SP Congress, Veliaj: Tirana, extraordinary transformation, successful model of the city, agent of economic development
The mayor of Tirana, Erion Veliaj, who participated today in the Panel on Local Government of the Congress of the Socialist Party, said that Tirana is today a successful model of the city, as an agent of economic development.
"I am glad that today Tirana is the European City of Sports, years ago it was the European Capital of Youth, next year it will be the Presidency of B40 and in 2025 we are finalists to be the Mediterranean Capital of Culture. I firmly believe that even these titles, which many people may cynically see as song and dance, are essentially an economic factor that produces activity: because hotels, restaurants and all other mechanisms work, where money is consumed and where remains a public good. Today, the Municipality of Tirana is a municipality that raises 85% of its budget itself. So, from a typical municipality, which mostly asked for alms and sat at the door of the Prime Minister and the Minister of Finance, today we have reached a situation where we definitely need the help of the government, but 85% of the income comes from the Municipality of Tirana ," said Veliaj.
He said that in order to get here, he worked so that every investment made also produces economy for the future.
"Not only every title, every activity, but also every investment must pay for itself. We have compensated all the expenses for Skënderbej Square only from the parking lot of Skënderbej Square. Also, we compensated all the expenses for Italy Square only from the parking lot, thus introducing an economic element, which generates income. The same with the self-financing that some areas have, such as the Castle of Tirana, the Bazaar, where practically we collect taxes, but we return the taxes to an association called a tourism promotion district, so that they then generate activities and they see in a direct way that the Municipality responds to them, even with the return contribution of their taxes to flourish some areas that were dead areas," emphasized the head of the Municipality.
Today, thanks to these initiatives, continued Veliaj, real estate agencies in Tirana report that the value of property in the last 10 years has increased by 250-300%. "As I gave you a statistic for the City's resources, for the increase in property value, I am also giving you a statistic from Harvard University. When we did a scanner of Tirana in 2015, 25% of Tirana's economy produced shoes, 25% were textiles. In the scanner we did before the elections, 25% of Tirana's economy today is tourism and 25% jobs from Information Technology, an extraordinary transformation. That's why we want to continue with this pace, we want every investment to be economical, to produce employment with good salaries and to produce income for the Municipality of Tirana," he added.
In the end, Veliaj said that Tirana is the first municipality that has been licensed by the government to be the operator of a Free Economic Zone, TEDA in Kashar, where large companies have been offered, including companies that produce electric cars.
Even the Minister of Local Government, Arbjan Mazniku, during his speech at the same panel, stated that the general goal is for Albania to have strong municipalities, while he said that only the Socialist Party has shown that it can achieve this objective. "The general goal of the 2030 agenda is for us to have strong municipalities that are masters of their territory and that become agents of their economic development, and only the SP can achieve this," he underlined.