News

30 Sep 2020, 23:48 PM

September 30, 2020 - The pozornica.me portal has started working. It is an ambitious project through which theaters, festivals, cultural centers, associations, and NGOs inform the audience about their work/projects quickly and easily.

Ten electronic services have been available to theater lovers in Montenegro since the beginning of September on the portal www.pozornica.me

The portal is an informant about upcoming and existing theater events and contents in Montenegro, and in that sense, it is important from the affirmative, educational, and entertainment aspects.

In the informative segment, pozornica.me will continuously publish all upcoming theatrical events to further develop and affirm theater art in Montenegro. In addition to its primary function of informing about theater events, the portal aims to present and promote professional literature.

"Portal pozornica.me will try to follow all current events and happenings concerning the theater and to follow all related info. The theater audience will read exciting and inspiring texts on theatrical art to find what interests them. But it will also be a platform where will be able to express their opinion on a play and evaluate it, said the editor of the portal Dubravka Matičić.

Also, there is a service that is still under construction. It consists of a calendar of events, the repertoire divided by production, reviews from the audience, a wish list (with which portal users will see when and where it is performed desired show), and a ticket reservation.

The portal is open for cooperation with all institutions, festivals, associations, schools that deal with theater in any way, and individuals, whether they are actors, directors, producers, and just theater lovers, the portal editor added.

Portal designer is Kristijan Vujović.

The project pozornica.me is supported by the Ministry of Culture of Montenegro, through a competition to help independent artists due to the pandemic's impact on the cultural sector, in partnership with the Royal Theater Zetski dom.

30 Sep 2020, 23:06 PM
September 30, 2020 - "Montenegro must start running in negotiations with the European Union (EU) because if it does not undertake reforms, it will not progress towards the EU," the head of the European Parliament Delegation to Montenegro, Vladimír Bilcik, told Radio Free Europe (RFE).
 
"Montenegro was a leader in negotiations with the EU, it has all negotiation chapters open, but only a few temporarily closed, which is a problem. If reforms do not happen, Montenegro will not move closer to the EU. Everything is in the hands of the new government and all institutions of Montenegro, so it would be good to see that the goals and commitment of the new government, concerning the country's membership in the EU, are clear in that sense." Bilcik reminded the EU would like at least one country in the region to be ready for EU membership by 2024.
 
How to achieve that and how all political forces, from the government and the opposition, can contribute to that, is what the new government in Montenegro should find an answer, believes Bilcik.
 
"Achieving that goal requires broader political cooperation on reforms, reaching constitutional majorities in Parliament. Most importantly: full implementation of reforms," ​​said Bilcik, who expects the European Commission to release an Enlargement Package next week that will include a progress report on Montenegro towards EU membership, but also to point out areas in which there is no progress.
 
"That is why I say that Montenegro must start running. I expect that this report will reflect on the priorities that the new government in Montenegro will have to work on," says Bilcik.
 

Post-election atmosphere

 
Currently, Montenegro has a candidate for prime minister-designate proposed by the new parliamentary government, whose candidacy should be confirmed by President Milo Djukanovic.
 
The elections of August 30 removed the three-decade-old government of the Democratic Party of Socialists (DPS) of President Milo Đukanović. They formed a new parliamentary majority, electing the new president of the Assembly.
 
Asked about the post-election period in Montenegro, Bilcik welcomed the fact that the elections were peaceful and democratic, with a high turnout.
 
"Citizens voted for the changes. I welcome this has already been reflected in new institutions' formation, such as the new Parliament and its new president. We also expect the construction of a new government for which negotiations are underway, which is a good sign for democracy. Simultaneously, we in the EU and the European institutions expect the government to be formed based on a clear and stable majority. What is crucial for the European institutions, especially for the European Parliament, is that that government maintains a pro-European course. Not only in words but - more importantly - in action, "Bilcik said.
 
The new parliamentary majority of 41 deputies in the 81-seat Parliament consists of the coalitions "For the Future of Montenegro" (27 deputies), "Peace is our nation" (ten deputies), and "Black On White" (four deputies) led by Zdravko Krivokapic, Aleksa Bečić, and Dritan Abazović.
 
The pro-Serbian and pro-Russian Democratic Front (DF) has the most significant influence in the strongest coalition. The Democrats lead the second- Peace is our Nation, and the third coalition's backbone is the civic movement URA.
 
When it comes to problems during the negotiations on the new government (disagreements over whether to form an expert or a government of politicians), Bilcik considers them part of the Montenegrin domestic political scene.
 
