IMF CHANGES THE GUARD IN BULGARIA FOR THE SIXTH TIME
After two years dedicated to working with Bulgaria, the time came for Mr. Jerald Schiff to present his successor. This is Hans Flickenschild who will head the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Mission for Bulgaria in the beginning of 2004. The 60-years-old German is known for his conservative economic views, so he is expected to keep following IMF's policy for tight budget restrictions. This policy stipulates a very low (about 0.5%) or zero budget deficit, no tax privileges, as well as restriction of extraordinary expenditure, which the Government intends to finance with sources from the fiscal reserve.Mr. Flickenschild's whole career has passed in the IMF. After graduating from the German Economic University in Kil in 1968, he started working as an instructor in the IMF economic department.In the next 24 years, Mr. Flickenschild gradually climbed up the administrative hierarchy by working at all levels in the Fund's divisions for currency restrictions and financial systems supervision. In 1992, he headed the economic policies supervision. During the next 11 years - until October 2003, Mr. Flickenschild supervised the implementation of the economic policies negotiated by the IMF First European Department and the countries subordinate to this structure of the Fund. Now Mr. Flickenschild will have to apply all of his experience in order to bring to a successful end the coming negotiations for a precautionary agreement between Bulgaria and the IMF. His only advantage is the fact that his predecessor, Mr. Jerald Schiff, is leaving him quite a good heritage.