13 December 2018 - Road infrastructure has never seen more investments in the history of Montenegro. Last year, around 47 million EUR was spent on roads.
“When I started serving this function, the greatest challenges for me were the motorway and the Montenegro Airlines. We have zero tolerance for the quality of works on the motorway. This is the most difficult section in Europe. The complete loop will not be constructed, only the access road. We will complete the water supply along the entire route of the motorway. Permanent electricity supply is another important segment of this project. Apart from the motorway, we are working on the remaining road network. From the north to the south,” said the Minister of Transport, Osman Nurković.
As he says, almost 95 km of roads were reconstructed in two years. Speaking of the motorway, he said that the Government was looking for the modalities for the continuation of the Bar-Boljare motorway (second section). He added that 17 projects on the railway were being implemented.
Nurković also noted Montenegro Airlines was a big challenge.
“It was just a matter of a say when it would stop working, but we are determined to help them. The company survived. If it went out of business, we would be faced with serious consequences. However, we managed to rationalize it and eliminate the unnecessary expenses. One of the options is that the Government recovers the company. The other is to privatize it. The third option is a liquidation,” said the Minister. Some decision about the future of this company will have to be rendered in the forthcoming days said Nurković.
“Current situation is such that the airports do not satisfy the needs since a huge number of passengers is interested in Montenegro. There are so many shortcomings. We must improve the situation and extend the capacities. That can be done by somebody who has money and knowledge. We gave very serious requirements that the concessionaire will have to fulfill,” said Nurković.
He expects that the Government will soon adopt the concession act and repeated that giving the Airports on concession is the most beneficial investments project for the state.
The most significant success is bringing the seamen back on the whitelist.
“Seamen were marginalized. The state has to pay much more attention to them. We have signed the agreement with Portugal, about to sign one with the Netherlands and we are planning to renew the agreement with Ukraine”, said Nurković.
Minister also said that they would not tolerate the delays in the construction of the boulevard along Donja Gorica, that is in charge of “Tehno put.”
Montenegro has recently received an additional 68.6 million EUR of non-refundable support from the EU and bilateral donors of the West Balkans Investments Framework for the implementation of four investment projects in the area of transport and the environment and the preparation of project documentation for two new projects. Read more information here.
12 December 2018 - Prime Minister Duško Marković said earlier today at the Prime Minister's Questions session at the Parliament of Montenegro that the northern region of Montenegro has been less developed than the other two regions for decades, that this underdevelopment was characterised by a higher unemployment rate, lower incomes and a low rate of economic growth, but that two years of consistent economic policy measures resulted in positive developments in all of these aspects.
"Today we are witnessing new kilometres of modern roads, new ski centres, schools, kindergartens, reconstructed hospitals," said the Prime Minister.
The Prime Minister pointed out that the Government's commitment to balanced regional development has been confirmed in the past two years through the funds allocated to projects in the northern region within the Capital Budget, but also within sectoral budgets, such as agribusiness or investment budgets of individual ministries.
"When it comes to the budget of the Directorate of Public Works and the Directorate of Transport for the previous two years, more than 81 million EUR were allocated to the projects in the north. Furthermore, significant funds were allocated to the Investment and Development Fund aimed at more dynamic development of less developed municipalities. In 2017 and 2018, this development fund allocated around 70 million EUR to entrepreneurship and growth of business in the municipalities of Andrijevica, Berane, Bijelo Polje, Gusinje, Kolašin, Mojkovac, Petnjica, Plav, Pljevlja, Plužine, Rozaje, Šavnik and Žabljak. These funds created 856 new jobs. In addition, projects in the north are financed through the Regional Housing Programme, the Investment Framework for the Western Balkans, the European Union's IPA funds, and the funds of the European Investment Bank," Prime Minister Duško Marković noted.
The Prime Minister stressed that he is particularly pleased with the investors' positive reactions to the development potentials of the North. "We have recently signed new long-term lease agreements based on which the high-class hotel facilities will be built at the Kolašin 1600 location and at the location of the former military resort in Žabljak. Therefore, at the end of 2017, we established a state-owned ski resort company, based in Mojkovac, in order to improve quality of the existing infrastructure, but also to implement development investment policies more efficiently. An additional impetus to our efforts is the construction of the priority section of the Bar-Boljare motorway, which will connect the northern region with the central and southern ones. The construction of the motorway will be continued with the ultimate goal of connecting with the European Highway Network. By the end of 2019, more than 500 million EUR will be invested in this project," Prime Minister Duško Marković concluded.
