21 May 2019 - The Government's greatest success in these two years is the investment momentum in the north, where we want to create all the conditions for citizens to live better, Prime Minister Duško Marković said in an interview with Pobjeda daily on this occasion of Independence Day of Montenegro.
"The first results in these terms in the past two years are already visible, which is why the completion of the priority section of the motorway and the continuation of the works on the next one are crucial for the development of the north and the country as a whole. The winter ski infrastructure s already visible; the Đalovia Cave project is progressing, the opening of a sour water factory, the development of agriculture, all these are the results that make me especially delighted and motivated," Prime Minister Marković noted.
Speaking about what was the biggest problem his Cabinet has faced, the Prime Minister noted that it was the unwillingness of the opposition to contribute to political, social and development cohesion, and the fact they showed incredible consistency in the boycotting of institutions and attempts to block them. The approach of negation and the desire to bring the State to its knees so that they then they can allegedly raise it up, the Prime Minister stated, is difficult to understand.
"I think that the Government I am running has done a good job, but that is not its maximum. There is no real result, no change in the way of thinking about the State and its priorities without dialogue. I believe that that time is coming, and then it will be easier for this and every other Government to operate, and the results will be more visible," the Prime Minister of Montenegro underscored.
When asked whether it is true that today's Montenegro is not even close to Montenegro from referendum promises, the Prime Minister recalled that a few days ago, at the reception he hosted on the occasion of the 13th anniversary of the restoration of independence, he said that Montenegro of today and Montenegro before the restoration of independence do not look like one another. And this is in favour of today's Montenegro.
"We promised citizens the country and we renewed our independence. We defined NATO membership and integration into the EU as key objectives. We have already delivered on these promises," said Prime Minister Markovič, adding that the promise of visa liberalisation was also delivered.
He pointed out that Montenegro is the fastest growing economy with the highest standard in the region outside the EU countries: "This is not recognised only by those who are opponents of the government, but also by historical opponents of the existence and every progress of independent Montenegro."
When asked about why Montenegro's international perception is better than that of domestic critics, the Prime Minister said that this is not a good international perception, but rather a realistic reputation that has been built up over decades of efforts to distance ourselves from the Balkan fallacies and put the country on the path of European and Euro-Atlantic integration.
"Montenegro is today a partner and ally across the globe, where democracy and civilisation values, peace and stability are defended, and this Government can be reprimanded for a lot of things, especially when it comes to the standard of our citizens and their need to live better which we are now strongly committed. But for our devotion to the State, its sovereignty and independence, its right to be on its own and decide on its own future - surely not! A dirty campaign against the authorities, gossiping one's own country in every place and every opportunity is, in fact, a political attempt to make the country vanish," Prime Minister Marković underlined.
Regarding the issue of the Draft Law on Freedom of Religion and the expectations of possible opposing it and the power of the State to implement it, the Prime Minister said that this law, once it is adopted in the Parliament, will be a major step forward for democracy and basic human rights and freedoms.
"When such a concept is added to the preservation of the cultural identity and tradition of our people, and the principles governing relations between the State and religious communities based on freedom and equality, then I am convinced that we have a historic opportunity to place these questions where they belong. The draft law was drafted after extensive and wide-ranging consultations with all stakeholders. With regard to its application, the State will have the strength and determination to implement it," the Prime Minister pointed out.
Responding the statement that the State was unable to remove the illegally built in church on the Rumija mountain, and that now it has no power to remove the baptistery in the sea near Tivat and an illegally built facility in Dajbabe, the Prime Minister said that this s too naive and laic reflection.
"The Government is tackling this issue with full sensitivity in order not to intensify the division of the country among the Orthodox population.
"Social cohesion is our goal and we need the patience to achieve it. Of course, we will not allow the building of religious facilities on the state land or on the land of religious communities, contrary to law. That is why we are passing the Law on Freedom of Religion in order to establish religious rights and obligations," the Prime Minister of Montenegro explained.
Summarising the most important economic indicators of the Government's performance, PM Marković said that the Montenegrin economy has been developing all over the years since the restoration of independence.
"I am convinced that our economic growth has been particularly dynamic in the last two years, as evidenced by very high growth rates of close to 5%.
" Economic growth has created nearly 18,000 new jobs. The unemployment rate has been reduced by more than 6% direct investments have amounted to one billion and five hundred million euros. In these two years, current spending has been financed from the revenues, we have halved the budget deficit and much more," the Prime Minister of Montenegro concluded.
Source: Pobjeda Daily