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IMF Warns of Romania Fiscal Gap, Heads to Ukraine June 24, 7 Qs UNanswered

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, June 19 -- What is the International Monetary Fund's response to Romania's plan to cut required social contributions by employers by five percent later this year? Inner City Press asked this and seven other questions on June 19, and got this response from IMF spokesperson Gerry Rice:

“We share the objective of reducing the high tax burden on labor in an effort to stimulate jobs, however the announced cut of the social security rate by five percentage points creates a fiscal gap and will make it difficult to reach the fiscal target in 2015. Offsetting measure need to be identified.”

  The answer is appreciated -- Inner City Press covers Romania and the IMF, for example here -- but this similar question on June 19 by Inner City Press on Slovakia has yet to be answered, by the embargo time:

On Slovakia, what is IMF's response to Finance Minister Peter Kazimir insisting the government will base its decision-making on Slovak legislation stating that the VAT rate should be reduced automatically when the public-finance deficit falls below three percent of GDP?

  Six other questions remain unanswered, including the now-perennial, does the IMF include Western Sahara in its data for Morocco:

On Morocco, can you confirm what central bank governor Abdellatif Jouahri has said, that a new two-year line of credit is being finalized and will “be less than $6.2 billion granted by the fund in 2012-2014”? And again, is Western Sahara included in the IMF's Morocco data? (As submitted)

In Yemen, in light of attacks on power plants and pipelines, what is the status of the IMF's $550 program and its conditions? Is there a concern the cuts to subsidies could lead to further unrest?

In Myanmar, does IMF believe the country is ready for the opening of foreign financial institution, while governance of the Central Bank of Myanmar continue to fall under Myanmar's outgoing central banking law, dating to 1990?

In Ukraine, does IMF have any comment on US giving $10 million to Kyiv for anti-corruption programs? Does the IMF have any view of or comment on President Poroshenko asking Parliament to replace central bank chairman Stepan Kubiv with investment banker Valeria Gontareva, who has no government or regulatory experience? In terms of central bank independence, and in light of the IMF's program with Ukraine?

  This last was partially answered; and the next IMF mission to Ukraine started June 24 in Kyiv and goes for two weeks. Watch this site.


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