"But it is also a kind of test of the stability and maturity of democracy in Montenegro. The government must be formed within the constitutional and political prerogatives of the country. We follow the negotiations and are encouraged that the Parliament elected a new president in the first session. That the political forces that previously boycotted the sessions are now in Parliament. I hope that means a new government could be formed soon, "he said.
 
Bilcik adds that Montenegro has been committed to EU membership for years, has become a NATO member, and has chosen the West and European path.
 
"Concerning the profile of the new government, it is important that it is maintained and even strengthened. I hope that pro-Western, pro-European, and pro-reform goals will be at the top of its agenda. What could be discouraging in that sense is if it suddenly comes to changes in Montenegro's expected positions on international issues. It is something we will follow closely, "Bilcik said when asked by RFE about the profile of the new government could be an obstacle to the European integration process.
 
"This is an important time for Montenegro, these were important elections, and we all hope to have a dedicated cooperation with the future government and parliament," Bilcik expects.
 

SOC and elections

When asked how he comments on the participation of the Serbian Orthodox Church (SOC) in the election and post-election period, such as the negotiations before the formation of the new Parliament, Bilcik said that religion is an integral part of every society, but also underlines EU practices on this issue.
 
"It is important to preserve freedom of religion, but at the same time, it is important to have a clear separation of church and state. It is part of political practice across the EU, and it is something we consider should be a practice in candidate countries. There must be mutual respect for the independence of state institutions by the church, and vice versa. Therefore, political decisions on the future of Montenegro should be made by politicians and political parties and the citizens who elected them," Bilcik replied.
 
Commenting on the DPS's criticism that the EU did not, as they stated, adequately react to Serbia and the Serbian Orthodox Church's interference in the Montenegrin elections, Bilcik says that he has repeatedly said that the campaign should be free and fair.
 
"We are still waiting for the final report of the OSCE (Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe) observation mission, which will assess the election process, including the campaign. The Enlargement Package will also include an assessment of the political situation in Montenegro. We have followed the process, analyzed, and expressed concern. Still, in the end, the political decision, the political campaign, and the political changes are in the hands of their actors and citizens in Montenegro, "Bilcik added.
 
He believes that the EU's role in the enlargement process must be separated from the political game in a country.
 
"In no case can it be accepted that the EU can in any way be to blame for the outcome of the elections in any third country, which includes candidate countries, including Montenegro," Bilcik said.
 

The situation in the region

Answering if he seas the danger of conflicts in the region the president Djukanovic spoke about recently calling for protecting the European space from a potential new war in the Balkans due to ethnic conflicts in Montenegro, Bilčík said that everyone must learn historical lessons from the tragic events of the 1990s.
 
In Djukanovic's message, Bilcik reads the need for what the EU and the European Parliament are advocating. That is the need for regional cooperation between countries and ethnic groups in the Western Balkans.
 
"Our policy is an enlargement policy with a significant focus on reconciliation, regional cooperation, and the ability of local actors to find common solutions to conflicts. In that sense, conflict is something that must be prevented, because that, of course, is not the way to move towards European perspective ", concludes Bilcik.
 
29 Sep 2020, 13:02 PM
September 29, 2020 - While we are awaiting the designation of a protected area in the Katič Sea, habitats of the sea meadow Posidonia Oceanica are slowly disappearing, claims NGO Green Home.
 
The NGO, in cooperation with the Montenegrin Society of Ecologists (CDE) and the Mediterranean Center for Environmental Monitoring, conducted monitoring and analysis of the seagrass Posidonia Oceanica in the waters of the future protected area in the Katič Sea. Monitoring was conducted at five locations in the space between the Black Cape and Cape Skočiđevojka. Ecologists analyzed the Posidonia density, distribution to the seabed, lower population limit, and resistance to depth.
 
Analysis of the data obtained on the condition of the Posidonia meadows in the area of ​​the future protected sea area in Katič shows that the situation is good, but not ideal. Particularly, regressive changes were observed, especially compared to 2010 measurements, according to the NGO Green Home.
 
The markers of Posidonia's settlement's borders, placed in 2010 in the seabed of the island of Sveta Neđelja, indicated that the area had been receding.
 
