17th February 2022, Skopje – Finances are stable, thus, in the upcoming period, all potential risks are to be considered so as to keep them stable. Budget is sufficiently liquid, and budget revenue collection is in line with the projections at the very beginning of the year.
This was pointed out by Minister of Finance, Fatmir Besimi in an interview for Telma “Top Tema” TV Show, also mentioning the new instruments, which will be offered so as to finance the envisaged projects via development, project and green bonds, as well as inflation-indexed bond, primarily intended for motivating the citizens to make investments, as well as reducing the grey economy by withdrawing cash or making savings, all this being in line with the respective legal solutions. This pertains to domestic borrowing, while with respect to foreign borrowing, he pointed out that the Budget envisages the Eurobond issue, amounting to EUR 250 million, which is to be issued, as per the developments, i.e. when the conditions therefor are to be most favourable as in the previous year.
The borrowed funds will be geared towards capital projects, thus project bonds are intended for certain projects, development bonds pertain to capital projects, while green bonds are aimed towards green development projects.
As regards the requests for increasing public administration wages by the trade unions’ representatives, in line with the minimum wage growth, as well as for increasing the pensions, he pointed out that the Government has a good ear therefor, and that sustainable solution is going to be reached via dialogue with the stakeholders, as in the case with the minimum wage growth.
– Discussions about this issue with trade unions’ representatives are being held on continuous basis, as same as with the minimum wage, whereby solution was reached, that will be applied in the private sector, as well as for the public sector employees. In the period to come, we are going to consider all possibilities, and find a solution, which should be a realistic one from the aspect of productivity as well. At this point, I cannot say whether there will be any increase or not. I can surely talk about the projections being made, such as the deficit projected at 4.3% of GDP and in case the projected growth of 4.6% is not attained, and the Budget is entirely executed, it will mean that we would end up with a higher deficit and additional increase in inflation, the Minister said, emphasizing that not all mechanisms are being exhausted and that the strike should be the last resort therefor.
According to him, a viable solution should be reached, in terms of both the wage-related issue and the request to increase pensions.
As regards the pension-related issue, he pointed out that it will be resolved through dialogue with representatives of the retirees and that a sustainable solution is to be sought by changing the methodology.
– We are working on different scenarios. Analyzes are being made to change the methodology in order to find a systemic and sustainable solution, by improving the productivity in the economy, thus also increasing the pensions, Minister Besimi said.
He pointed out the measures taken by the Government, being aimed at coping with the energy crisis, stressing thereby that all measures are aimed at preventing a large increase in the price of electricity on the regulated market, as well as the prices of basic food products that are surging under the influence of the price increase on the global stock markets. He pointed out that price increase is expected to stabilize in the second quarter of the year, with the inflation being projected at 2.4% at the moment, with a possibility to be even higher depending on the price trends.