Tirana, 12 April 2016/Independent Balkan News Agency
By Edison Kurani
The World Bank points out the five threats which according to this institution endanger the process of Albania’s economic recovery. The latest report of the World Bank reflects the expectations for the period 2016-2017 for all the countries of the region, including Albania.
Domestic factors that can threaten a sustainable development in Albania are two, according to the World Bank: Next year’s parliamentary elections and a possible slowdown of structural and tax reforms.
Under such circumstances, the World Bank demands to the Albanian government to speed up the reforms that it has started.
Fair judgments by the judicial system and the efficient and quality public services are necessary according to the World Bank.
However, the World Bank says that most of the risks relate to foreign markets. Many questions have been raised in relation to the fluctuation of financial markets, low commodity prices and low economic growth of exporting countries.
According to the World Bank, the increase of productivity must be an objective for the Albanian economy.
It suggests a better and a more sustainable use of energy and natural resources.
Heads of the World Bank also identify the fact that Albania has the highest public debt in the region, adding that economic growth has not been sufficiently reflected among the population. World Bank experts say that Albania is last in its dynamic to reduce poverty compared to other Southeastern European countries.
The two leaders of Albanian politics, Prime Minister Edi Rama and the opposition leader, Lulzim Basha see the report of the World Bank differently.
Mr. Rama stresses the positive points of the report. “Albanian economy continued to recover during 2015, supported by strong private investments. It grew by 3% in the third quarter, maintaining a positive trend, while it is estimated to have reached a 2,6 percent growth for the whole year”, Mr. Rama quotes parts of the report.
“Economic growth came as a result of the recovery of private investments, while the creation of gross capital grew by 12,6% during the third quarter”.
Mr. Rama also points out the fact that the import of machinery and equipment grew by 13,6% in the last quarter of 2015 and according to him, this is a strong growth of investments.
Rama also stops on household consumption, which, he says, also saw a growth of 1,9% in the third quarter. “Growth of consumer loans, trade, consumer confidence and VAT receipts strengthened the positive trend of consumption during the last quarter. Net growth of exports also had a positive contribution in the growth of Albanian economy”, Mr. Rama points out quoting parts of the report.
In contrast to Rama, Mr. Basha says that only Borat (a known character of a comedy movie) could have the courage to speak of success in the Albanian economy.
Mr. Basha has several other figures to comment: “The global leader [Edi Rama-editor’s note] considers the fact that according to the World Bank, 46,2% of Albanian households live on 5 USD a day, a success. That consumption fell by 2,3% in 2015 and also purchasing power of Albanians. That unemployment grew in the last quarter. That in 2015, exports fell by 4,9% and imports fell by 1,4%. That crediting in December 2015 fell by 2,3%. That the government didn’t collect but stole 400 million USD worth of taxes and duty stamp in 2015. That it increased public debt to 72,2% for palm trees, building façades and Jaguars”.
For Mr Basha, this is a crisis of the Albanian economy and of every household in the country. “But Borat lives in his personal successes, which consist of hundreds of millions of Euros for himself in villas and luxury in tax heavens”, Basha says.
The democrat leader says that there’s no improvement, but only deterioration with this government. Meanwhile, he suggests: “The DP program which offers low taxes, economic freedom and fight against crime and government corruption will help us fight the crisis and build a strong economy that produces, employs and enriches Albanians”. /balkaneu.com/