- Knowing about the change in shore in front of Hotel As and the significant turbidity of the water in this locality, which occurs mainly in the winter months after heavy rains and washing of the terrain, it is most likely that the reduced transparency of seawater caused these regressive changes in Posidonia meadows. In addition to soil leaching, there may be other negative impacts such as wastewater spills, meadow erosion due to anchoring or other physical loads, but also seawater flow, which is very pronounced in some locations - they point out in their statement.
 
The seagrass Posidonia Oceanica is a protected species under national and international legislation (Habitat Directive 92/43 / EU) and is one of the two most essential oxygen producers on the planet. Posidonia Oceanica is exclusively distributed in the Mediterranean Sea and is of great importance to sea flora and fauna. Precisely because of its ecological importance, it has been added to the UNESCO World Heritage List. However, as they explain, due to negative anthropogenic influences (pollution, anchoring, trapping, explosive poaching, and other physical-mechanical impacts), this endemic species is has become endangered.
 
To prevent further degradation of sea meadows, Green Home and its partners have defined recommendations for reducing and removing negative impacts on this critical marine habitat, and ensuring its protection. These recommendations include ensuring continuous monitoring of the state of Posidonia, elimination and reduction of negative anthropogenic influences, and the development of educational programs tailored to both local communities and tourists on the importance and protection of marine biodiversity.
 
- If we want to protect marine habitats that are in regression, Montenegro must declare the first protected area in the sea, which has been waiting for such a formal act for 13 years - Green Home reports.
 
The activity of monitoring and analyzing sea meadows was carried out through the project Support to Local Communities in the Promotion and Protection of the Future Protected Area in the Sea - Katič, funded by the Partnership Fund for Critical Ecosystems (CEPF).
27 Sep 2020, 15:57 PM

September 27, 2020 - The Institute of Public Health (IPH) has appealed to the public in general and "influential individuals" to call for strict adherence to measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

The Institute called on the public to stay in their houses as much as possible, to wear masks, and maintain physical distance.

"Given the rampant local transmission, the large number of cases in hospitals and the enormous pressure on the health system, the IPH has proposed to the National Coordination Body for Infectious Diseases the introduction of additional measures to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus. "Aware of the difficult situation caused by non-compliance with the measures, we appeal to all people, and specifically to all influential individuals to call for strict adherence to the measures adopted," the Institute said in a statement.

These measures, the implementation of which will start tomorrow, will ensure that we suppress the intensive spread of the epidemic in the first half of October and preserve the population's health and lives, added the IPH.

"We are aware of the economic situation and the problems that will arise due to the proposal of such measures, but this is the only way to try to control the challenging epidemiological situation and help the healthcare system stay on its feet. We do everything our colleagues do everywhere. We call on you to be united, disciplined, and responsible for yourself and your loved ones. "

Only in this way, as they point out, can we help both ourselves and the medical workers who "are fighting for every human life with superhuman efforts."

"Dear citizens, please stay in your homes as much as possible, wear masks, and maintain physical distance. This appeal refers to all citizens of Montenegro, regardless of whether there is a higher or lower level of transmission in their local communities," concludes the IPH, asking for assistance to cope with this challenging period.

27 Sep 2020, 15:43 PM
September 27, 2020 - The NGOs WWF and Bankwatch are calling on the governments of Western Balkan countries to abolish incentives for small hydropower plants (sHPPs), which pose the greatest danger to Europe's last free-flowing rivers.
 
"Freshwater ecosystems are disappearing at an alarming rate. According to the latest State of the Planet Report, the population of freshwater species has declined by 84% since 1970. Over 60% of Europe's rivers are in poor condition, mostly due to degradation and destruction by dams, hydropower, canals, unsustainable extraction of sand and gravel, poorly planned navigation infrastructure, etc. It is not surprising, therefore, that some of the most degraded river areas are located in Europe, "WWF and Bankwatch said in a statement.
 
They added that despite this, on World River Day, which this year is being held on September 27, it is essential to highlight parts of the old continent where rivers still flow freely.
 
"Our region is home to the last free-flowing rivers in Europe, but they are under a lot of pressure today. State incentives are the main reason why around 2,700 sHPPs are planned across the Balkans. If this is not stopped, hundreds of rivers will be destroyed. With this type of construction, they could lose 5,000 km of untouched rivers," reads a statement from WWF and Bankwatch.
 
"The development of small hydropower plants is one of the biggest threats to rivers in the Balkans. More absurdly- these senseless projects are directly sponsored by state funds and do not benefit either the energy sector or the state initiatives - we are calling on their countries to stop the construction of sHPPs. Now is the right time for the Western Balkan countries to lift incentives that destroy nature and to protect Europe's last wild river," said Zoran Mateljak, freshwater program manager at WWF Adria.
 
