Frequent elections are damaging the business climate

Frequent elections are damaging the business climate

Skopje, March 19, 2014/Independent Balkan News Agency

Political parties want frequent elections in order to measure the confidence that they enjoy among the population or to extend their power. Meanwhile, the opposition sees this as an opportunity to win power, but experts on economic issues and independent institutions that represent businesses are against frequent elections.

Experts on economic issues say that early parliamentary elections are a bad experience, because they damage businesses, the economy of the country and state budget.

Zoran Vitanov, expert on economic issues says that frequent elections damage the budget. According to him, this is because the government spends money, especially in the pre electoral period and this causes a big budget vacuum, that the citizens and economy of the country will suffer.

“It’s not a good thing to have frequent elections. One of the reasons for this is that big expenses and big abuses are made in order to win the elections. This then causes poverty. Instead of spending budget money in a productive way, they are spent for the elections and need of the politics. The country cannot afford such thing. This is why poverty constantly increases”, says Vitanov.

The executive director of the Economic Chamber of Northwestern Macedonia, Arben Halili says that businesses are always the one to suffer during the frequent electoral processes, due to a status quo. Speaking for IBNA Balkan news agency, Halili says that frequent elections are also a bad signal for foreign investors.

“Businesses are being damaged, because parties are not able to meet their promises and carry out their projects. This happens because in our country, we have frequent elections, almost every year, both local and parliamentary. This situation of political instability is also reflected on the business climate”, says Halili.

The opposition has accused the government of spending millions of Euros for the elections.

“In the pre election period, the government spends a lot of money, thus causing a big budget deficit. This is unveiled by the financial pre electoral report issued by the Ministry of Finances. Only 45 days into this year and Gruevski’s government has spent 400 million Euros”, says the representative for economic affairs of LSDM (Macedonian Social Democratic League), Vanco Uzunov.

According to him, this means that 13 million Euros have been spent for every working day of this year, in the pre election period.

According to Uzunov, the biggest expenses consist on the subsidies, social transfers and social allowance and sickness and unemployment allowances. In 45 days, Nikola Gruevski’s government has spent 182 million Euros for these purposes.

The government says that economic development in the country is within the borders of normality. It declares that there will be no problems which would damage the trend of positive development.

The spokesman of the government, Muhamet Hoxha says that the funds are projected based on the budget and this is not a case of expenses on the electoral campaign.

“Opposition declarations are groundless, because all funds are part of the government projects which are included in the budget”, says Hoxha.

Governor of the Macedonian Popular Bank, Dimitar Bogov says that the electoral process will not cause big turbulences in the economic aspect. “There will be no turbulences in this electoral cycle. Economic trends are positive, as we have economic growth, improvement of lending and an increase of bank deposits”, said Bogov. /ibna/