New Kosovo PM agrees to halve his salary

Kosovo PM Albin Kurti says he will cut the position's monthly salary of $A4,770 in half

Kosovo's Prime Minister Albin Kurti and cabinet ministers will accept a halving of their salaries in an attempt to demonstrate that the new government plans to tackle wage inequality.

Kurti's predecessor, Ramush Haradinaj, doubled his salary two years ago from 1,500 euros ($A2,430) a month to 2,950 euros, a move that drew strong criticism in an economy where one third of the population is unemployed.

His ministers also got big pay increases.

"I propose to undo the (previous) government decision and for salaries (of ministers) to return to where they were before," Kurti said before the cabinet approved his decision.

Kurti had promised during last year's election campaign to take a salary cut and push for greater wage equality if his Vetevendosje (Self-Determination) party won.

He reached a coalition agreement with the Democratic League of Kosovo after lengthy talks and the new government took office on February 3.

Kosovo, which declared independence from Serbia in 2008 but is still not recognised by Belgrade, remains one of the poorest countries in Europe and is dogged by claims of corruption and nepotism.

Kosovo's statistics office said the average monthly salary in the private sector was 401 euros in 2018 but 573 euros in the bloated public sector, where having political connections or enough money to bribe officials is required to land a job.

The International Monetary Fund has said the gap between private and public sector salaries is undermining Kosovo's financial health and competitiveness.

Kosovo expects economic growth of about 4.0 per cent this year but economists say this would not be enough to tackle unemployment and poverty.