IMF seeking solutions to release third loan tranche

Publish date: 03-11-2009
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The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is seeking solutions for the approval of the release of the third installment of the stand-by loan, Petru Dandea, vice president of Cartel Alfa trade union confederation, declared on Tuesday at the end of negotiations with the IMF mission.

'We discussed with IMF representatives our grievances over the uniform pay law and the pensions law. The problem is that there is just a narrow time span between December 6, when elections end, and December 10 - when the IMF wants a series of laws to have been adopted,' said Dandea.

According to the cited source, the three laws in the IMF conditionalities will allow a better control of the budget execution.

The trade unions' claims include moving the retirement age to 63 years, for both men and women.

'Since the average living age for men is 64 years, fixing the retirement age at 65 is absurd,' added Ion Popescu, president of the Meridian Federation.

Trade union representatives also stressed that the European Commission delegation voiced discontent over the insufficient social dialogue that preceded the adoption of the Salary Law and of the Pensions Law. Although no relevant decision was reached so far, trade union representatives said that any social measure needs to be harmonized with a system of conditionalities, so as not to cause disruptions. Thus, a lower retirement age could result in lower pension earnings. According to union leaders, the IMF did not comment on the proposed minimum wage level set at 705 lei.

Meridian Federation president Ion Popescu also said that if the third tranche of the IMF loan is not unlocked, Romania's economic growth Romania will be zero. The IMF mission anticipates a 0.5 percent economic growth for Romania.

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