IMF mission chief to Romania to meet new PM

Associated Press

BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) — The International Monetary Fund says it will hold talks with Romania's new prime minister — weeks after his predecessor resigned following weeks of protests over IMF-imposed austerity measures.

Mihai Razvan Ungureanu — premier since Feb. 9 — has pledged to respect agreements with the IMF, the European Union and the World Bank which gave the country a bailout loan of euro20 billion ($26 billion) in 2009.

The IMF said Friday that its mission chief to Romania, Jeffrey Franks, will visit Feb. 21-22.

Thousands of Romanians took to the streets last month amid widespread anger over salary cuts and tax increases — imposed as conditions of the IMF loan.

The government needed the money to help pay salaries and pensions after its economy shrank more than 7 percent.

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