Government is hiding national debt to postpone the financial crisis, argues former minister

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Economy expert, Arben Malaj told Euronews Albania that it is unacceptable that the government is allowing the accumulation of hidden debt from public institutions.

Malaj appealed to the government and the Ministry of Finance to intervene immediately into the lack of debt payments, because they will count as hidden debt and hurt the economy.

According to him, by hiding the debt, our government is looking to stall the crisis but this will only contribute to its aggravation while hurting public finances and the economy of taxpayers.

Malaj urges the ministry to intervene in order to decide upon a prioritizing system of payments for public institutions by eliminating unnecessary spending.

“If the government doesn’t take immediate measures by blocking certain unnecessary expenditures and investments, then we should realize that we are currently in a situation, which will put a blow on our economy, our unemployment rate, poverty line and our public stability and finances,” declared Malaj.

“This only shows that we are governed unprofessionally, and to a certain extent even arrogantly and that this administration doesn’t take positive experiences into consideration and it doesn’t listen to experts in the administrations. Everything is decided by the top tier of government and we are led by ministers that just nod their heads and gratify the prime minister, by playing a head-nodding role instead of a responsible one, which their mandate requires of them,” added the economy expert.

Malaj also noted that economy experts are concerned that “the government might be abusing with the leniency of the debt increase; this is also embodied in the public demand of international institutions, especially the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that is asking the Albanian government to focus on the management of the post-pandemic and earthquake crisis, to reduce the rise of debt coming in by big projects like the Public Private Partnerships”.

According to Malaja, PPPs in Albania are often preferential, displaying clear signs of corruption.

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