The statement also states that in the countries of the Western Balkans, the number of hydropower plants with a capacity of up to 10 MW has quadrupled over the past ten years.
 
"It is clear from this that the governments of the countries in the region are prioritizing the development of small hydropower plants. Data for 2018 tell us that 70% of all incentives for renewable energy sources were spent on small hydropower plants at the regional level," said WWF and Bankwatch.
 
"The European Union has already abandoned the system of preferential prices for all but the smallest projects. Therefore, the existing incentive system in most Western Balkan countries is at odds with the recommendations on state aid for environmental protection and energy," explained Pippa Gallop, energy adviser for Southeast Europe at Bankwatch.
 
"Governments must urgently change laws and regulations to prevent further unnecessary destruction of our rivers," she added.
 
WWF and Bankwatch said that the disproportionate environmental and social damage caused by small hydropower plants related to the amount of electricity produced has already been recognized by the Energy Community and the European Union's Technical Expert Group on Financial Taxonomy, and is also in the EU document in the countries of the Western Balkans.
 
"However, the countries of the region are working very slowly on diversifying the use of renewable energy sources and stopping incentives," the statement reads.
 
"The analyses we conducted indicate that encouraging sHPPs makes no sense. In addition to producing immeasurable damage to nature and local communities, they also produce large financial losses for the Montenegrin people. When we have to face the recession and economic crisis that will follow, the state "should stop investing in harmful projects. Moreover, focusing on 'green' solutions and the economy stands out as one of the best ways out of this crisis, and is a guarantee of a sustainable future for the whole country," said Milija Cabarkapa from WWF Adria.
 
"Given that the countries of the Western Balkans are now going through the process of setting their policies and goals related to the production of electricity from renewable sources by 2030, it is time to stop incentives. Instead, they should focus on alternatives that have less impact on nature and people. They include increasing energy efficiency or investing in energy sources such as the sun or wind, for which there is great potential in the region if adequately planned and with the participation of the public," concludes Gallop.
27 Sep 2020, 15:02 PM
September 27, 2020 - Montenegrin wine production has received confirmation of its proclaimed high quality on the international scene - all Montenegrin participants can boast of medals won at one of the world's largest festivals, held in London 
Winemakers recognized for their excellent red wines, are ready to conquer even the most discerning white wine markets, results of  the "Decanter world wine awards, London, England 2020" confirmed.
At one of the most esteemed quality tests, the wineries finished with gold, eight silver, and three bronze medals.
Samples from Montenegro were sent to London by only four wineries, and each came away with at least one medal.
In addition to the inevitable giant - "Plantaže", which won gold for "Vranac Pro Corde" from 2016, and numerous other medals for a wide range, the wines of Grbalj winery "Castel Savina", and Podgorica's "Bogojevic" and "Vukicevic" drew significant attention. During the previous week in London, silver medals were earned by the Chardonnay "Castel Savina", the red wine "Bogdan" from the winery Bogojević, and the white wine "Malvazija" from the winery Vukićević from Beri.
Malvasija was the closest in terms of points to the gold medal of Montenegrin white wines in London.
"Those few points needed for gold were taken away by the fact that we were a candidate for young wine from the 2018 harvest. If we had run for Malvasija in 2016, we would surely have won a gold medal. However, we are a small winery, and we wanted to prove the quality of wine that people can buycurrently, since the older vintages are almost sold out. We achieved the goal, and I received confirmation from London that we have top-quality red wines in Montenegro, but also excellent white wines. To those who would doubt us, I'd tell them to try Malvasija. In addition to the Malvasija wine, we received a bronze medal for the young wine 'Vranac Vukićević' and we are incredibly proud of the quality of the wine of our family winery," emphasized agronomist Filip Vukićević.
In just five years since its founding, the winery "Vukićević" has proven its quality at all the most prestigious fairs.
"We only perform at fairs in the region and Montenegro, while for the most prestigious samples we send by express mail, and even that is expensive for us. However, this season with the pandemic, it was confirmed that wine production has far exceeded the market's needs. It is a pity that all our wineries did not participate in Paris and London. Only by participating can we position ourselves on the world wine map and expand the market because we have quality and reasonable prices. In addition to the award-winning wines, we have started the production of chardonnay this season, we have rosé, and also grape brandy 'Vukićević,'" explained Filip Vukićević.
Podgorica vineyards, based on the results and experience of Vukićević, have vast potential.
"We have 18,000 vines, but in a crisis due to a pandemic, it is risky to increase the numbers. Our goal is to expand the capacity of the base and procure equipment. There are announcements that there will be an international assistance program for precisely that through the Ministry of Agriculture ... ".
Vukicevic points out that in this coronavirus year sales started only after the opening of the borders, and that the previous figures were not good either.
"We hope that the New Year's holidays will bring profit, otherwise many wine producers will be in trouble at the beginning of the next harvest. That is why we do not plan to expand the vineyard for now. We must continue to participate in the most prestigious fairs to get a foothold in other markets. Only better positioning will avoid the problem of a small market - it will be difficult to survive otherwise if we have another crisis season".
 
