19 June 2020 Statement for the press from the President of the Republic, H. E. Ilir Meta
I would firstly wish to underline the importance of decreeing of:
1. Law no. 68/2020 “On the approval of the normative act, with the force of law, no. 18, dated 23.4.2020, of the Council of Ministers, “On some changes and additions to law no. 8438, dated 28.12.1998, “On income tax”, as amended.
This act enabled the extension of the prepayment terms of the profit tax installments of 2020, supporting businesses in terms of liquidity management.
These measures are considered necessary for the much-needed support in these moments of the affected subjects as a result of the pandemic of COVID-19, especially of small businesses.
But obviously there are still many other mitigating and supportive measures needed for them in these very critical moments.
2. I have decreed by law Law no. 70/2020 “On the approval of borrowing from the International Monetary Fund that allocates to Albania through the Instrument for Rapid Financing (RFI)”.
This act comes as a measure of support from the International Monetary Fund, through a rapid financing instrument, in coping with the consequences that the pandemic of COVID-19 has created in the economy.
But I want to draw attention to the high level of public debt as well as the constant undertaking of new legal initiatives that risk increasing the level of this debt still.
I reiterate the need for an analysis of the most priority needs to determine the right amount of borrowing time and to keep Public Debt under control.
3. I have decreed by law Law no. 71/2020 “On some changes and additions to the law no. 10 465, dated 29.9.2011,“ On the veterinary service in the Republic of Albania ”, as amended”.
Changes aimed at strengthening preventive and control measures to ensure:
– better protection of public health from zoonotic diseases transmitted by animals;
– safety of food products of animal origin;
– prevention of the spread of diseases through the discipline of animal movements in the territory of the country;
– monitoring of waste products of animal origin, for higher food security and greater environmental protection.
Always, these goals should only be met with the correct application of legal provisions.
* * *
4. I have decreed the return for review in the Assembly of Law no. 62/2020 “On capital markets”.
The development of a capital market definitely requires the fulfillment of certain preconditions, when:
– Public debt is only experiencing deepening; and
– The economy is still at a very high informal level, as is informality in employment.
Under these conditions, the forecasts for the operation of stock exchanges and capital markets, according to unclear and uncoordinated legal forecasts, risk creating a speculative system and as a result, this will either increase the level of uncertainty of the financial products offered, or the country’s own economic-financial stability.
* * *
The lack of cooperation and transparency of the Assembly in the legislative process was noted this week, when for 3 Decrees of the President of the Republic, unfortunately a theater was held in the Commission where only the Decrees were not heard.
But the same arguments were repeated by the drafters as to how good the laws were, not allowing the public to face the arguments for the return of these laws.
I will continue my work with full responsibility for the return of laws, whenever they come in conflict with the principles of the Constitution, for the protection of the public interest and for the protection of the finances of the state, as the laws with special provisions with favorable effect for certain individuals they are quite detrimental to the public interest, but also to the interest of Albanian taxpayers.
I would like to emphasize the call for the Assembly to show attention and integrity in the legislative process so as not to leave room for laws that increase the risk of future corruption in their implementation.
Uncertain predictions and definitions must end. Likewise, the broad discretionary powers of public authorities to make decisions and issue bylaws create plenty of room for abuse. Also the sanctions should be appropriate and clearly defined.
The Assembly has a duty to look at these elements with a magnifying glass, in order not to become part of and not to be misused by the interests of lobbying groups.
The legislative process should not be misused to carry out clientelistic favors that can have serious consequences for the public interest and public finances, but also for the citizens of our country.
* * *
I would also like to inform you that today I have issued the Authorization for full power to negotiate the draft Agreement between the Republic of Albania and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, for Tourism and Infrastructure Development Programs in Albania.
This Authorization for the Ministry of Finance and Economy and other state institutions involved in this process, and mainly the Negotiating Group representing the Republic of Albania in these negotiations, must be very careful and fulfill their duties in accordance with the Constitution and legislation in power, always keeping in mind the need to protect the public interest.