BELGRADE, Serbia (AP) -- The International Monetary Fund has opened talks with Serbia that could potentially lead to a new loan deal for the Balkan country.
The talks which started Tuesday will focus on pledges by Serbia's new government to slash public spending in a 2013 draft budget.
Serbia's deficit in 2012 has soared to around 7 percent of gross domestic product. The draft budget projects the deficit falling to 3.6 percent.
The IMF froze a €1 billion ($1.27 billion) standby loan with Serbia in January over the country's rising public spending.
The government says it needs a new deal with the IMF as a guarantee to foreign investors that Serbia's economy is on the right track.