26 Sep 2020, 21:20 PM

September 26, 2020 - Elementary and high school students in Montenegro should start the new school year on October 1, which will take place in conditions adapted to the current epidemiological situation. According to the Ministry of Education plan, students in the last three grades of primary and upper secondary school levels will attend classes entirely online, with the organization of examinations at the school. Students in other years will go to school in groups of a maximum of 15 children, with the obligatory wearing of protective masks. Is the decision discriminatory? And what impact will it have on children's psycho-social development at adolescence?

In general, the situation surrounding the COVID-19 epidemic has affected children in different ways, points out pedagogue Dr.Sci Jelena Perunovic Samardzic. In addition to the impact on education, there is also a broad impact on their mental health.

"The children have faced a lot. They've put up with isolation, with the story of the deadly virus, they're bombarded with these things every day, both through the media and from other sources on all sides - they are scared and confused. They've been taught to fear things, in a certain way. What is very unusual for them is that during the isolation, which is still present in a way, is that have been in far less contact with their peers, which leaves a mark on them, both in the socio-emotional and psychological sense. It was especially prevalent during the first wave of the epidemic. And yet it has an impact even now, assuming that we are socially responsible and teach our children such behavior. We have to change our habits and give children an example to follow so that they accept the new reality," says Dr. Perunovic Samardzic.

"I think we will have a problem now that the children need to go to kindergarten and school. School children will face the situation whereby they have to maintain physical distance and not have contact with their friends and teachers. When they are in groups, it will be difficult for them to adhere to the measures, and that will certainly affect them," says Dr. Perunovic Samardzic.

The Ministry of Education has presented the necessary recommendations for the organization of classes in the school year 2020/21. Following the personnel and space capacities, the administrations of each school in Montenegro will have to respond. The summer months were used to review European practices in the organization of online teaching and train 2,000 teachers from all over Montenegro, enabling a better quality of educational process in the coming period. However, the questions without answers do not only affect education and barriers of a technical nature. Seventh, eighth, and ninth-grade students are "condemned" to a lack of interaction with peers, which can have severe consequences for them.

"Online teaching is a useful tool, but I think it is not enough, and is certainly not the best way for students to acquire knowledge, especially when it comes to adolescents. In general, we know how much children at that age behave rebelliously towards imposed situations, so it won't be easy to get and keep their attention. Children at this age learn tolerance, empathy, experience the first disappointments, and fall in love for the first time. The fact that they will not go to school deprives them of a large part of the social space in which all this takes place."

Students in the most sensitive period are discriminated against compared with other children, by being completely denied school desks, and consequences for their psycho-social development can be expected.

"During distance learning, solidarity, empathy is lost; there is no socializing, no establishing new friendships. Therefore, there is no falling in love, which is an integral part of personality formation. Consequently, I think that this type of teaching is hazardous for the socialization of children and, in general, for their functioning later in life, "says Dr. Perunovic Samardzic.

In cooperation with the British Embassy in Montenegro, UNICEF conducted a survey questioning parents' opinions on whether children in the current situation should attend school in the classical way or online. More than 73 percent of parents believe that children should attend school regularly regardless of the epidemiological situation. Dr. Perunovic Samardzic believes their position is completely justified from the pedagogical point of view.

"There were several suggestions and possible models to organize classes. The Ministry of Education has decided on an organization that means that students in the last cycle of primary education, as well as upper grades of high school, attend school entirely online," says Dr. Perunovic Samardzic. As to whether there is a pedagogical justification for such a division of children by age, Dr. Perunovic Samardzic explained:

"I believe that children are discriminated against by age without any pedagogical justification. Especially because of the sensitivity of the age we are talking about and the importance of socialization during adolescence. There is no justification for leaving their developmental interests aside. As parents, and we will do it from the profession's perspective, we should appeal to the Ministry of Education to allow those children to attend classes according to the classical model as much as possible in the current epidemiological situation."

