12 Nov 2018, 13:08 PM

November 12, 2018 - If you are looking for Ratko Nikolic in the Niksic village Gvozdenice, it's not hard to find where he lives - just follow the smell of fruit.

The hard-working man from Niksic tells us that eight years ago he began producing domestic juices. And everything started from the pomegranate below Ostrog.

"We live in the area below Ostrog and there are a lot of pomegranates here, so every year I was paying someone to squeeze out the juice. I thought, why not do it myself? So I made a hydraulic press for pomegranates. At first, it was just for the needs of my family, and then the business slowly expanded. The housework of fruit processing has grown into an additional job involving the whole family."

My wife Stanka, says Ratko, is the financial director, with me as an employee who "listens to orders" and the children help as much as they can.


Wife Stanka at her job PHOTO: Svetlana Mandić

In the meantime, their daughter also graduated in chemical technology, so her professional help is welcome, Ratko said.

But, no one wants anything to do with chemistry.

The juices are made without sweeteners, preservatives, or water. 

"One year after I started making pomegranate juices, I made a bigger press, bought a pasteurizer and started with apples, pears, quinces, chokeberries, blueberries, cherries, and sour cherries. Now, I juice all fruits, and even carrots and beets. I make various combinations. Initially, everything I earned was invested in the juicer, so I expanded my business, made machines, bought more pasteurizers, and now I have eight. Everything is from my own budget."

According to Nikolić, the production of domestic juices can be profitable, but it takes a lot of effort and work. 

"In a short time, I got back everything I had invested. One good season returns everything. In order to make the juice, it is necessary to pick the best fruit because one rotten apple can destroy everything. Then you must wash it, grind it, squeeze it, bottle it, plug it in and finally pasteurize it. A small part of the fruit I use is from my own property, while I buy most of it from all over Montenegro. I'm solely looking for homemade, not-chemically sprayed fruit."

He says that this year is very fruitful in the region of Niksic so they hired six seasonal workers. The preparation and squeezing of the fruit are primarily done by the Nikolic family because, as Ratko says, he can guarantee good quality.

"It's easy to expand your business if you have quality. The picked fruit must be processed within two to three days. The pasteurized juice, when the bottle is unopened, can last for three years. Every day, more and more people are interested in healthy juices. People keep coming back to healthy food."

He says the competition does not bother him because there is work for everyone.

"People come, they ask how to make the machines, which pasteurizer to buy. I explain everything to them and everyone works well together. When there is a lot of fruit, we can all do the business well. When the season is not fruitful, the business is poor. When I started to work, this object was too big for me. Now I'm thinking about an extra room."

The Nikolić family regularly participates in fairs, and two years ago they were part of a caravan of healthy food that, organized by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, visited 14 municipalities.

Text by Svetlana Mandic, on November 11th, 2018, read more at Vijesti

11 Nov 2018, 15:30 PM

November 11, 2018 - The European Union (EU) is ready to continue financially supporting the Western Balkan countries and Turkey in the area of leading regional initiatives in line with the EU's enlargement strategy to the Western Balkans, it was announced at the coordination meeting of the IPA Multi-beneficiary program in Brussels.

As announced by the General Secretariat of the Government, representatives of the countries of the Western Balkans, Turkey and the European Commission took part in the meeting, which was held on Thursday and Friday.

On behalf of Montenegro, the meeting was attended by the representatives of the Office for European Integration led by the Deputy Chief Negotiator - National IPA Coordinator Vucic Cetkovic. It is reported that the participants discussed the actions proposed for funding under the IPA Multi-beneficiary Program for the next year, for which the EU has committed EUR 578 million, related to initiatives in the areas of rule of law, security and migration, socio-economic development, empowering connectivity, digital agenda and good neighborly relations. "It was concluded that the engagement of additional EU funds at the regional level will result in a greater volume of investment in infrastructure, improved security and responses to organized crime and corruption, as well as improving the situation in the areas of youth education, employment, statistics, cybersecurity, cultural cooperation and the private sector," the statement said.

The European Committee will, as it is clarified, after the implementation of additional consultations, officially adopt the proposed program in the middle of next year.

 It is estimated that the proposed projects for Montenegro will be of extreme practical importance to the negotiation process and implementation of key reforms in the process of EU accession. Cetkovic said that EU financial support to reforms that are thematically common to all beneficiary countries contributes to the improvement of regional cooperation, where Montenegro has been recognized as a constructive and reliable partner of the Union and the countries of the region. "Montenegro's willingness to contribute to the implementation of approved regional projects will be a significant factor for further successful implementation of the program," said Cetkovic.

Text by MINA, on November 10th, 2018, read more at Vijesti

11 Nov 2018, 15:16 PM

November 11, 2018 - The Ministry of Agriculture and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) will invest approximately 13.5 million euros in the support and development of rural areas in seven municipalities in Northern Montenegro in the next six years. The idea is to keep the population in the countryside through the improvement of agriculture and infrastructure.

