Albin Kurti has completed 100 days at the helm of the Government of Kosovo. For these three months of work, he has decided to speak for himself, to show what he has done and what he will do in the coming days. He promised Kosovo’s economic recovery. According to Kurti, economic growth for 2021 will be 7.9%, while the state budget is 2.5 billion euros.
From Prishtina, Fatos Shala
The Government of Kosovo, led by Albin Kurti, has made 100 days. From the day he took office until now, the government has faced the pandemic and vaccination of citizens. Albin Kurti has dedicated the first words to the situation, in the work balance for three months of government.
At this point, the head of government has not even hesitated to praise himself. “The situation with the pandemic has been brought under control and the situation has significantly improved. In March to June, we have a reduction of 99% of new cases, 97% reduction of active cases and 86% reduction of hospitalized cases. This is a success that we should all rejoice in, because today we feel safer to meet each other, to enjoy walks and fresh air, with less fear and more confidence in our institutions to do the work of proper ”.
The Prime Minister stressed that the pandemic is not over yet and that the risk of the virus remains present. He called on us to be careful and follow the instructions of health institutions.
Over 60% of the population will be vaccinated
The Minister of Health, Arben Vitia, also spoke about the pandemic and the vaccine, saying that with the provided doses of vaccines against Covid-19, they will manage to immunize over 60% of the population in Kosovo.
Vitia also spoke about the supply of essential medicines, for which he said that by the end of the year, the level of supply of these medicines will be over 90%. Vitia said that since taking office, the main priority has been to provide vaccines against Covid-19.
“We started the government without any vaccine in our stocks, on March 28 the first doses of vaccines provided through the Covax mechanism by UNICEF arrived, the necessary legal changes were made that paved the way for the contracting and provision of vaccines against Covid -19, and on May 28, Kosovo has provided 1 million 213 thousand 290 vaccines from the agreement with Pfizer for 2021.
This moment marks the most important step for the Republic of Kosovo against Covid-19. For information, to date in the Republic of Kosovo have reached 392 thousand 980 doses and by the end of the year over 2 million doses have been provided, which enables us to achieve our goal of immunizing 60% of the population, and even more ” , said Vitia.
He also mentioned the approval of the plan by the government, for the mass vaccination of the population, where he stressed that, in cooperation with the municipalities, they have created 278 vaccination teams.
Also, 40 million euros are allocated for the purchase of vaccines in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. “Here we have support for health, where 40 million euros are allocated for the purchase of vaccines to combat the pandemic, another 8 million euros are dedicated to the purchase of essential medicines within the HUCSK and are about 5 million euros, allocated to cover the cost of expenses for young specialists, ie a total of 53 million euros.
Economic growth 7.9%, budget 2.5 billion
Albin Kurti, in the presentation of the 100-day work of the Government of Kosovo said that economic growth for 2021 is expected to be 7.9%. According to him, the projected budget for this year will be 2.5 billion euros. Kurti added that within five months, economic activity has increased by 15%.
“Compared to the same period last year, exports increased by 66%, economic activity by 15% and budget revenues by 30%. In the first 5 months of this year, Kosovo Customs, for the first time, has collected over 500 million euros in revenues, while TAK has reported that it has collected 60 million euros more than last year. Based on this,
The Government of Kosovo has approved a budget of over 2.5 billion euros, according to which an economic growth of 7.9% is projected, in contrast to 5.2% that was foreseen last year, for which the budget will be added 155 million euros more than expected ” , said Kurti.
He has said that this growth and this change gives hope that better days are coming.
“Obviously these positive changes are the result of many factors, but there is no doubt that increasing trust in institutions and government work, optimism and hope of citizens for the new government and reforms we have begun, gradual formalization of the economy, but also interventions in the economy through the financial package are the main factors. The revised budget has also enabled the design of a new package, which enables the economic recovery of the country and creates the basis for a sustainable growth and employment for the coming years.
420m euros for economic recovery
The Minister of Finance, Labor and Transfers, Hekuran Muratika, presented the Economic Revival Package, which amounts to 420 million euros. The funds allocated from the budget for the financing of this package are 190 million euros, while 230 million euros come from borrowing.