We must enable our children to function normally as far as is possible. Dr. Perunovic Samardzic concludes by emphasizing that the current situation is no excuse not to do our best to provide children with the best conditions for mental, physical, socio-emotional, and psychological development.

25 Sep 2020, 23:10 PM

September 25, 2020 - The European Union (EU) recognizes Montenegro as a leader in the integration process, stated the Head of the EU Delegation to Montenegro, Oana-Cristina Popa, stating that a significant proportion of the work has already been completed. Today, she was received by the President of the Assembly, Aleksa Becic, who said that he was satisfied with his first meeting with Popa after taking office.

Becic thanked her for the support that the EU has provided to Montenegro so far in the process of reforms and democratization, which, as he said, confirmed that the Western Balkans is still a major focus for the EU.

Becic emphasized that the EU's assistance in the fight against the COVID-19 epidemic was far greater than that provided by other international organizations.

"Having in mind the complex socio-economic and epidemiological situation, it is imperative that the new government is constituted as quickly and efficiently as possible." Significantly, minority parties supported my election, and I hope that they will be part of the new Government. Our common goal is to strengthen the civil state," Becic said.

He reiterated that the agreement signed by the representatives of the coalitions in the new parliamentary majority confirms that the new Government will be pro-Montenegrin, pro-European, pro-Western, civil, and conciliatory.

Becic mentioned that he would strengthen cooperation within NATO and accelerate European integration, which unites Montenegrin society.

He emphasized that the Assembly will remain open for project cooperation in the coming period, especially in supervisory and control roles, transparency, and efficiency.

Speaking about Chapters 23 and 24, Becic pointed out that stagnation in the integration process is not an option, that the new model of negotiations will give an additional boost to those who are efficient in implementing reforms, and that victory in the fight against organized crime and corruption is the only guarantee of a prosperous and stable Montenegro.

He pointed out that he sees the future of Montenegro and the Western Balkans as part of the EU and that this path has no alternative for the entire region.

Popa said that she was looking forward to excellent and efficient cooperation with Becic and the Assembly's new convocation to jointly lead Montenegro more swiftly towards EU membership.

Speaking about the consequences of the coronavirus epidemic, she emphasized that the EU has operational mechanisms to support Montenegro.

Popa said that the European Commission would publish two important documents on October 6 - the Enlargement Report for 2020 and the EU Investment Plan.

"The EU recognizes Montenegro as a leader in the integration process. A significant part of the work has already been done. That is why you have a great responsibility as a model for other countries in the region. The issue of integration of the Western Balkans countries is still on the table, and the European perspective is something we take very seriously," Popa emphasized.

She congratulated Becic on his election as President of the Montenegrin Parliament and said she was pleased with the peaceful transition of power.

25 Sep 2020, 19:47 PM

September 25, 2020 - The National Coordination Body for Infectious Diseases (NKT) has decided to follow the Institute of Public Health of Montenegro (IPH) and several municipal crisis headquarters' suggestions to start implementing new restrictive epidemiological measures depending on the epidemiological situation in each local area.

"According to the IPH methodology, the decisions on restrictive measures will be based on monitoring a fourteen-day cumulative incidence (CI). This rate and its movement, which in epidemiology is a measure of disease risk, is divided by the number of new COVID-19 cases per municipality and is expressed per 100,000 inhabitants," announced the NKT.

In local areas where the 14-day rate is less than 400, strict compliance and strict control of the implementation of valid epidemiological measures continue.

In local areas where the 14-day rate is between 400 and 799, in addition to the valid measures, NKT is to restrict the operation of catering facilities after 10 pm.

Limitations on the working conditions of catering facilities:

  • Maximum of two people to be at one table both inside and outside the facility (terraces, gardens, etc.);
  • A distance of at least one meter to be maintained from chair to chair when persons are sitting at tables facing away from each other.

In local areas where the 14-day rate is between 800 and 1,199, alongside measures already in place:
The operation of catering facilities (restaurants, cafes, cafeterias, hotel restaurants) is prohibited, except for those provided for hotel guests;
Persons who are not members of a joint family household are forbidden from gathering in residential buildings.

