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Macedonian government turns down IMF

Staff Writer |
The government of Macedonia will continue cooperation with International Monetary Fund (IMF) but it has decided to refuse the latest recommendations by the financial institution.

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The Macedonian finance ministry explained Wednesday it was not going to increase the retirement age nor would it increase taxes on fuel and property as the IMF had recommended.

Currently, the retirement age in Macedonia is 64 for men and 62 for women, with a minimum 15 years of pension service. However, according to the IMF, the pension system here needs to be reformed.

"Untargeted subsidies should be reduced and large and widening pension deficits should be reined in through raising the statutory retirement age to the EU average, tightening options for early retirement, indexing pension to CPI inflation only, and refraining from ad-hoc increases," the IMF said in a statement.

Finance minister Dragan Tevdoski told reporters after meeting IMF representatives late Tuesday that the government led by the Social Democratic Union of Macedonia (SDSM) would stick to its governing program.

According to the finance ministry, Macedonia will deepen cooperation with IMF, mainly on technical assistance missions, but it will not enter any new arrangement with the international financial organization.

On the other hand, the Macedonian government agreed to work more in terms of increasing public spending efficiency.

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