November 6, 1998
Prime Minister Siimann met today at Toompea with the International MonetaryFund (IMF) mission, headed by John Odling-Smee, director of the IMF`s EuropeanSecond Division. Siimann and Odling-Smee considered relations between Estoniaand IMF to be good and they discussed the changes of the recent monthsin the world economic situation.
Odling-Smee said that Estonia's economic policies have been generallyvery good and in accordance with developmental trends in the economy. Headded that Estonia should continue with conservative fiscal and economicpolicies.
When speaking of the world economic situation, Odling-Smee mentionedthat in recent months the IMF has several times lowered world economicgrowth prognoses. "Our view changes according to the changes in the world,"he added.
Odling-Smee said that IMF sees in several areas reduced economic growthas well as lower inflation. Siimann stated that Estonia will continue withconservative economic policies and is ready to work with IMF in the future.
Siimann and Odling-Smee also discussed the institutionalization of thestabilization fund and the Prime Minister stated that the government willdiscuss the subject in the next few weeks. The head of the mission andthe Prime Minister discussed the possibilities for agreement on a renewedeconomic policies program between Estonia and IMF. The current programends in March, 1999.
The Prime Minister and IMF mission also discussed direct aid to farmers,pensions, the national budget and the forthcoming elections.