Measures against the virus, the EU accession report, investment and taxes, a lot of facts, a juicy Chicken and Spinach Pie and a blue sky.

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Dear reader,

The alarming situation in Italy has led Albania to take the next step against coronavirus. Today’s government meeting is expected to discuss new measures related to coronavirus. The Ministry of Health has announced that additional measures to prevent coronavirus spread will be taken by experts.

This morning the first two cases of corona virus infection are reported in Albania.

Deputy Prime Minister Erion Brace calls for calm. “Now it takes tranquility, self-control, discipline to enforce every protocol and every rule announced, determination not to allow it to spread everywhere! Anyone who has entered Italy from Albania in the last two weeks and has signs of the flu, call 127; Anyone who has entered Italy from Albania in the last two weeks must self-quarantine for 14 days; The rest is hygiene, hygiene, hygiene! 

This is bad news indeed, but we should not forget what else is happening in Europe and in Albania. The new recommendation by the EU commission is encouraging although the Albanian prime Minister plays down expectations because of what happened in 2019 because of the French no. But anyway let´s stay optimistic in the light of  the – agreed on – changed procedures. If France now says yes, no doubt even The Netherlands and Denmark will line up.

The EU Commission is very outspoken!.

“The Commission stands firmly by its recommendations to open accession negotiations with Albania and North Macedonia and I hope that the Member States will take a positive decision in the coming weeks.” Read on…

About the investment climate
On March 3. the American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham) in Albania held a discussion table with Tax Administration Head Delina Ibrahimaj. “Albania does not offer competitive policies to foreign investors,” AmCham Head Enio Jaço said, adding that U.S. companies asked for attractive tax policies that eliminate obstacles and differences with other countries in the region. Other issued discussed in the meeting were those related to unfair competition and fiscal evasion in the Albanian economy; the lack of instruction and/or guidance by the Tax Administration when new laws are introduced; and issues affecting the Value-added Tax (VAT) reimbursement process.

Ibrahimaj, on the other hand, said that co-operation with business was very important to her institution. “The tax strategy aims at reducing informality, avoid evasion, and increase voluntary declarations. In collaboration with the Ministry of Finance and Economy, we are developing a five-year midterm strategy, and this requires consultation with businesses,”

Ilir Meta on his knees – for the “people” and the Constitution.

On march 2. Albanian President Meta arranged a demonstration “for the protecting of the Albanian Constitution”. The President is of the opinion that the government inter alia is limiting his powers in  Article  129 of the Constitution (Judges appointed to the Constitutional Court must take an oath in front of the President.) by setting a legal deadline for the President arranging the ceremony.
The Venice Commission calls that “the responsible institutions ‘should make a bilateral disarma-ment’ on this issue, for the sake of democracy in Albania.Facts about Albania!
The export of the clothing and shoe manufacturing in Albania currently makes up 44.4 percent of the general national export according to INSTAT (the National Institute of Statistics), which means it´s a very important sector in the local market. Read a lot more facts about Albania here.

From a daily, commercial, cooking program Enjoy 🙂The Albanian Riviera 2019
By the way, let´s not forget that summer 2020 is approaching!

That´s all for now,
sincerely,

Hans-Georg Nielsen
Albanian Honorary Consul

Comments and suggestions are welcome on hgn(at)albanskkonsulat.dk
PS. This newsletter is mainly sent to relevant Danish and Albanian authorities, to Danes who have shown interest in Albania, to Albanians living in Denmark and to the friends and contacts of the consulate.

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