Kosovo approves 2022 budget amid parliamentary disquiet

Kosovo's Parliament. [Shutterstock / Anna ART]

The parliament of Kosovo approved a €2.75 billion budget for 2022 in an extraordinary Friday session that was boycotted by the opposition.

The 2022 budget has earmarked €100 million for the military to bring Kosovo’s defence spending to 2% of the country’s GDP, as required by NATO of its members.

€45 million will be used to support new mothers and childcare, while a portion of the budget will be used to ensure that pensions do not fall below €100 per month.

The budget foresees €10 million to purchase new embassies and another €2 million for the Presheva Valley, a region in southern Serbia inhabited by some 60,000 ethnic Albanians.

Another €50 million will support farmers, while €40 million will be set aside for local producers.

“This budget is geared towards investment because we will invest 700 million euros in education and health, culture and sports, infrastructure and security,” Prime Minister Albin Kurti said in a Facebook post.

On 17 December, Kurti also announced that he plans to raise the minimum wage.

He said that his government is drafting new labour and wages laws that would increase transparency within public sector hiring and increase the minimum wage to €250 per month.

“We are now working hard to draft a new law that will provide a fair and sustainable solution to the payroll system in the public sector.”

The current minimum wage is €170 for workers aged 35 and up and €130 for workers under 35.

(Barbara Halla | Exit.al/en)

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