Albania’s best economic year?
Albanian Prime Minister Sali Berisha says 2007 was a banner year for the country’s economy. Is his assessment on target?
By Klodjan Seferaj for Southeast European Times 02/01/08
Bloggers debate Albanian Prime Minister Sali Berisha’s claim that 2007 was a great economic year for the country. [Getty Images]
Albanian Prime Minister Sali Berisha believes the country’s economy is picking up pace, in a big way.
„Berisha declared that 2007, based on all the indices, has been the best economic year in the entire economy history of the country,“ reports L1 at the popular Albanian blog peshkupauje. „Last year the good functioning of the institutions and economy of the country made it possible for the government to keep all its promises made during the elections.“
Commenting on the post, Artian isn’t so sure things are getting better. „My family told me that, as of 2008, buying power is decreasing a lot. People are not buying like they used to two years before,“ he writes.
„The economic increase is high,“ insists Ardi. „According to foreign analysts that study the Eastern European economic markets, Albania will continue to have such strong economic increases. The fact is that this government raised pensions and salaries and increased the buying power of the budget sector!“
On his blog, Floart gives a mixed assessment.
„Berisha presented yesterday some information and economic achievements, supported also by the last Economic Freedom report, which ranked Albania ten places higher than last time. But the thing that could be observed was the comparison of the in-cash numbers.“
„The Prime Minister is aware of the in-cash failure, notably in tax administration, and in order to hide this problem they prefer to publish only general data, including customs. Despite the hidden failures, Berisha thinks that ‚last year, based on all the indices, has been the best economic year in the entire history of the country‘.“
Finally this week, Alpha mulls a reported decision by the government to impose value-added tax (VAT) on books published outside the country.
„The government said this will favour the Albanian printing houses and market equilibrium,“ she writes. „The argument
would have merit if books were ordinary goods like potatoes, coffee or hydraulic pipes.“
„Do those people realise the social, cultural and political dimension of books?“ Alpha asks. „How is it possible for books to be in the same category as the other goods? Maybe with this decision the government wanted to stimulate importers to concentrate on imported spinach.“
After all, „Both are now being taxed in the same way, but spinach is sold in much greater quantities.“
This content was commissioned for SETimes.com