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EURACTIV: The Albanian president signed his salary increase, one of the highest in the region

EURACTIV: The Albanian president signed his salary increase, one of the highest

President Bajram Begaj signed three new laws on Monday for salary increases, including his own. The head of state turns out to be the highest paid in the region with a salary of 3,860 euros per month, writes EURACTIV .

The government has recently introduced laws that will pave the way for the first increase in public administration salaries since 2006. Those affected by the laws include not only the president, but senior officials, heads of institutions and MPs and ministers.

Initially, the deputies were not involved in the salary increase, but the protests in the parliament resulted in their involvement. Currently, members of parliament receive just under 1,000 euros a month in salary, plus a similar amount in expenses.

In October 2022, Prime Minister Edi Rama was adamant that wages would not increase, but changed his mind a few months later. The salary increase bill was voted down last week, with 97 in favor and two against.

The salary of deputies will now reach 2,812 euros per month for ministers to 2,889 euros per month, about 3,625 euros for the prime minister and the speaker of the Assembly. The latter previously received about 2066 euros per month, which means that their salary has increased almost 1.5 times.

The package of three laws approved in the Assembly foresees the increase of the powers of the Council of Ministers in determining salaries in the public sector, salary increases for judges and prosecutors, as well as a new salary increase scheme for the public administration, respecting what is known as the hierarchy of salaries, where the highest salary is for the President.

"Wage levels are not determined at will. But based on specific expertise. There is a salary pyramid. The President of the Republic cannot be paid less than a teacher and we cannot have prosecutors who are paid more than the president", said Rama, who did not vote to increase the salaries of MPs.

Former Prime Minister Sali Berisha has also spoken against the increase in MPs' salaries.

He said that the doubling of salaries for senior officials is a "shameful act" and that the government's scheme does not increase salaries in the public sector, given the level of inflation.

Although the law goes into effect in June, beneficiaries will get a pay rise starting in April.

Meanwhile, the minimum wage in Albania increased from April 1 to 350 euros, so "Albanians can live a more dignified life and face rising prices", but some argue that this is not enough to fight inflation and rising costs. of living.

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