During a TV interview, Prime Minister Zoran Zaev revived his idea to reduce the public administration by 20 percent, saying it will release funds that can be used for the moribund infrastructure investments.

Dramatic reduction of unproductive expenditures, including reducing the public administration by 20 percent, is something that will release additional funds to support the economy with capital investments. Some of the proposals will be unpopular but they must be done, Zaev said, adding that the European Commission also calls for reforms in the public sector.

His SDSM party put in place a scheme to move public sector employees who are not essential to the private sector by giving subsidies to the private companies that will take them.

Meanwhile, former Education Minister Arbr Ademi said that it was his DUI party that prevented an attempt by Zaev to reduce public sector salaries with the outbreak of the coronavirus epidemic. Zaev demanded that the entire public sector is reduced to the minimum wage for several months in an attempt to reduce the gaping deficit that is predicted to hit just under a billion EUR this year (over 8 percent of GDP). The proposal was raised at the Government level, but in an unprecedented move, got voted down.

Zaev insisted that the administrative salaries are reduced. DUI did not allow it and it didn’t happen, Ademi said.