Good day everyone!
I'm here to inform on the solidarity package of this holiday season, which is for us of a special significance this year, also in view of the expression of gratitude to the neediest who have provided their support to the reforms, and have consistently dealt with the reforms’ costs more than any other category. This is a solidarity package in line with the significant increase in wages and with another increase, although not sufficient but significant in pensions starting from 1 March next year, with the awareness that we definitely need and must do more than ever before, for retirees in the first place, at a time when reforms are yielding results.
On the eve of the holidays, the government will make available for retirees the largest fund in these 25 years, giving each and every one of the 643 thousand pensioners 60 thousand [old currency] ALL. That is the history of this traditional procedure the highest figure and also almost equal to the sum of the pension increase next year. In the history of this traditional procedure, this is the highest figure and almost equal to the figure of pension increase next year.
Secondly, the category of persons with disabilities or families receiving financial allowance will be part of this holiday season moment, for each family will receive 20 thousand [old] ALL.
On the other hand, 2498 families flooded in years in 8 counties and 18 municipalities will be fully compensated; respectively 594 families in Tirana, 513 families in Fier, 508 in Elbasan, 498 in Durres, this includes families flooded recently in the area of Kruje, 92 families in Berat, 120 families in Lezha, 175 families in Vlore and 7 families in Korca. The amount to be made available, according to the acts registered with the Ministry of Interior, based on the documentation forwarded by local units, will be from 6.8 million [old] ALL per family, up to 110 thousand ALL, which means that there is an escalation based on the damage found and the applications submitted by municipalities.
I want to stress that each case that is not included in this list, is a case that does not exists in the inventory of the Ministry of the Interior due to delay or to the fact that it has not been determined pursuant to the law and the indemnification criteria by any local government unit.
Finally, taking into account the pain of not quite a few farmers whose household economy has been affected due to a deadly epidemic of cattle, we will make available a fund of 3 million dollars and will compensate for every lost cattle from north to south. It's a good chance that we turn into an advantage this disaster for these families, not only by replacing the cattle, but also to provide increased quality cattle thanks to an intensive cooperation that the Ministry of Agriculture is having in these days and in these hours with several foundations in Central Europe.
I believe that this is a meaningful solidarity package. Without wanting to annoy you, I would like once again to convey to all of you my full awareness that despite everything we are doing, the substantial progress on the path of reforms is not enough.
Of course, 60 thousand ALL for each retiree at the end of the year, is not little taking into account the conditions and compared to previous years, but definitely this is not enough to make us pleased with what we're doing. Just as it is not little, if we consider that families with economic allowance or persons with disabilities have received nothing in more than 20 years in order to be part of this package, but it certainly is not enough to make us pleased with this.
In the meantime, I believe that we paid off an important moral and financial debt, by returning to all flooded families - many of which could have rightfully and completely lost hope that the state would think of them one day – every penny in the form of a reward for the damage caused. Without question, this is sufficient for all farmers to have in record time replaced every cattle lost because of a deadly epidemic.
All these said, and given the gradual and sustainable economic growth which is translated into revenue growth, I am absolutely confident that the following year will be without question even better, and that there will be more good news for all those who rightly expect more results from the deep reforms, from the painful reforms, from the courageous reforms that have finally taken after a foot-dragging of many, many years.
This whole process doesn’t end here. Meanwhile, we are studying and will make public very soon the result of the effort to continue rewarding all those who, despite the hardships, have joined the historic process for the transformation of the energy sector which, from a sector to the brink of bankruptcy that threatened to collapse Albania not only energetically but also financially, has turned in a sector where a success story is written every day, and as we have done several times in the past, we will do it again on the eve of the season holidays and provide them another relief for their outstanding obligations. A significant relief for their outstanding obligations, as we note with satisfaction that the consumer’s behaviour in relation to OSHEE is improving steadily and continuously, and these customers who, thanks to the reform and the trust that eventually the system will be fair and equal to all, are contributing as conscious contributors in this process, and they definitely deserve also our understanding by means of a relief for their obligations.
Meanwhile, a supplementary package will be ready in a few days to continue the transformation process of the rural areas and of the agricultural economy, by increasing the irrigation and drainage capacities, and to stimulate further the agricultural economy through a series of emergency interventions, in the sense that they are already a priority in the rural infrastructure within the National Program of Urban Renaissance, which began in the city squares, began with the main road segments of the cities and, as we have said since the first day, this program is not just a façade, but it will extend to the most remote village, step by step.
Conditions are sufficiently positive for us to be very encouraged and confident that the progress that has started will continue and will be intensified.
I believe that we will announce also the largest program of investments in infrastructure, education and health before the end of the year. But let us leave it to the moment when we make the announcement, and I am convinced that through this new program we will achieve the target of going beyond the forecast of gradual economic growth, as we shall make a very significant financial injections into the economy of the country.