15th October 2020, Skopje – COVID-19 pandemic is the most severe economic crisis since the Great Depression onwards, even bigger than the 2009 global financial crisis, whereby all countries throughout the world had their the deficit widened so as to boost the economic activity, while economic performance projections were negative, Minister of Finance Fatmir Besimi pointed out at the general debate at the Supplementary Budget of the Financing and Budget Parliamentary Commission.
Minister of Finance said that the economic growth accounted for -6.4% in the first two quartiers. As for the region, -8.5% drop was recorded in Greece, -7.9% in Slovenia, -7.8% in Croatia, -6.3% in Albania, -4.2% in Bulgaria, while if the European countries are taken into account, GDP drop in the first half in the European Union accounted for -6.4%, -6.5% in Germany, -7.8% in Croatia, -7.9% in Slovenia, -8.5% in Belgium, -8.9% in Austria. -12.1% in Italy and France and -12.3% in Great Britain, according to Eurostat.
As for the budget deficits it has widened in most of the global economies, for the purpose of financing the health and the economic measures for overcoming COVID-19 crisis. Thus, for instance, Norway – a country that has traditionally experienced a high budget surplus of more than 7.6% of GDP on average over the last 10 years, projected a budget deficit this year. The countries in the region have also projected high budget deficit: -10.4% of GDP in Montenegro, -8.4% in Albania, -8.1% in Serbia, -8.1% in Croatia and -7% in Kosovo.
Besimi pointed out that the coverage of COVID-19 crisis in relation to the 2009 global financial crisis and the debt crisis in 2012 was significantly greater in relation to both the affected economies, as well as the impact of the crisis.