North Macedonia unveils €662mn anti-crisis package to boost economy

North Macedonia unveils €662mn anti-crisis package to boost economy
Prime Minister Dimitar Kovacevski announced the anti-crisis package at a news conference. /
By Valentina Dimitrievska in Skopje November 28, 2023

North Macedonia’s government said on November 28 it adopted the ninth package of anti-crisis measures, allocating a substantial €662mn to mitigate the economic challenges posed by the ongoing global uncertainties.

The package comprises 26 social security measures, crafted to provide targeted assistance to vulnerable citizen categories and businesses. Its purpose extends to alleviating challenges posed by heightened living costs and navigating the prolonged impacts of the energy crisis.

With a diverse range of beneficiaries, the measures are designed to benefit 120,000 young people, more than 74,000 socially vulnerable citizens, over 187,000 pensioners, 40,000 farmers, and almost 540,000 users of the My VAT application.

Additionally, support is extended to 600,000 households and over 70,000 companies.

Scheduled to take effect on December 1, these measures will span between five and seven months, depending on their objectives.

Prime Minister Dimitar Kovacevski shared insights into the allocation of funds at a news conference following the government session, stating, "For the measures intended for citizens, households, and farmers, an amount of €156mn has been set aside."

The comprehensive measures planned for 2023 and 2024 encompass a broad demographic, benefiting over 338,000 pensioners and 106,000 administrative employees.

The new measures include support to improve the standard of students from low-income families, providing up to MKD50,000 (€813) for primary and secondary school students.

Over the next six months, more than 105,000 students will receive monthly financial assistance of MKD1,200 to MKD1,800, totaling €14.3mn. Additionally, 15,000 students residing away from their study location will be granted transport vouchers, with a planned allocation of €2mn over the next seven months.

In collaboration with international financial institutions, North Macedonia is set to receive favourable credit lines to facilitate green initiatives and sustainable development.

The European Investment Bank (EIB) is contributing €100mn for investments in energy efficiency and renewable sources.

Additionally, a credit line of €50mn from the French Development Agency will bolster female entrepreneurship, digitalisation and projects addressing climate change.

The Development Bank of the Council of Europe is earmarking €50mn for favourable loans to support small and medium-sized enterprises, job creation, and green investments.

Furthermore, through the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development's (EBRD's) green financing instrument, support amounting to €790,000 will be extended to small and medium-sized enterprises, individuals, and households for investments in renewable energy sources and innovative energy efficiency solutions.