December 13, 2018 - The support of the United Nations, and in particular, UNDP, is of great importance in the realization of projects crucial to the development of Podgorica, said Mayor Ivan Vukovic today in a conversation with Fiona McLean, the United Nations System Coordinator. Cooperation in the previous period was particularly useful in the areas of capacity building, social inclusion, environmental protection, and urban planning, and in the forthcoming period, further expanding is expected.
"We are open to your proposals because we are aware of the high level of expertise that you own when it comes to urban problems that Podgorica is facing. We have set up a very ambitious agenda, and I think that it is largely in line with the United Nations development goals," the mayor said.
He presented the most important projects that are being implemented or prepared in the Capital, especially singling out the construction of a wastewater treatment plant and its importance for the preservation of the environment, not only in Podgorica but also throughout the country. As projects of significance for sustainable development, he also outlined the planned construction of a solar power plant, the development of bicycling in the city, and the intention of the City to reconstruct public buildings in its ownership with the aim of becoming more energy efficient.
Noting that her professional career began in local government, the UN Coordinator pointed out that she is well aware of the power of this branch of government to change or improve the quality and way of life of people through their actions. She specifically focused on the Sustainable Development Agenda till 2030, as a good guideline for further cooperation of the United Nations System.
The objective 11 of Agenda concerns the sustainable development of cities and ways to make them more inclusive, safer and more flexible. It is an excellent task with many dimensions, and I will happily cooperate in its realization here in Podgorica, as the largest city in Montenegro," Mekluni said.
She particularly emphasized the need to work on environmental goals, supporting marginalized groups, implementing solutions of so-called "smart cities", and protecting cultural and natural heritage.
Text by CdM, on December 11th, 2018, read more at CdM
December 11, 2018 - Small hydropower plants (sHPPs), which are privileged electricity producers, will produce 94.8 gigawatt-hours of electricity next year, as stated in the Energy Balance Decision for 2019, which is ten percent more than the estimated achievement this year.
The plan, as highlighted in the document adopted by the Government at the session last week, is the sum of all SHP plans submitted by the concessionaires to the Ministry of Economy.
"In 2017, due to the dry season, 61 percent of the total plan was realized, while in this, due to favorable hydrological conditions, the plan was exceeded by 23 percent," Dnevne novine noted.
The total installed power of all SHPPs, which according to the registry of the Energy Regulatory Agency are 13, is 41.8 MWh.
The eligible electricity producer, besides SHP, is the Krnovo wind farm, whose electricity production for the next year is estimated at 201 gigawatt-hour, which is 20 percent above the achievement in 2018.
"Wind power plants in Krnovo in 2017, due to the late start of production, realized 48 percent of the planned. This year, the level of electricity produced in Krnovo was brought to 93 percent," said the energy balance.
The decision also plans that the electricity production from the wind farm on Mozura, whose commercial performance should start next year, will be 111.8 gigawatt-hours.
Text by Dnevne novine, on December 11th, 2018, read more at CdM
10 December 2018 - The Third Montenegrin Salon of Architecture takes place from December 6 to December 20, 2018, at Kolektor, on the 8th of March Street (Montenegrin: Ulica 8. marta) at the Titeks Hall in Podgorica. The slogan of this year’s Architecture Salon is "Paraarhitektura" and by this occasion, among many others, people of Herceg Novi won awards in the field of architecture.
The Architecture Salon represents an exhibition event and competitive meeting of architectural production at the local, national and international level. During the manifestation, multiple awards and recognitions are given in several different categories.
On this occasion, NGO "Sinergija" from Herceg Novi, led by young architect Vuk Čvoro together with the Petrović Njegoš Foundation, founded and lead by Prince Nikola Petrović Njegoš, won the special award in the category of research and experiment. This award was given for the Mezzaluna Workshop and School restoration project, which was implemented in October 2017 by Benjamin Mouton, Patrice Regnard and Veronique Casin Da Silva from the restoration studio Archipat in Lyon. The works were performed by the company ZV Design, Zlatko Vujotić, and the company Comte from France, represented by Jaques Pellegrin.
On the same occasion, another project coming from Herceg Novi was awarded Award for Best Interior. The Award was given to Srđan Marlović, who led the project of cafe interior under the creative conception "1/3:3/4".
