May 6, 2020 - No new cases of Covid-19 have been registered today. The total number of registered coronavirus infected stands at 324. Of these, 55 are active infections. Active cases by the city are as follows: Podgorica (29), Ulcinj (10), Bar (6), Gusinje (3), Plav (3), Tuzi (1), Niksic (1), Herceg Novi (1), Bijelo Polje (1).
No more coronavirus patients at Clinical Centre of Montenegro
There are currently no more COVID-19 patients at Clinical Centre of Montenegro (KCCG), 49 days since the first COVID-19 hospitalization, announced the KCCG director, Dr. Jevto Erakovic. Erakovic said this was an indication of the good epidemiological situation in the country, but warned that it was still no reason to relax fully.
One patient is still receiving treatment in Berane General Hospital. The deputy director of the Institute of Public Health, Dr. Senad Begic, said that almost 8,500 coronavirus tests had been carried out, putting Montenegro’s testing rate well above 10,000 per one million inhabitants.
Begic reiterated that opening the borders would be among the last restrictions to be lifted. For kindergartens, he believes authorities will be cautious about opening them because this could be hazardous not only for children but for parents and other family members as well. He repeated the importance of everyone adhering to the mandatory wearing of masks or scarves across the mouth and nose.
To date, 6,230 businesses and business owners have applied for state wage subsidies. 91% of these applications have been approved, tweets the Ministry of Economy.
Unemployment rises: 40,380 registered unemployed
The number of unemployed has risen 4,916 since the coronavirus outbreak, announces the Employment Bureau of Montenegro. During this same period, 611 people lost their jobs. As of 4 May, unemployment stands at 17.41%, reports the deputy director of the Bureau, Goran Bubanj. The majority of people who lost jobs worked in the wholesale and retail trade sector.
Total of €60m for Montenegro to mitigate economic consequences of COVID-19 pandemic
The EU will help Montenegro mitigate the economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic with €60m. It is part of the macro-financial assistance package, worth up to €3bn, intended for ten partner countries currently covered by the EU enlargement process. The financial assistance will be provided through loans with favorable conditions.
SNP proposed its own set of recovery measures, invited the opposition to unite
SNP proposed its own set of measures for the recovery after the coronavirus epidemic. Among other things, SNP asked for salary limits to be instituted in all state-owned and public enterprises. It also called on opposition parties to unite and form the Alliance for the Salvation of Montenegro and asked the authorities to allow religious gatherings in churches. SNP leader Vladimir Jokovic said that all retirees receiving less than €222 a month should receive one-time €50 cash assistance, not only those earning less than €120, as was the government’s practice previously. Jokovic also said that salaries should be increased for medical workers and teachers to the extent that it doesn’t jeopardize state budget sustainability. SNP also proposed a25% state budget allocation for the health system, which the ruling coalition rejected as unrealistic and unsustainable.
Union of Seafarers: Things moving from a standstill, testing procedure for seafarers must be defined
Nedjeljko Radulovic of the Union of Seafarers of Montenegro says Montenegrin sailors are unable to get jobs on ships as many companies require coronavirus test results and no procedure for testing Montenegrin sailors has yet been defined. He notes that in Croatia, such testing has been arranged.
The government must curb the import lobby
If it wishes Montenegrin agriculture well, the government urgently needs to introduce better controls on imports of basic foodstuffs. So that Montenegrin producers do not get into the situation of not being able to market their products in the country where they live and pay taxes.
It is the opinion of the renowned farmer from Pljevlja, Milko Zivkovic, who is also the president of the Union of Livestock Breeders of North Montenegro. Zivkovic points out that the crisis caused by the COVID-19 epidemic has shown that agriculture is the best factory in Montenegro, which does not lay off workers, and that the state should take this into account.
“The import lobby is slowly but surely stifling domestic agriculture, which is already becoming a concern. We will see how much in these epidemic conditions the government and the chain store owners who are major importers will pay attention to domestic production”, he says.
Moratorium will adversely affect banks’ liquidity
A moratorium on loan repayment and a decline in overall economic activity will harm banks’ liquidity and will affect their net profits, says the Central Bank (CBCG).
Bearing in mind the decrease in economic activity, the increase in unemployment and the drop in the average wage, the level of non-performing loans is expected to increase in the future, which will result in a higher level of provisions, i.e., lower net profit of banks, the CBCG adds.
The strong liquidity position of banks in the pre-crisis period, expressed through a high level of liquid assets of almost €1bn (over 20% of total assets), will enable banks to cope with reduced liquidity inflows during the moratorium successfully. It should be emphasized that banks are rightly expected to continue lending during and after the halt, with extensive restructuring, including grace periods, which will result in additional pressure on their liquidity position, the CBCG explains.ž
This brief is kindly prepared for you by Arhimed & Represent Communications.