By Xhorxhina Bami*/
Albin Kurti’s new government has signaled its determination to make a new start by axing the decision of the former government to raise ministerial salaries…
At its second official meeting on Wednesday, Kosovo’s new government under Albin Kurti scrapped several decisions made by the former government of Ramush Haradinaj.
Prime Minister Kurti for a start asked his cabinet to withdraw the decision of the former government to increase ministerial salaries by almost 100 per cent, and restore wages to their previous level.
“This decision has no effect on reducing salaries in the justice system and the Constitutional Court,” Kurti said, referring to concerns raised when this aim was first made public.
Justice minister Albulena Haxhiu wrote on Facebook that “two unjust decisions were repealed at the government meeting”. The second concerned salaries that cabinet ministers continue to receive after their mandate is over. These changes send “a clear message that the Kurti government will be in the service of the citizens and not of itself”, wrote Haxhiu.
Former PM Haradinaj decided to double his own salary and increase that of his cabinet colleagues. The decision came to force on January 1, 2018, raising the PM’s salary to 2,950 euros from 1,500 euros.
Haxhiu, then a Vetevendosje MP, accused the then prime minister of breaking the law, saying: “Mr Haradinaj and the ministers who voted for this decision have committed a criminal offence”.
The government also adopted a decision on the recommendation of Finance Minister Besnik Bislimi to ask parliament to extend the old budget until March.
Bislimi said the ministry’s preliminary study had shown that the current extension of the budget was not sufficient “to meet the legal obligations for the category of subsidies, namely social schemes and pensions, or even salaries for some organisations”.
Kosovo entered 2020 without a ratified budget as the former government did not adopt one. It never made it to parliament due to the many delays in forming the new government.
Foreign Minister Glauk Konjufca meanwhile called for Kosovo not to immediately reapply for Interpol membership, warning that “the situation is not optimistic compared to the two previous years”, considering that Kosovo’s international position, on which depends the support necessary for Interpol membership, “has not changed”.
According to Konjufca, Kosovo would not likely gain Interpol membership this year, but its chances might be better next year, when Interpol meets in friendly Turkey. “Successive failures of Kosovo are not good for our Republic,” Konjufca observed.
The office of National Coordinator, a unique addition of Haradinaj’s government, was also scrapped. The former government included four national coordinators, in Culture, Youth, and Sport; State Reforms; Climatic Changes and Environmental Issues; and Violent Extremism and Terrorism, in addition to the line ministries and agencies responsible for these fields.*(BIRN)