltuieli - ele vor fi efectuate din contul majorarii incasarilor la buget sau a reducerii altor cheltuieli.
De asemenea in conditiile anexelor la Memorandum se spune, ca guvernul trebuie sa intreprinda pasi concreti in vederea privatizarii "Moldtelecom"-ului, nu neaparat sa privatizeze, ci sa obtina un anumit progres in aceasta directie, - a subliniat Al-Atrash. Aproximativ in perioada 29 februarie – 8 martie la Chisinau va activa misiunea FMI, care urmeaza sa determine realizarea de catre guvernul Moldovei a acestor conditii, si in cazul cind rezultatele negocierilor vor fi pozitive, la sedinta Consiliului directorilor, fixata aproximativ pentru luna aprilie 2002, poate fi examinata problema reinnoirii finantarii