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IMF optimistic about deal with Romania

BUCHAREST, Oct 30 – The International Monetary Fund is optimistic about an agreement with Romania on disbursing a new tranche of a crucial lifeline, an IMF official said Saturday in Bucharest.

"We have had some very intensive and tough discussions here," IMF head of mission to Bucharest, Jeffrey Franks, said during a meeting with Romanian President Traian Basescu.

But the IMF thinks that "we are going to reach an agreement," Franks said, adding: "There were challenges in the last months in Romania but steps have been taken."

An IMF team started talks with Romanian authorities on October 20 to evaluate the impact of an austerity package enacted by Bucharest to reduce public overspending.

Last year, the IMF, the European Union and the World Bank agreed to lend the recession-hit country 20 billion dollars in exchange for reforms to help get it through the global economic crisis.

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