President Stevo Pendarovski addressed the gala Academy, which was organized by the National Bank of the Republic of North Macedonia on the occasion of 30 years of monetary independence.
The integral text of the address of President Pendarovski is below.
Distinguished President of the Assembly,
Distinguished President of the Government,
Distinguished Madam Governor of the National Bank,
It is a special honor and pleasure for me to address this Gala Academy organized on the occasion of 30 years of monetary independence.
Last year we marked the 30th anniversary of independence, however, a crucial state-building aspect without which it would have been impossible to complete the international legal subjectivity of the new state was its monetary independence. With the declaration of independence in 1991, our central bank started to gain a completely different experience, which helped us to successfully overcome the complex challenges in the first years of independence.
The following year, in 1992, the Parliament adopted a package of laws that set the institutional framework of the monetary system, and presented to the Macedonian citizens the banknotes of the new Macedonian currency – the Denar, the first symbol of our monetary independence.
With the policies of establishing a stable exchange rate of the Denar, the central bank has played a strong role in strengthening the foundations of our independence and statehood. The inflation was stabilized, the banking system began to recover and a significant amount of foreign exchange reserves was formed as a key aspect of the country’s foreign exchange liquidity.
All this set the primary defense mechanism against possible external regional and global financial shocks, but also support in the process of transition of the national economy to modern market economic systems.
It is clear that apart from some internally generated conditions over the years, however, the current economic turbulence globally, greatly affects the confidence of citizens in the banking system in our country and in the world.
Unfortunately, that trust, today, is continuously undermined by factors that are becoming more difficult to control. I am talking about hybrid threats, among which the most dangerous is the disinformation that is widespread and appears more and more intensively on social networks. We are witnessing, especially in the last year, that the National Bank was targeted with numerous fake news with the sole purpose of creating panic among the citizens, insecurity and distrust in the system. However, we must conclude that our central bank has so far successfully fought those battles and reacted in a timely manner to all news that spread untruths.
During the past two years, due to the pandemic, and now even more intensified due to the Russian aggression in Ukraine, we, but also Europe and the world in general, are facing economic and energy crisis, price shocks and inflation. But, even in such complex conditions, the institutions of the state function in a stabilizing way, which justifies the trust of the citizens. The leading institution in this regard is the National Bank of the Republic of North Macedonia, which has led, and continues to lead, an effective monetary policy during all these crises, which sends clear signals to economic factors, which in turn has a stabilizing effect on market conditions and inflationary movements.
The work of the National Bank over the years has not been easy at all, especially during the great financial crisis of 2008, when the risks to financial stability increased significantly. Despite the unpredictable global economic developments and the increased macroeconomic risks, the financial system of the Republic of North Macedonia remained stable, for which the set of measures taken by the National Bank in those conditions had a key impact.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
For a long time now, due to the acquired candidate status for membership in the European Union, the position of our central bank in terms of its independence has been, and is continuously subject to evaluation by the European Central Bank, and is closely monitored by the European Commission through its annual reports.
It should be noted that in all its reports both the European Central Bank and the European Commission confirm that the legal provisions relating to the independence of the National Bank cover all aspects of central bank independence set out in the provisions of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union and Statute of the European Central Bank and the European System of Central Banks.
As one of the pillars not only of our economy, but also of our country, I am confident that the National Bank will continue the permanency of positive operation and successful conduct of monetary policy in accordance with its goals and objectives set by law.
Only with a transparent policy and diligent work can the role of the financial sector be guaranteed, to support the real economy and to work in the interest of the citizens.
Moreover, I expect the National Bank to continue to maintain its constitutionally guaranteed independence from the political and economic centers of power and to contribute in the future to maintaining a stable, competitive and market-oriented financial system.
Congratulations to all of us on the jubilee “30 years of monetary independence”.