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Jeffrey Franks joins IMF team to discuss Romania's 2010 budget draft

Jeffrey Franks, the head of the International Monetary Fund's review mission, arrived Monday in Bucharest to take part Tuesday at technical discussions on Romania's 2010 budget draft, according to Tonny Lybek, IMF Regional Resident Representative for Romania and Bulgaria. An International Monetary Fund delegation arrived Monday in Bucharest for a three-day technical mission to discuss the draft budget for 2010 together with Finance Ministry representatives, and to prepare the second review of the stand-by agreement, after the new government is formed. "The review mission could return in January, once a new Cabinet has been formed and has elaborated its program," Lybek said earlier Monday. The IMF official said last week that the Fund did not set a date for a new mission to Bucharest but its representatives would arrive as soon as the local authorities are ready. In spring, Romania agreed with the IMF on a EUR13 billion stand-by loan, part of a EUR20 billion package that includes funds from the European Commission and other international lenders. In November, the IMF concluded its assessment mission earlier than scheduled, saying it would return to Romania after the country's political situation is resolved.