Serbia Receives $4 Billion Loan From the IMF
The International Monetary Fund reached a deal with Serbia on Thursday to provide a 27-month, 3 billion euro loan to help the country address its vulnerability to the financial crisis, The New York Times reported. The agreement for the loan of about $4 billion was announced at a news conference in Belgrade by Serbian government officials and Albert Jaeger, a fund representative. The deal, which still requires the approval of the monetary fund’s board in Washington, will force painful budget cuts on Serbia, the country’s finance minister, Diana Dragutinovic, told reporters. The economy minister, Mladjan Dinkic, said on Wednesday in an interview with the daily Vecernje Novosti that the measures would fall mostly on the public sector, which employs 550,000 workers, versus 1.6 million in private sector. The credit crisis dried up foreign investment, straining the government’s finances at a time of economic shock. The Belex15 stock market index has fallen 77 percent in 12 months, while government bonds have tumbled. The currency, the dinar, has fallen 20 percent against the euro since its peak in August. Read more.