Kosovo Minimum-Wage Announced

Nenad.RasicPRISTINA, Kosovo — The minimum wage for full-time employees at public and private employers  in Kosovo will be 170 € per month in 2011. This was decided by the Economic and Social Council of the Republic of Kosovo. On this behalf the council recently held an extra-ordinary meeting, reportedly chaired by the Kosovar Minister for Labour and Social Welfare, Nenad Rasic. According to labour statistics, the current average wage in Kosovo is said to be in a range of 220 to 250 Euros per month and about 300 Euro at private enterprises with more than 10 employees.

Regarding the difference to the set minimum wage, economists don’t expect a negative impact on production and staff recruitment. The minimum wage is meant to protect less skilled employees from extreme exploitation.

Unemployment in Kosovo since long remains in a range of 40 to 45 percent of the economic active population. As to World Bank surveys, poverty is said to be on a level of up to 50% with a high share of extreme poverty.

A few days ago PM Thaci launched a statement saying that until 2014 Kosovo shell be under the 40 most investment-attractive countries in the world. He aims at achieving a yearly economic growth of 7%. Meanwhile experts doubt on this prognosis. Reminding an announced EU entrance within 5 years as well as announced visa-free travel within 15 months during the election campaign, PM Thaci’s approach in general is widely seen as optimistic rather than realistic. – KON / NK

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