The jury emphasized the specificity of the conceptual setting of this project and the authentic connotation of an accentuated color and minimalistic architectural expression, in which the play of hypertrophy and atrophy of color with its double properties is fundamentally dualist, and where individuals with their various energies and moods are mimically camouflaged.
Marlović said that the recognition of colleagues is always essential as a confirmation that what work and quality are on the right path.
"I am glad that a truly rewarding jury recognized this project, and I believe that someone in Herceg Novi will be "brave" enough for such an interior, concluded Marlović.
10 December 2018 - President of Montenegro, Milo Đukanović met with the president of Argentina, Mauricio Macri at the presidential palace “Casa Rosada” in Buenos Aires. The two presidents expressed their satisfaction with the second meeting in the last two years and showed readiness to consider possibilities of cooperation in the domain of economy, food industry, trade, and new technologies.
“Agreement on cultural cooperation will be signed by the first occasion, as well as agreement on reliefs in the visa regime, and set of others agreements that are in the phase of preparation and represent a solid normative and legal basis for that,” said the representatives of Đukanović’s Office.
Both Đukanović and Macri pointed out the role of Montenegrin community, which is the durable bridge of friendship between two nations and states, and the best bond for strengthening overall cooperation.
Ceremony held on the occasion of 200 years since the arrival of the first Montenegrin family to Argentina featured president of Montenegro, Milo Đukanović as the main speaker. The ceremony was held at famous palace Jose de San Martin and the descendant of the first emigrants, Ivan Damjanović, said that they had never stopped being what their ancestors had been when they moved to Argentina back in 1818.
Horacio Reiser, deputy of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, said that this celebration is the proof of the firm foundations of Argentinian-Montenegrin relations.
Damjanović, who is now Argentinian journalist and poet, said that Montenegrin people are present there as long as the recent history of that country lasts.
Ambassador Gordan Stojović, one of the initiators and organizers of the ceremony, said that this was not only the celebration of 200 years since the first Montenegrin family arrived but it is also a celebration of 100 years of the La Montenegrina colony.
The ceremony was attended by many renowned people from the Argentinian political, cultural and economic life, diplomatic corps and many descendants of Montenegrin emigrants.
Before the ceremony began, Stojović and Reiser signed the agreement on cooperation in the field of culture between Montenegro and Argentina.
Đukanović also meets with the honorary consuls and presidents of Montenegrin communities in Latin America, that took place at the Embassy in Argentina, and during this occasion, he said: "There are not many of us, and wherever we are, it is important that we stick together.".
“If there were not for your activities and work, we would not pay much attention to the countries you live in now. On the other side, authorities of these countries would not have such relation towards Montenegro, if there were no such honorary communities here. Just like you ascendants did, today you give a contribution to their development and, thus, to build up the reputation of Montenegro in this part of the world,” said Đukanović after the first day of his visit to Latin America.
He expressed satisfaction with the cooperation with the home country and the results achieved in the past two years. He spoke about the current situation in Montenegro, which became a NATO member and made significant progress in the EU negotiations.
“Projects we are implementing are the most valuable in the history, and they can serve to honor to even greater states in Europe. We do not exaggerate if we speak with optimism about our close future that is going to be even brighter,” said Đukanović and thanked the highest representatives of Montenegrin communities in Argentina and surrounding states.
Representatives of diaspora thanked to the Government and other state authorities, as well as to the President himself, for the support and efficient commitment to cooperation.
Project “Montenegrin house” has been validated and Đukanović will deliver a speech tomorrow, at its official opening.
Representatives of Diaspora expressed special thanks to the ambassador, Gordan Stojović, who is soon completing his mission in Argentina, for exceptional cooperation and pioneer undertakings in joint efforts to organize and connect Montenegrin diaspora across Latin America.
Source: Cafe del Montenegro
December 10, 2018 - In 2017 Turkey was ranked 9th as a foreign investor in Montenegro, and data for the nine months of 2018 show that Turkey is in the third place. This is a concrete result of high-quality political and diplomatic relations, and I expect that investments from the Turkish economy will be even more significant in 2019, said the Turkish Ambassador Serhat Galip during the meeting with the Minister of Transport and Maritime Affairs Osman Nurkovic.
According to the Ministry of Transport, the meeting served to summarize the impressions and results of cooperation during the mandate of Ambassador Galip in our country.
