admin1 – September 1, 2006 – 9:06am

Macedonia expects bigger financial support from the World Bank, with which it will implement reforms in the most important spheres over the next four years.

Agriculture is one of the key sectors mentioned in the agenda for reforms in the coming period. This is a priority that both sides will concentrate on, seeing as the date for the opening of the European preaccession funds is nearing and the agriculture sector expects to receive a significant portion of these funds. The financial support for Macedonia's agriculture will depend on whether and to what extent the state fulfills its obligations in this sphere. An agreement was already reached on this at yesterday's meeting between Orsalia Kalantzopoulos, World Bank regional director for Europe, and Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski and Zoran Stavrevski, deputy prime minister for economic issues.

The initiated reforms that are falling behind schedule will also have to be completed. The Government assumed the obligation of fully implementing the reforms in "Makedonski Zeleznici" over the next two months and of improving the business climate in the country.

Kalantzopoulos is convinced that Macedonia is getting closer to the EU. She did not express opposition officially yesterday to the cutting of the VAT for agriculture, but she stressed that the fiscal discipline must continue. "We are convinced that the efforts in the fiscal and monetary domain will continue, because this is a chief condition for growth of the economy", the regional director said.