21st October 2023, Skopje – Policies we, as a Government, implement for coping with the price crisis are evident in the inflation decline from 19.8% in October last year, standing at 6.6% this October, being a clear signal to both the citizens and the businesses that we, like the other countries, are fighting inflation,
Minister of Finance, Fatmir Besimi, said in his guest appearance in “Tema na Denot” Show on Sitel TV, pointing out that it is of key importance for the expectations to stabilize, which requires a coordinated system on the market, since rising prices put pressure on the wages, which, in turn, push up the prices, and the inflationary spiral is hard to reverse.
“Therefore, we implement various measures, anti-crisis measures aimed at supporting the citizens and the businesses, freezing the prices, administrative measures, temporary measures and similar, as other countries do, all to the end of stabilizing the expectations. On the other hand, monetary policy increases the interest rate, which reflects on the economic growth, and this is the price we pay when fighting inflation. This is also happening in Europe, it happened in the USA and the countries in the region. The fact is that expectations, as well as inflation, are to stabilize, thus contributing to growth”, Minister Besimi said.
He went on saying that fiscal consolidation is carried out for four years in a row now, a period in which we are facing the crisis, with the deficit of more than 8% during the COVID-19 crisis gradually declining, and investments scaling up and wages raising, simultaneously implementing anti-crisis measures.
“Funds for new measures, which never existed nor were considered for financing in the prior years’ budgets, have been allocated in the Budget. Funds are allocated for anti-crisis measures. Electricity price for more than 600,000 households is subsidized. We are now discussing a new set of measures for the most vulnerable, various favourable loans for the companies, as well as the development bond for citizens”, Besimi pointed out.
He emphasized that in times of crisis, both poverty and unemployment declined, as noted in the latest World Bank Report. Even amid crisis, as indicated, the country has managed to continue the declining trend of poverty and unemployment. Moreover, wages have increased, as noted in the Report, and, since April onwards, they have increased, in nominal terms, more than the inflation. Wages will continue to raise in future, considering the system we have established, which is a big success for both our economy and society.
As the Minister said, opening of the EU accession negotiations, and the investment cycle, with the share of capital expenditures increased in GDP and the projected Budget, were assessed positively in the Report. “These are factors to influence the growth over the medium term, which, at the moment, is under strong influence of the external factors, i.e. the developments in the EU, especially in Germany, as our major trading partner”, the Minister said.
During the interview, the Minister also addressed the wages of the high officials, pointing out that discussions are already underway within the Government to find a sustainable solution.