Reforms of the left wing in Albania

Reforms of the left wing in Albania

Reform of the territory, pensions, economy accompanied by austere measures against informality and against electricity theft, judicial reform and educational reform, have been some of the main reforms that the left wing has managed to implement up until now after three and a half years in power

The first word to be used was “Renaissance”. Then it was the word “Reforms” and reforms were so much trumpeted by the Albanian left wing not only during the 2013 election campaign, but also after it won the general elections and took office that year. But what has been the journey of these reforms implemented during a period of three and a half years that the left wing has been in power? This journey started with the reforms in the domain of decentralization and local government, namely the administrative-territorial reform. Launched as a very important reform, which was part of the 2013-2017 program of the Alliance for European Albania coalition, this reform was the first among other reforms that would follow it. In practice, this reform was followed by a drastic change of restructuring local government units all around the country, by reducing 284 communes and municipalities to 100 municipalities and six regions, with the argument that this would save 25 million USD a year.

Then, the left was focused on another reform with concrete effects on the Albanian population, the reform on pensions. Implemented since the very first year of the left wing government in office, this reform created a new database on the way pensions of Albanian people have been calculated since 2014, determining at the same time new age and financial thresholds for benefiting pensions. On the other hand, economic reform was at the center of the first governing phase of the left wing, given that it was one of the main arguments that it provided to overthrow the previous government. This was projected in several concrete actions such as the one against informality which for the population and businesses meant the obligation to use cash tills; or the action against the theft of power supply, which meant collecting unpaid debts that consumers had accumulated throughout the years for not paying their power supply bills.

This reform was accompanied with extreme measures, such as jail for some debtors. For a while, the word “jail” turned into a key word during government speeches. The next reform was the one in higher education at the end of the first year of the government in office in 2014. This reform caused many debates and reactions about the fact that it led to the closure of many private universities, but at the same time, it also defined new rules on A-levels. “Education is no longer a good that can be bought. There will be equal opportunities, open competition and merit”, was the comment made by the Prime

RENNAISANCE

It was the first word. Then it was the word “Reforms” and reforms were so much trumpeted by the Albanian left wing not only during the 2013 election campaign, but also after it won the general elections and took office that year.