Up to 550 billion lek… This is the highest amount that the government has planned to spend from the state budget in the next three years. And this is the amount concerning 2020, which is part of the medium-term budget program revised by the government for the period 2018-2020. But how will all this money coming out of the “pot” called “state budget” be spent? This program provides for everything, from social allowances for thousands of households to the millions needed each year to feed police dogs. Let us start with the billions needed to compensate former political dissidents. According to the document mentioned above, there are 5400 former political dissidents who this year will receive 2 billion euros worth of compensation, while in the next two years, their number will be 5550 and 5500 respectively. On the other hand, the state budget will pay 36 million lek a year for their activities. But, almost twice as much will be the amount that households will receive in social allowance, namely 4.8, 4.7 and 4.9 billion lek in 2018, 2019 and 2020. In 2020, the total number of households that will benefit this allowance will be 79883. But, let us not forget 171.052 disabled people, on which the state budget will spend 15.7, 15.8 and 16.6 billion lek in the next three tears. 9 million lek a year will be allocated other categories of the population such as youth or even LGBT community. On the other hand, a significant part of the state’s budget will also be spent for the reimbursement of medicines. From 600 drugs which are reimbursed today, the list in 2020 will include 650 drugs, with a cost of 9.4 billion lek. Meanwhile, remaining in the area of healthcare, 9.6 billion lek will be spent in 2020 for medical examinations, not to forget the check-up service for 480 thousand people nationwide, with a cost of 877 million lek a year, or even patients who are treated in hospital. From 290 thousand this year, in 2020 they will amount to 310 thousand with a cost of 18 billion lek for the Albanian state budget.
Millions of lek to improve museums and archeological parks
The restoration and the maintenance of historical centers, monuments and archeological parks, will cost hundreds of millions of lek for the state budget in the next three years. There are 150 such facilities which will take up 200 million lek in 2018, 2019 and 2020. Investments for projects concerning theaters will amount to 442 million lek in 2020. Culture is expected to see a rise of 6% a year in terms of its activities, with a cost which may go up to 608 million lek.
How much will we pay to lobby on EU integration?
The launch of negotiations with the European Union is a process which will have its own financial costs for Albania. These even include the costs of the visits that our officials hold in Brussels looking to finalize this process as soon as possible. This is also confirmed by the ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs in the funds that it has planned to spend in the next three years. So, the medium-term 2018-2020 budget program includes 15 visits and diplomatic meetings for each year, with a cost of 43 million lekfor each year. “Lobbying for negotiations and obtaining the approval of the European Union Council for the opening of negotiations” is the special item appearing in this financial document, accompanied by another item of this sector, such as “contribution for negotiations”, where for each year, 2018, 2019 and 2020, there will be 12 visits and meetings with a cost of around 4 million lek for each of them. This shows that the government is showing extra attention for this process, perhaps by even “sacrificing” a significant part of the budget allocated for diplomacy. In total, in the three years to come, officials of the ministry of Foreign Affairs are expected to hold 85, 90 and 88 visits, meetings or official receptions with an annual cost which goes up to 14 million lek. Let us not forget the other millions that the ministry of Foreign Affairs needs to spend for 30 visits and other diplomatic meetings as part of regional incentives. So, 3.5 million lek a year will be spent as part of the NATO visits; 16 million others will be spent as part of the UN’s visits and 10 million lek will be spent for 18 official visits as part of Albania’s full membership in the UNESCO.