A facade? More than 70% of Albanian government portfolios belong to women, opposition doubts

Albania.- More than 70 percent of the portfolios in the new socialist government of Albania are women, said Prime Minister Edi Rama on Thursday when presenting his new Executive to Parliament, becoming the Government with the most women in the world .

“With the approval of the new Government, Albania rises to the top of the United Nations ranking in terms of the number of women in the Government, having previously been among the top five positions in the ranking”, Rama highlighted in the parliamentary session.

Twelve of the 17 portfolios are led by women in the Government of Alvania, among them the ministries of Foreign Affairs, Health and Social Affairs, Tourism and Environment, Education, Culture, Agriculture and Rural Development, among others.

Rama today asked the deputies to vote in favor of the new formation that he will lead for the next four years and his program, in which he highlighted the search for economic recovery, the fight against the pandemic, the significant increase in wages and support for integration in Europe.

The largest Albanian opposition party, the Democratic Party (PD), criticized the composition of the socialist government and assured that the ministers are “a mere facade” for the authoritarianism of Rama, which will make all the decisions.

The Socialists, in charge of the country since 2013, won last April’s elections with an absolute majority, occupying 74 of the 140 parliamentary seats in the Chamber that give them the necessary margin to continue the reforms that Rama has promised and whose will to comply reaffirmed today, despite the blocking of the opening of Albania’s accession negotiations to the European Union (EU) due to the “internal conjunctures” of the European countries.

“This does not change anything about our progress and fulfillment of all the conditions that make Albania a state at the level of EU standards”, Rama stressed.

Among the requirements of the EU is to continue judicial reform, which seeks to cleanse the system of corrupt judges and prosecutors, as well as the fight against organized crime and endemic corruption.

In the economic aspect, the challenge of the third mandate of Rama is to guarantee an annual growth of more than 4%, gradually increase until 2025 the average salary by 25%, 40% that of health and educational personnel and 30% that of the rest of public officials.

The prime minister promised to fully repair the effects of the devastating 2019 earthquake and complete the vaccination of the entire population over 16 years of age before spring 2022.

In addition, for the first time in Albania, the State will cover the costs of fertility treatments and will provide aid of more than 8,000 euros to young couples looking to buy a house.

For families with incomes of less than 800 euros per month, the Government will offer coverage of daycare expenses with 80 euros per month.

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To turn Albania into a “champion of tourism” in the Balkans, the socialist executive plans to improve garbage management, eliminate the use of plastic bags from next June and control illegal construction on the coast.

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