In local areas where the 14-day rate is higher than 1,200, alongside measures already in place:
it is forbidden to leave the residential building from 22:00 to 05:00 with defined exceptions that were valid during the previous period: children with autism spectrum disorders; persons using wheelchairs accompanied by one person, for a maximum of 60 minutes a day, persons performing regular work tasks in activities permitted by orders, employees of foreign diplomatic and consular missions, persons providing services of public interest that are deemed indispensable (health, inspection bodies, police, army, security services, fire services, utilities, media - including guests on media shows, agricultural activities on farms, etc.), as evidenced by a certificate issued by the employer; those working for persons who due to illness, condition or consequence of injury are not able to independently perform daily activities - this should be proven by a certificate issued by the chosen doctor of such persons; and persons exercising pets, for a maximum of 60 minutes a day;

The operation of catering facilities (restaurants, cafes, cafeterias, hotel restaurants) is prohibited, except for those provided for hotel guests;

Visits to the homes of persons who are not members of the same household are prohibited.

NKT explained that the CI rate is determined by the IPH and is published on its website once a week, on Saturday mornings.

"The application of restrictions depending on the determined CI rate starts on the third day from the announcement of the specified rate, ie, on Mondays at 00:00. The decision on possible mitigation of measures is made automatically every 14 days, depending on the movement of grades. At the same time, analysis on tightening any restrictions is performed weekly in line with rate changes," the statement said.

According to current data, which does not include new cases that will be detected by the end of today, the strictest measures will be implemented following the situation in Niksic, Berane, and Andrijevica, starting on Monday.

The beginning of the school year

The NKT stated that considering the epidemiological situation and conditions for the upcoming return to school, they have instructed the Ministry of Education to intensify activities and to review and determine all relevant parameters and inform the public in detail about all aspects of the beginning of the school year by next Monday (September 28, 2020).

"Competent inspection bodies, primarily the Sanitary and Health Inspectorate, are in charge of monitoring the fulfillment of conditions for regular teaching in the context of compliance with epidemiological measures by the beginning of the school year. To prevent the spread of coronavirus among children and students, the NKT has decided to change the appropriate order that the obligation to wear protective masks applies to children over five years old," stated the NKT.

Inspection bodies to closely monitor compliance with the measures
The NKT said that inspection bodies, both at the state and local level, were once again called upon to consistently and continuously monitor the implementation of valid epidemiological measures and regularly report to the public on these results.

24 Sep 2020, 12:04 PM

September 24, 2020 - The epidemiological situation in Montenegro is becoming more complicated every day. The number of new cases of COVID-19 infection is not decreasing. On the contrary, the Institute of Public Health is registering nearly 300 new patients daily, and the problem is the local transmission.

The Institute of Public Health informed yesterday that out of 862 analyzed samples, they registered 290 new COVID-19 cases, and five patients died due to the infection. The day before, PCR analysis of 749 samples reported 296 new patients, and eight people died. There are currently 3549 COVID-19 cases active in Montenegro. Since the beginning of the first wave of the epidemic, the Institute reported 9428 patients.

Montenegro is still in first place in the region in terms of actively infected with COVID-19 per 100 thousand inhabitants - 563, and it has the most infected per million inhabitants - 14,965. With 45 per 100 thousand inhabitants, it also leads in the number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients. In terms of mortality rate, Montenegro's situation, with a percentage of 1.6 percent concerning the number of infected, is the most favorable than the region's states.

"At the moment, the level of local transmission in our country is such that the import of cases from abroad does not represent a significant increase in the epidemiological risk of further spread of the infection," said the assistant director of the Institute of Public Health, Dr. Senad Begic.

"Therefore, it is not justified to expect that measures to ban international travel or a ban on arrivals from Serbia or other countries, will be introduced. Such actions would not affect, because they have no epidemiological meaning ", added Begić for the portal nova.rs.

"Following the experiences from the surrounding countries, Europe and the world and comparative practice, and especially following the available results of scientific studies, including those in the field of social sciences, it is clear that measures to close the country have long-term anti-epidemic effects. They also cause more significant damage to both the economy and many health aspects than the anti-epidemic actions currently in force. Therefore, it is clear and proven that simple measures- wearing masks, keeping physical distance, regular hand hygiene- not only give results but are also sustainable measures that enable society to function, "Begic said.

Closure of cities, restriction of the right of movement for the entire population, and other draconian measures are only the last resort to be resorted to when it is noticed that illness and hospitalization indicators threaten to endanger the normal functioning of society and the health system. For now, such drastic measures are being avoided in Montenegro.

