Romania, European Investment Bank to Discuss Ford, Renault Loans

Ford requested funds to upgrade plant and Renault asked for loan to build a testing center

Romanian President Traian Basescu said he would meet the head of the European Investment Bank on March 19 to discuss loan requests from auto giants Ford and Renault and aid for the banking sector. "One of the subjects will be EIB credit for Ford and Renault, which requires government guarantees covering 80% of the value of the loan," he said before heading to an EU summit in Brussels, the president said.

Basescu said he would meet EIB chief Philippe Maystadt in Luxembourg before the start of the two-day summit of EU leaders, which is aimed at forging a common front in efforts to resolve the global economic crisis.

Ford and Renault asked for aid from the Romanian government in December.

Ford requested state guarantees on a 400-million-euro (US$546 million) loan to upgrade its plant in Craiova in southern Romania.

Renault asked for guarantees on a 100-million-euro loan to build a testing center in Titu also in southern Romania.

Basescu said talks with the EIB chief would also touch on the "acceleration of financing for infrastructure projects" in Romania and "the Romanian banking sector for which we are seeking financing."

Romania is seeking a loan of up to 20 billion euros from the International Monetary Fund and the EU as a safety belt to cope with the strains from the economic crisis in this former Soviet bloc country.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2009

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