With the assessment that the cooperation in the past period was at a very high level, Ambassador Galip expressed expectations that by appointing the new Ambassador of Turkey to Montenegro, communication will continue to be carried out in a quality manner with the support of the Montenegrin institutions.
As the Ambassador pointed out, the data show significant growth of the trade exchange trend and the focus will continue to be on the strengthening of the economic cooperation between the two countries.
Nurkovic thanked Galip for the commitment and engagement in developing diplomatic and friendly relations between Montenegro and Turkey.
"The appeal by Turkish diplomats to Turkish businessmen presenting our country as a stable investment destination is of great importance," said Nurkovic.
Especially unique are investments in northern Montenegro, bearing in mind the opportunities that exist, but the problems that citizens of this part of Montenegro encounter. "The work of the traffic department creates the preconditions for a better quality of life of citizens, primarily the construction and maintenance of road infrastructure, where it is definitely important to work on the realization of the project of construction of Bar-Boljare highway. The stronger development of northern Montenegro will affect the development of the whole country," the minister said. During the meeting there were talks about cooperation in other sectors in the field of education, there is a quality program of support for Montenegrin students in Turkey. As the ambassador pointed out, the Turkish government allocates certain funds for financing such programs, and it is up to us to jointly promote and create such and similar projects.
Text by CdM, on December 10th, 2018, read more at CdM
December 9, 2018 - There is no place for luxury resorts on Skadar Lake, said the Council of Europe.
Therefore, at the last session in Strasbourg held at the end of November, the recommendations of Berne Convention on halting the construction of Porto Skadar Lake and the White Village in the National Park "Skadar Lake" were adopted.
"We recommend the Government of Montenegro to stop further construction on land and the coast at the Mihailovići site in the next 12 months. The new Spatial Plan of the Special Purpose of the National Park Skadar Lake should rely on the assumptions of the Spatial Plan of 2001 and proclaim the wider area of Rijeka Crnojevica and the islands of Liponjak and Galići as a zone I of strict protection. The new Spatial Plan of Special Purpose should also declare Poseljanski Bay and Biški rep as a Zone I of strict protection," the recommendation of the Bern Convention states.
This conclusion is the result of a visit by the representatives of Berne and RAMSAR, i.e. the Convention on the Protection of European Wild Species and Natural Habitats and Wetlands, to Skadar Lake in June this year.
Skadar Lake was on the agenda of the session of the Secretariat of the Berne Convention thanks to the informal association of citizens of Virpazar, who launched a petition in the summer to ban construction on the lake. It was signed by about 13,000 people. Today, however, we were unable to get a comment from the representatives of this association.
After several days of waiting they did not answer our question: if they will act upon the recommendations of the Council of Europe, no answer was received by the Ministry of Sustainable Development and Tourism.
NGO Green House reminds that Montenegro has ratified both Ramsar and Berne conventions.
"If these recommendations were violated, this could significantly escalate at the international level and lead to the deletion of Skadar Lake from the RAMSAR list," says Natasa Kovacevic from Green Home.
Citizens of Virpazar hope, however, that by the arrival of foreign investors to the lake they would finally get roads and jobs.
"I think that they should be allowed to work, with the satisfaction of those standards that are implied, the protection of the lake and the rest..."; "They will offer jobs, and it will look good..."; "Personally, as a citizen here, when I go home and when somebody comes to visit, it would be nice to have better roads and ambience when someone passes by..." are some of the opinions by the locals.
Kovačević says that such comments are not surprising, because the inhabitants of the settlement around Skadar Lake have never been given an alternative that they would benefit from, and the lake remained protected.
"This is an alternative to the development of tourism based on traditional architecture, based on the natural features of the lake, because it is the only curiosity that the lake has. The only alternative offered to them is the mega-touristic infrastructure ...".
Although the damage to Biški rep is made, Kovačević believes that it is not irreparable. "This devastated area should return to its former state, and this should be done at the expense of the investors." Porto Skadar Lake is worth around 160 million euros, and it is planned to have 51 apartments, 30 villas, and its marina. The French investor Lionel Sonigo started preparatory works two years ago, and his opinion on the Spatial Plan of the Special Purpose of the National Park Skadar Lake in late September was supposed to be given by Montenegrin MPs, but the plan was returned for refinement.
Text by Marija Otasevic, on December 8th, 2018, read more at Vijesti