"It is possible that in some cities we will shorten the working hours of catering facilities. Or, eventually, close them. But we hope that with adequate control and insisting on implementing general prevention measures and a high degree of social responsibility, we will be able to avoid this scenario," concluded Begic.

23 Sep 2020, 22:15 PM

September 23, 2020 - Aleksa Becic, the coalition "Peace is our nation" leader, was elected today the new President of the Parliament of Montenegro, supported by 45 of 81 deputies. The positions within the new majority's coalition partners were harmonized, and a request was sent to the President of the state, Milo Đukanović, to appoint prof. Dr. Zdravko Krivokapic, leader of the coalition "For the Future of Montenegro," the new government's prime minister-designate.

The new Parliament's first session was chaired by the oldest member of the new convocation, Miodrag Lekic, and assisted by the youngest, Maksim Vucinic. Some members of the Democratic Front did not attend the intonation of the national anthem of Montenegro.

At the beginning of the first New Assembly session, the Democratic Front announced support to the Civic Movement URA's proposals. Aleksa Becic to be a candidate for President of the Assembly, and Dr. Zdravko Krivokapic for the position of prime minister-designate, about which they were at least undefined at the yesterdays meeting in the Ostrog Monastery.

"All election activities were conducted following the law. I thank everyone who participated in that. Representatives of international organizations monitored the elections and did not identify major irregularities. There were 35 accredited media," said the President of the State Election Commission Aleksa at the beginning of the session. Ivanovic, after which the mandates of 81 deputies were verified.

The Social Democrats and the Bosniak Party won three seats each, the SDP two, the Black and White four mandates. The Albanian Coalition unanimously one seat, the DPS 30, the For the Future of Montenegro coalition 27, the Albanian List one, and the "Peace is Our Nation" coalition ten.

Forty-five deputies from the coalitions "For the Future of Montenegro," "Peace is our nation," "Black on White," the Bosniak Party (BS), and Nik Djelosaj from the Albanian list voted for the election of Becic. Liberal Party MP Andrija Popovic was against, and MPs from the Democratic Party of Socialists (DPS), Social Democrats (SD), Social Democratic Party MP Draginja Vuksanovic Stankovic, and Albanian coalition "Unanimously" member Fatmir Djeka abstained.

The President of Montenegro, Milo Đukanović, who did not attend the first session of the Parliament in which DPS deputies sit in opposition benches for the first time, was sent a request today with the signatures of 41 deputies of the new parliamentary majority to appoint prof. Dr. Zdravko Krivokapić, the government's prime minister-designate.

The new President of the Montenegrin Parliament - Aleksa Becic

The holder of the parliamentary list of the coalition "Peace is our nation," Aleksa Becic is the President of Democratic Montenegro, whose deputies boycotted the Montenegrin Parliament after the 2016 elections, demanding changes to the election law and other conditions for the democratization of the election process.

Aleksa Becic started his political career in the Socialist People's Party. He resigned with his supporters in 2015, initiating the Democrats' establishment, of which he has been President since the beginning.

The new President of the Parliament of Montenegro was born in Cetinje on August 4, 1987. After primary and secondary school in Podgorica, he graduated from the Faculty of Economics in July 2010. He received his master's degree from the same faculty in March 2014, majoring in Accounting and Auditing.

In his first address after he is appointed President of the Parliament of Montenegro, Aleksa Becic said that he would "perform his duty according to the Constitution and the law, honestly, responsibly and conscientiously."

He also pointed out that it is an indescribable part and privilege to be elected President of the highest legislative and representative house, and at the same time, to be the first elected public official after the first democratic change of government in Montenegrin history.

"Gratitude for the election to colleagues from coalitions. Special gratitude to colleagues from minority parties, the Bosniak Party and the Albanian Electoral List, for their support and trust. Those who did not vote for me should know that I will fight for them even more. I will not attack, criticize, or declare them opponents of the state. I want the opposition to have a better status than we had," Becic said.

He added that without a quality opposition, there is no parliamentary democracy, saying that his main goal will be to strengthen the Parliament's control role.

"Parliament is the roof of Montenegro, and no one should endanger it. The argument in Parliament will be replaced by tolerance and dialogue. We must respect each other even when we disagree and look to the future."
Becic added that Montenegro must win the war on organized crime.
"Parliament must also strive to reform the electoral legislation so that Montenegro enters the election game in which everyone starts from scratch, and so that every next game would be a true celebration of democracy."

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