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Serbia will probably start talks on a precautionary loan deal with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in May, Mladjan Dinkic, finance minister in the Socialist-nationalist government, said on Thursday, newswires reported.
The IMF froze previous talks with Belgrade over a potential loan last year because of spending overruns and has since been at odds with the current government over central bank independence. Serbia previously had a $3 billion loan from the IMF which expired in mid-2011. It used only half of it.
However, concessionary moves on policy have opened the way for talks on a new loan. In November the IMF warned Serbia its 2013 budget was overly ambitious. However, it praised the central bank's tight monetary policies, which have led to a strengthening of the dinar.
Such a loan is seen as crucial to help support Serbia's struggling economy. Serbia's economy shrank about 1.9% last year and the government ran a budget deficit of 6.2% of gross domestic product with public debt at about 61% of GDP.
"Since we are not asking for their (IMF) money, neither for budget nor for foreign currency reserves, there's no need to rush," he said. He did not say how big the loan would be.
Related News in English
Povezane vesti na srpskom
Συναφείς Ειδήσεις στα Ελληνικά