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Kosovo firms urge govt to draft 300 mln euro stimulus plan to curb coronavirus impact

Kosovo firms urge govt to draft 300 mln euro stimulus plan to curb coronavirus impact Marina Mikhaylova/All rights reserved.

PRISTINA (Kosovo), March 27 (SeeNews) – Kosovo’s government should prepare an emergency package worth at least 300 million euro ($329 million) to support private companies suffering from the measures taken to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), the Kosovo chamber of commerce said on Friday.

A large number of employees in the private sector will remain with no income due to the negative impact of the coronavirus on the economy and delays in assistance to affected enterprises provided by state institutions, the chamber said in a joint statement with American Chamber of Commerce in Kosovo, German-Kosovo Business Association, Kosovo Manufacturing Club as well as non-governmental organization European Investors Council.

“Such a situation would further worsen the already difficult social situation in the country,” the chamber added.

The call comes at a difficult time for the coalition government led by Albin Kurti, which was toppled in a no-confidence vote on Wednesday over differences between the coalition partners on how the coronavirus crisis should be tackled and whether customs duties on imports from Serbia should be removed completely. The political parties now have to try to form a new government within 90 days. If the attempts are unsuccessful, a snap general election must be called.

According to the the Kosovo chamber of commerce, the government should guarantee the payment of salaries to the employees of all companies affected by the restrictions, as well as rental payments and operating expenses of all enterprises.

The government should consider a revision of 2020 state budget and start drafting a recovery plan, to be implemented after the coronavirus crisis, the chamber said.

Kosovo has confirmed seven new cases of the novel coronavirus disease, while the total number of infected people rose to 86 as of Thursday evening, the national institute of public health said in a Facebook post.

A 16-hour daily curfew for all citizens was imposed in Kosovo on March 24 in an effort to limit the spread of the coronavirus. The movement of all citizens is restricted from 10.00 am to 4.00 pm and from 8.00 pm to 6.00 am.

($ = 0.91173 euro)