The governor of the central bank, Gent Sejko, announced today - as reported Balkan Insight - the supervisory board of the bank authorized the intervention in the currency market to avoid a further strengthening of the local currency, or the leke, which yesterday reached the new value record in relation to the euro of the last ten years.
"Foreign currency purchases will aim to temporarily eliminate the excess currency in the market, thus avoiding a further strengthening of the leke" - Sajko's words in a press release, which he then added:
"This operation will continue until it seems necessary."
The relationship between the Albanian currency, the leke, and the euro was stable for several years at around 140 leke for every euro. However, the Albanian currency has begun to strengthen in the 2016 registering values never seen before this year. Furthermore, at the end of May and beginning of June, the value of the euro continued to fall to a peak; yesterday, for example, one euro was changed for only 124 leke.
The causes of the sudden strengthening of the leke have been heatedly debated by the media, politicians and economics experts. Many argue that the trend is due to the euro's revenue from drug smuggling, but state authorities, while accepting leke's sudden growth in value, have avoided discussing the possible causes of the phenomenon.
Sejko, today, also admitted that his previous declaration of 2 Maggio - in which he called temporary strengthening of the national currency - was not correct:
"Over the past month the exchange rate has strengthened further, and at a faster pace." - specified Sejko.
For this reason the central bank, after having warned the population not to hurry exchange rates to avoid huge future losses, has decided to intervene. A rare event considering that Albania from the 1992 maintained a regime of freely floating currencies unlike other Balkan countries that have always opted for fixed exchange rates with foreign currencies - specifically for the euro - such as the Bosnia and Bulgaria.
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