PS Starts Election Campaign

The Socialist Party (PS) has today officially started its electoral campaign for the parliamentary elections of June 18. During its Electoral Congress in Durrës, Deputy Erion Braçe and Minister of Finance Arben Ahmetaj presented several of the PS’s campaign promises.

Braçe claimed that the PS will improve employment:

During this mandate 183,000 new jobs were created. We will wage the same battle that we waged for justice also for employment. Until the end of our next mandate we guarantee 220,000 new jobs.

Unfortunately, there are no indications that these new jobs indeed exist. Real wages have fallen over the last for years, with inflation outpacing wage increases. Meanwhile the government continues to insist on the “laziness” of the Albanian population.

Minister Ahmetaj in turn promised a further increase in the minimum wage:

The income of every Albanian citizen will rise 25%. We guarantee lowering the public debt under 60% of the Bruto National Product, while the latter will increase with 5.5%.

He also promised to increase the minimum wage from 24,000 to 30,000 lekë per month. However, in November 2016, Prime Minister Edi Rama had promised to raise the minimum wage to 37,500 lekë per month within a year.

In his speech to the Election Congress, Prime Minister Edi Rama promised a large election victory:

We will have the largest parliamentary majority in 27 years. This is also a colossal weight of responsibility. We now have to feel this in every cell of our political being.

He also repeated the claim, repeated also by foreign representatives, that there will be a “new opposition”:

The next Parliament will be the first parliament without Sali Berisha, but not without opposition. […] Anyone who things that the next Parliament will have a short life only because the PD doesn’t participate is mistaken, because the freedom of the elections brings a new parliamentary opposition. The life expectancy of the new Parliament depends only on us.