Sunday, May 18, 2008

Corruption index found a country in deep depression

Bank of Albania warned this month that “the risk for major fluctuation in FOREX market is more likely now”

By Gjergj Erebara in Tirana
High sensitivity about corruption had left in shadow a much more important part of a survey conducted by a local NGO in Tirana, financed by USAID. The survey finds that general perception of peoples in Albania is that corruption is not only widespread but it is also higher compared to 2007. At all this was old news.
State of national economy compared to 2007

But the survey finds something more interesting. The perception of Albanian for the state of national economy and they expectations for the future.
Only 20% of Albanians feels better than past year, by economic point of view, while 33% feels worst. The same survey in 2006 finds that 26.7% feels better while 14.3% feels worst. About their expectations for the future of the economy, results shown that only 35.8% of the population is optimistic. This is the most pessimistic state for Albanians since they changed government in 2005. Previous surveys found that about half of Albanians were optimistic. And the most dramatic data was the enormous increase of those who think that economy will go down. 27.9%, almost three times more than in 2006, feels that their economic situation will deteriorate.

This deep pessimism can be explained partly by seeing the answer given from interviewed about what solicitude their more. Around 70% are disquieted by unemployment, economic hardship and poverty. Anxiety of been unemployed has almost double since 2005. How government intends to deal with that Officially, government had not said even a world about this survey. Only an adviser of the Prime Minister Berisha said something that sound to me: “Perception does not mean reality”.

Mr. Berisha had gone to acclaim his success speaking directly to students, farmers and common peoples. His speeches sound to me like hysteria of Communism propaganda: “Our country is very rich. We have water, we are the third or fourth in the world for chromium reserve and we have much more nickel and iron”.

Last week, IMF had announced that an agreement signed by Government and Central Bank aims to cut budged deficit from 7.9% of GDP planed in the current budged to 5.2%. This means that public expenditure should be cut by €242m. Government should deal with the rising costs of its super-project Rreshen-Kalimash highway, a €500m project designed to give to Kosova a faster way to the Sea. Government should deal also with rising losses of electricity supplier company, KESH. According to estimates from IMF, financial losses at KESH can run to €135m this year, caused by much higher imports of electricity, indispensable to secure normal supplies in the country. Such situation had enlarged foreign trade deficit at an alarmingly level. Bank of Albania warned this month that “the risk for major fluctuation in FOREX market is more likely now”.

Prospective of Economy

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