President worried about high level of poverty in Albania, demands revision of draft bill on budget

Now is the time to review the 2022 State Budget in support of the citizens, the most needy strata and the sustainable economic development of the country, said President Ilir Meta in a reaction on FB on Thursday regarding the EUROSTAT report which ranked Albania on top of poorest countries in Europe and region for high levels of poverty, high prices and public debt.

"Albania ranks first in the region for the level of poverty, prices and public debt and last in Europe for per capita income and consumption. According to EUROSTAT data for 2020, Albania has a per capita income of 30% of the European Union average, followed by Bosnia and Herzegovina with 33%, North Macedonia with 38%, Serbia 43% and Montenegro  45%," he said.

Meanwhile, according to him, the price level in Albania is the highest in the region with 53.5%, Serbia 52.3%, Bosnia and Herzegovina 51.9% and North Macedonia with 46%. Also, Albania after Montenegro, rank among the countries with the highest level of public debt with 77.9%, followed by Serbia with 58.9%, North Macedonia with 51.3%, Bosnia and Herzegovina with 36.7% and Kosovo with 24.1%.

In terms of poverty level, Albania holds the first place with about 33% of the population with incomes below $ 5.5 per day, leaving behind Kosovo with 23.4% of the population, Montenegro with 20%; North Macedonia with 18% and Serbia 18.4%.

"In the law on "Budget 2022" I found that the Government has not taken appropriate economic and social measures to improve all these negative indicators. For this reason I decided not to decree with approval "Budget 2022", which is deeply ANTISOCIAL," said Meta.

President concluded by saying it is time to review the State Budget in support of the citizens, the most needy and the sustainable economic development of the country, investing concretely where the priorities should be, not on concessions, incinerators and PPPs. /