TIRANA, Albania, May 30, 2017 /PRNewswire/ --
Edi Rama, the Prime Minister and leader of the Socialist Party of Albania (SP), has outlined an election program aimed at increasing economic growth, reducing unemployment and generating new jobs. The policies were launched over the weekend following settlement of a three-month stalemate over the opposition Democratic Party's resistance to a program to remove corrupt judicial system officials from office.
Under the agreement, the judicial vetting system, a European Union requirement before Albania's accession negotiations can begin, will now proceed before the elections. Mr. Rama said the breakthrough means that he will be asking the EU to begin negotiations as soon as possible after the June 25 vote.
Deploying the slogan "For the Albania we want," the SP plans to extend its achievements in state-building and job creation to ensure that Albania continues on the right path to the future. "These elections have historical value," Mr. Rama said. "The elections on June 25 will decide who will be governing for the next four years, but also what Albania will be for those who are born today. Four years ago we found an Albania without a state, filled with debts, tired of injustice and a place where those who didn't respect the law were considered strong. The Albania that we have now is a candidate for membership in the EU. The Albania we want must sit at the negotiating table and become a member of the EU as soon as possible."
Recently released Institute of Statistics (INSTAT) figures show that the government's first term, which focused primarily on institutional reform and improved governance, is now starting to show results -- in investment, business expansion and in job creation with 3.5% GDP growth in 2016 and 10.5% rise in foreign direct investment. The Socialist Party will now pour all its efforts into economic expansion and generating rewarding jobs for citizens. According to the program, the next SP government's priorities will include:
• The largest investment portfolio ever within a term, including EUR 2.8 billion in investments from the state budget.
• A reduction in public debt to below 60% of GDP for the first time in 10 years.
• 40% salary increase for public sector workers.
• Raising the minimum monthly wage from 24,000 lek, to 30,000 lek
• Economic growth averaging 4.5% during the next four years, with a target of 5.5% in the final year of the term.
• Unemployment of below 10%, reaching 8.2% in the final year. Some 220,000 new jobs are to be created.
• Gender equality, with women averaging at least 40% in the government, Parliament and key state institutions.
The Socialist Party came to power in September 2013, promising a comprehensive reform of the judicial system and will focus full attention and effort on its successful implementation. "We finally start a new chapter for Albania," Mr Rama said. "This is good news, but it's only the start of what we hope to achieve. My government's first term has focused primarily on institutional reform and improved governance. Now we must pour all our efforts into economic expansion and generating rewarding jobs for our fellow citizens."
About the Socialist Party of Albania
The Socialist Party of Albania, led by PM Edi Rama, is a social democratic political party which came to power in 2013 pledging extensive institutional reform and a stronger economy. As a result of the government reforms, the nation's budget deficit has been reduced substantially, tax revenues have risen dramatically and restored confidence in the economy has led to a 10.5% rise in foreign direct investment and 3.5% GDP growth in 2016.
The Socialist Party of Albania is an associate of the Party of European Socialists (PES) and a member of the Socialist International.
SOURCE Socialist Party of Albania