Misu Negritoiu: Romania should join euro zone in 2015

“Romania should join the euro zone in 2015,” said Misu Negritoiu, managing director of ING Bank Romania, on Friday, who attended the conference on Challenges and Opportunities in Bilateral Cooperation during the Current Economic Climate, which was organized in Bucharest by Norway’s Embassy.

In spite of all fears still existing in Romania of joining the euro zone, of the costs this joining might imply, Romania must and can join the euro-zone in 2015, said Misu Negritoiu, who added: “There are some people who think one should consider the implications of joining the euro zone. But one must think that the private sector already pays these costs even without our having a free flotation of the exchange rate. There are costs of competitiveness we are paying now too.

With a certain flexibility of the EU and with the corresponding efforts made by the Romanian authorities meant to bring the economic deficits under control we could join the euro zone. We might benefit by credibility, thanks to which, if you have it, you can get funds more easily, but also direct economic benefits if we think that people in the euro zone surmounted the effects of the crisis more easily.”

When asked what might happen if the IMF and the other international financiers did not release the tranches for Romania, Misu Negritoiu said: “I am sure that these funds will come. Maybe they will come a little later, but they are sure to come. The sooner the money comes, the sooner the Romanian economy will recover. Up to that time the Romanian Government will put pressure on the private sector [by taking loans from banks and reducing the liquidity on the market]. The Romanians are accustomed to the delay of the tranches.

I resigned from Romania’s Government in 1993 just during some negotiations with the IMF and when a tranche was delayed, but now we need the money from the IMF in order to see the light at the end of the tunnel we keep on talking about,” said Misu Negritoiu.
Misu Negritoiu also emphasized that one of the vulnerabilities of the Romanian economy is the very high current account deficit, which could not be regarded as sustainable at 14 percent, when economists see a problem in any current account deficit exceeding 5-6 percent.
According to the estimates made by ING Bank Romania, Romania’s GDP will grow by 0.9 percent in 2011, by 4.6 percent in 20120 and by 6 percent in 2013.

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