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Rama's electoral promises for wages, EURACTIV: Unpopular politics, Albania
A few weeks before the May 14 local elections, Prime Minister Rama promised salary and pension increases. Rama said that the government has decided to reach the limit of 90 euros, while for pensioners it will distribute 5 thousand additional lek for the month of April.
However, EURACTIV draws a parallel with the prime minister's expectations and data on the average salary in Albania. According to INSTAT figures, in 2022 the average salary is 66,000 ALL or 581 euros, one of the lowest in the region, which averages around 800-900 euros with the exception of Kosovo. Over the past eight years, wages increased by 10.8% in Albania, but when indexed against inflation in 2022, it averaged 4.1%.
With local elections to be held in May, Rama promised that wages would rise to 900 euros in two years, equivalent to 54%.
"Now we have in my hands a very ambitious, but at the same time reasonable plan for a salary increase, which aims to enable Albania to climb to the highest level of the region in the time frame of these two years, so 2023, 2024. to reach the objective of the average salary of 900 euros" , said Rama.
The Prime Minister announced the distribution of funds collected from unexpected taxes imposed on energy exporters. He said that this would be equal to 5000 Lek with the next installment of their pension.
"We are in extraordinary conditions. We will take a step now and a step next year. We will make a historic increase in wages. It is a salary increase that is actually different from other salary increases, because it is a reform of the entire salary structure in Albania. So is it the result of the reforms, efforts, developments and changes that have taken place and for which many have the right to say that we still have lower wages than others in the region?" , Rama said.
Albania's wages have been the slowest growing in the last decade, where, according to EURACTIV, both low productivity and labor shortages fueled by mass immigration have had an impact. Among the most affected sectors are: manufacturing, tourism and hospitality.
When asked by BIRN about the latest announcement by the Prime Minister, State Commissioner Ilirjan Celibashi said "I don't know the circumstances of this decision at the moment".