Yesterday evening Minister of Finance Arben Ahmetaj talked with journalist Sokol Balla about the economy, employment, and the reforms of the Rama government.
About the economy and the reforms
- In 2013 there we had an outstanding debt of $726 million [to private businesses]. We have already paid back $650 million, and the remaining part if being discussed between the institutions, regarding the paperwork. All our legally overdue payments have been paid.
- We have undertaken courageous reforms that very few other governments would dare to undertake, in customs, energy, pensions, the administration of the territory, and the establishment of the state. We see an economic growth of 3–4% over 2016.
- If we hadn’t implemented these reforms, the outlook today would have been terrible. 71% public debt would have been 90%, and our currency would been devalued, bringing extreme poverty.
- Weed could have had a minimal effect, but the main effect comes from employment, credit, and faith in the economy.
- The real economy says that except for growth in all sectors, employment in the last nine months has risen with 7.4%. Unemployment dropped till levels before we entered office.
- There are 183,000 new work places with a payroll, excluding those in agriculture. In total we created over 300,000 new jobs.
About the decrease in foreign investment
- It is not our style to count the number of agreements we make.
- There is a rise in construction. The number of foreign companies that come every year is on the rise. There are Greek, Italian, Austrian, and Turkish investments.
About the healthcare concessions
- With the concessions we have done a favor to the citizens because with the same money we have given more services.
- For public services citizens don’t have to pay anything. It’s free.
- Free healthcare continues and we didn’t say that within one mandate we will make all of free.