Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Macedonia, Italy to wrap up old debt repayment

Macedonia and Italy have entered the final stage of the process of repayment of Macedonia's debt stemming from the Former Yugoslavia-era.

Both countries initialed Monday an agreement on repayment of Macedonia's debt amounting roughly 19 million euros with interest rates included.

Italian Ambassador Donatino Marcon and Macedonian State Secretary at Finance Ministry Snezhana Kostadinovska initialed the agreement at the ministry's premises.

This document is important given the fact that once it enters into effect it will enable a new credit line for small and medium-sized enterprises for procurement of goods from Italy, amounting 10-12 million euros, Makfax news agency says.

The signing of the Agreement will be wrapped up this summer. The document will be subject to ratification by parliaments in both countries. The entire process is to be completed by the end of the year.

Macedonia's old debt has been succeeded from financial operations carried out in the old Yugoslav federation. The commercial part of the debts totals 15.6 million euros plus interest amounting 6.1 million euros. The debt arising from unpaid loan, for which Macedonia was a guarantor, totals $1.8 million plus $1.6 million interest. The second loan is linked to supply of machines to Bitola-based company Rade Konchar.

Macedonia and Italy opened the debt repayment process in 1998. In January 1998, both countries reached an initial agreement referring to part of former Yugoslavia's debt to Italy, on the basis of allocation of responsibility for the external debt of the Former Yugoslavia.

On 14 December 2001, the courtiers reached a bilateral agreement on debt restructuring in line with provisions set by Paris Club of official creditors.

Macedonia is regularly servicing its obligations set out in the bilateral agreement on debt restructuring.

In 2005 and 2006, both countries launched talks to settle certain amount of the debt that was not included in the negotiations and the Agreement signed in 1998.

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