In this regard, Minister Murati said that this package has the potential to mobilize another 700 million euros, ie a total of 1.1 billion euros of investments and expenditures from the state budget, but also grants, private capital, and mobilization of funds from the financial sector. .
-Employment support, worth 50 million euros
-Recovery of the economy and production, worth 108 million euros
-Support for the family, worth 50 million euros
-Support for the public, worth 112 million euros, as well
-Investment in infrastructure and environment, worth 100 million euros.
“This package represents the beginning of the second phase of addressing, which aims at employment and formalization of the economy, improving the structure of the composition of Gross Domestic Product, balanced and comprehensive economic growth, and maintaining macro-fiscal stability,” he said.
Minister Murati called for joint work and aimed at supporting the local economy, consuming local products and working to increase the formality of the economy. The package also includes the issuance of diaspora bonds, as an important instrument for channeling the capital of the diaspora towards the recovery and sustainable economic development of the country.
Ujmani belongs to Kosovo for Kosovo
Albin Kurti, even in the first 100 days of work, reiterated that his position and that of the Government he leads on Lake Ujman has not changed, according to him Serbia can not become a stakeholder in it. Kurti has opposed most of the commitments made by the Hoti Government in Washington on September 4, 2020 while he was in opposition, and says he has not changed even now that he is prime minister.
“Our attitudes regarding Lake Ujman are the same, of course, analyzes and studies can be published, but our job is to consider Ujman as it is, the artificial lake of Kosovo for Kosovo. We have already paid for it.
As for the Washington agreement, I have said that the most important point is the last one that has already been realized (recognition by Israel). But we can not speak as if February 14 (2021) did not happen, the change in Kosovo is gigantic. “We did not do that, we are part of this change.”
The United States last week submitted a feasibility study for Lake Ujman to the governments of Kosovo and Serbia. The study marks the fulfillment of one of the commitments of the Washington Agreement, reached on September 4, 2020.
The report proposes the formation of a commission or committee for the Ibar River, which would facilitate the discussion between the parties on the possibilities of water resources management. Ujmani is an artificial lake, built on the bed of the Ibar River, in northern Kosovo.
The lake was built in 1972, with a $ 45 million loan from the World Bank, an agreement then ratified by the Kosovo Provincial Assembly and the Federal Assembly of Yugoslavia. Serbia insists it inherited the debt of the former Yugoslavia, and therefore claims property rights.
12.2 million euros for military purchases
Even the Minister of Defense, Armend Mehaj, reported to the government cabinet for 100 days of government, where he stressed the strengthening of democratic and civilian oversight, as well as increasing transparency in this institution. Mehaj said that in the first days they have decided to reduce costs and have stopped all activities outside the procurement plan.
“Strengthening democratic civilian oversight and increasing accountability and transparency, to achieve this goal, so far we have taken these decisions and actions: the decision to increase efficiency in the use of official vehicles, the decision to reduce representation costs by over 55 “, all activities outside the procurement plan have been stopped, in order to advance the procurement process we have signed a memorandum of cooperation with the British Embassy and the Norwegian Embassy”, he said.
As one of the main objectives, Mehaj mentioned the development of military capabilities in order to protect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Republic of Kosovo.
“We have reviewed the budget for 2021, we have reallocated 7.7 million euros for military purchases, while the government has allocated additional funds for purchases of 4.5 million euros only for military purchases, specifically drones. “In just 100 days of the government, a total of 12.2 million euros have been allocated for military purchases.”
He claimed to have received military equipment from the United States (US) and the United Kingdom. Mehaj said that they have allocated 4.2 million euros for the repayment of the customs debt, which he stressed was inherited from the previous government.
As one of the greatest successes, he mentioned the landing of members of the Kosovo Security Force in the first peacekeeping mission in the world and participation, as a host country, in the largest US military exercise, “DefenderEurope 21”.
The 100-day period is counted as a measurement period of a government. The Kurti government was formed on March 22, after the general elections held on February 14, where Lëvizja Vetëvendosje won 50.28, or 58 seats in the Assembly of Kosovo.