Politicians start their holidays, some of the tasks to be completed in autumn

Politicians start their holidays, some of the tasks to be completed in autumn
August, which by many is considered to be as the month of holidays, is close. During this month, almost all state institutions will be closed along with the headquarters of the political parties. While these institutions leave for holidays, some of the tasks will need to be completed in autumn. Once September comes, the political atmosphere will once again be tense. The issue of the National Theater  remains open following the decision of the president of Republic to send it back to parliament. This issue is expected to cause a lot of political debates in the months to come. Another issue that needs to be mentioned is the law concerning the School of Magistrates, which was not voted by MPs in the last parliamentary session. This leaves a very important issue which is directly linked to the vetting system, on hold. These amendments are related to the increase of the number of magistrates that will come out of this institution and which will replace the judges and prosecutors who are being removed by the Independent Qualification Commission. On the other hand, as far as political developments in the country are concerned, another important issue which has been postponed for September is the issue of the Socialist Party Assembly. Scheduled to be held in July of this year, this assembly was postponed for autumn. It was the parliamentary group of this party to take such decision, following an analysis of the left wing government that will be carried out in the month of August. This situation may also involve changes in the governing cabinet, however, everything remains in the hands of the Assembly, which is expecting to see the analysis of the Socialist Party. In the end, we should also mention two important parliamentary commissions, which will continue their work in September.  The first one relates to the electoral reform. In its last sitting, parliament decided to extend the mandate of the commission on the electoral reform for another six months. Meanwhile, there’s also the inquiry committee on former minister Sajmir Tahiri. The appointment of this committee was voted by parliament in the month of March this year, but so far, it is yet to come up with an official conclusion on its scope: to investigate on the consequences of the decision taken by Parliament not to allow the arrest of former Interior minister, who was accused of drug trafficking.

 Economy, September to start with the application of the toll charge in the Kosovo highway and the new 2019 budget

Like politics, economy is also expected to go on “holiday”, leaving August with just routine payments. Meanwhile, September is expected to see new developments in this sector, including the application of the new toll charge for the highway linking Kosovo to Albania. This was the conclusion that was reached a few weeks ago by representatives of the Albanian government during their debates and talks with stakeholders. Let us recall that such process was preceded by a strong protest held by residents in the area of Kukes. Many of them were arrested by authorities in the region, while several of them were jailed. “The toll charge will start to be applied on 17 September”, the minister of Infrastructure, Damian Gjiknuri has declared during a meeting with business representatives. This way, the government has decided that the new toll charges for the highway linking Albania to Kosovo will start to be applied starting mid September. According to the government, these charges do not discriminate any categories. On the other hand, the application of the government for EU farming funds has also been postponed for September. These are funds for which Albanian farmers will apply in order to benefit from the IPARD program. The value of these funds is 90 million euros. Meanwhile, this process has been postponed because the EU wants to conduct an administrative assessment in relation to the management of the fund in question.

Vetting process continues with the evaluation of judges

The vetting process which is expected to evaluate judges and prosecutors all over the country, will continue even during the holiday season. This process seems to have intensified even more in the recent days, as several judges and prosecutors have been removed from the justice system. This week, the Independent Qualification Commission is expected to hold six hearings. The first one is expected to be held with Medi Bici, Supreme Court justice, the last judge of this court which will undergo this screening process. Vetting will then continue with Gentjan Medja, judge in the First Instance Administrative Court; Besnik Muçi, Prosecutor of Serious Crimes, Dritan Hallunaj and Artur Malaj, judge at the Administrative Appeal Court.

September comes with a new budget, the government to allocate new funds for the end of the year

The remainder of this year, starting from September will see a new calculation of budget funds, thanks to a new normative act that the government has recently approved and which is expected to be voted by parliament in September. The budget revision happens as a result of the level of the realization of investments and the amount of funds which have been used. In this normative act, the government approved bonuses for pensioners, amounting to 3 billion lek. Besides the fund for pensioners, the budget will also see a redistribution of public investments, where the government withdraws 20 million USD.



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