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In order to have lower interests, Romania must sort out the deficit issue, Finance Minister Florin Citu said on Thursday; he also stated that this year the budget deficit stays at 3.6 percent of GDP and will fall below the 3 percent threshold in 2022.

"Mr. central bank governor Mugur Isarescu is largely right: in Romania, the issue is not directly the interests, but the deficits. The budget deficit is an issue, but in 2020 we have shown that we want to mitigate this problem of the economy and I assure Mr. governor that we are on a sustainable way to reducing the budget deficit. We will return below the 3 percent threshold in 2022, as we promised. The interests are closely linked to the evolution of the deficit. We all want lower interests, but for this to happen we must have a smaller deficit. We have already seen that the inflation estimates point to a year-end rate below the initial projection. The deficit remains at 3.6 percent, maybe even better this year. Therefore, if the National Bank has any plans to reduce the interest rates, they can do this as early as possible, because we will steadfastly pursue the reduction of the deficit this year. We must sort out the deficit issue if we want to have lower interest rates in the future. The fiscal policy will no longer be a problem for macroeconomic stability in the next period, neither in terms of predictability nor of transparency, and the deficits will no longer be a problem in the next period," Citu said.

He also mentioned that 50 billion lei are earmarked for investments in the 2020 budget, and that half of the amount will be linked to European funding.

Referring to Romania's relationship with the European Investment Bank (EIB), Citu said that the financing provided by the lender for the public sector is beneficial.

The National Bank of Romania and the European Investment Bank are organizing on Thursday the press briefing "Investment and Investment Finance in Romania", where EIB Vice-President Andrew McDowell and Finance Minister Florin Citu, provide information regarding the operations of the EIB Group in Romania in 2019, as well as the prospects of cooperation with partners in the country. AGERPRES (RO - author: Daniel Badea, editor: Andreea Marinescu; EN - author: Simona Klodnischi, editor: Simona Iacob)

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