That life in the country in the 21st century is very difficult is known well by Mileva Matovic from Velimlja, who was very happy to hear that she will not pass through bumpy roads on her way home anymore. She believes that new asphalt brings better days for her family and locals in this region.

"These were channels that were not possible to pass by car. And one could not pick up their child when it’s raining, when it's snowing, when it's bad weather. So, it means a lot to us," says Matovic.

The meat industry in Miljanic is also looking forward to the renovation and asphalting of roads. This factory built in the anhydrous spa area feeds 50 families and repurchases virtually everything that locals produce from these areas.

"Unfortunately, the infrastructure has been poor so far. Every meter of paved roads means something, and we hope for a solution to the water supply in the future as it would be of great importance for this region," says Pero Miljanic, the owner of the meat industry Miljanic.

Through the Cluster Development Project and the Transformation of Rural Communities, which the ministries and IFAD implement in seven Montenegrin municipalities, about 13.5 million euros will be invested in the next six-year period for the improvement of agricultural production, and the development of road and water infrastructure.

"We associate smaller agriculturist manufacturers, we create better market conditions with suppliers, traders, with providers of certain services in the form of storage, transport, to the final buyer. The idea is to place the emphasis on a smaller agricultural producer in this value chain in order to make it competitive. Returning to the village and retaining the existing population is actually the essence of a project whose benefits will be valuable to everyone. 

There have been cases recently that a couple of households have returned to live here, so with the solid infrastructure, we believe that this number would increase," Miljanic said. The project plans to build about 70 kilometers of rural roads and around thirty water supply facilities.

Text by TVCG/Portal RTCG, on November 10th 2018, read more at CdM

11 Nov 2018, 02:44 AM

10 November 2018 - The mayor of Podgorica, Ivan Vuković, announced a set of projects that should be carried out in the capital city of Montenegro. These projects include a traffic solution in the centre of the town, as well as setting up the monument to Ivan Crnojević. He also announced several infrastructure projects and construction of schools and kindergartens in settlements in Podgorica. However, first and foremost, the first man of Podgorica wants to bring the centre of Podgorica back into life and the possible solution is a shopping mall. 

“We will try to stop the traffic in the center of the town in order to stimulate people to focus on a healthy lifestyle. This idea blossomed in some cities, like Ljubljana, for instance,” said Vuković.

Former department store “Beko” will be demolished and a new shopping mall will replace it.

“I would be so happy if a shopping mall was built at the centre of the town. We have to bring the centre back into life. However, I cannot tell you exactly whether there will be a shopping mall or a hotel or maybe even congress center. It is a very important project that would resolve one of the main problems of the Capital city,” said Vuković.

A new elementary school will be constructed in Tološi and a kindergarten in Blok VI. The Mayor also pointed out the importance of road infrastructure and said that, during his term of office, a boulevard in Donja Gorica will be finished and that the Airport in Golubovci will be connected to the boulevard in Danilovgrad.

He said that the construction of collecting the main network is the most important project in this term of office.

The celebration of the New Year through the New Year bazaar, as Vuković said, will begin on 19 December and will last until 10 January.


Source: Cafe del Montenegro

10 Nov 2018, 01:58 AM

09 November 2018 - During the period of only ten months, around 2,28 million passengers have passed through both airports and that is more than during the entire last year, said the director of the Airports of Montenegro, Danilo Orlandić.

“This fact speaks in favor of the effects of our work in the domain of the improvement of air accessibility, attracting new air companies and investments,” said Orlandić.

He announced that a new terminal will be open at the Airport of Tivat. It is intended for those leaving Montenegro and its surface amounts 1.300 square meters.

“We will have six new check-in counters, and a completely new space whose importance will come into focus during the summer season since jams will be considerably reduced and the passengers will feel more comfortable. The construction of temporary facilities at the Airport Podgorica will soon begin,” said Orlandić.

New facilities will have brand new equipment, scanners, video surveillance.

“Our employees must take care of the safety of passengers and entire air traffic. With that aim, we engage often different profiles of experts who help us to maintain the airport's safety at an optimal level. Different international inspections confirm that we are doing a good job in that sense,” concluded Orlandić.


Source: Cafe del Montenegro

09 Nov 2018, 22:14 PM

November 9, 2018 - The first part of the protest march of the SOS for Montenegro Network ended tonight at around 7.30 pm when the participants arrived in Petrovac. The civic protest against the oil and gas exploration program in the Montenegrin submarine continues tomorrow at 7 am when activists move towards Budva, and it is planned that the second day will be completed in Tivat.

SOS for Montenegro to Prevent Eco and Seizmic Dangers

During the four-day event, the citizens marched a total of 145 kilometers, extending the coast from Ulcinj to Herceg Novi, in order to alert the public and warn of the dangers threatening the research activities. In addition to being detrimental to the marine ecosystem, exploration of air cannons can also induce earthquakes, which is particularly concerning because research will be conducted in a zone near the epicenter of a catastrophic earthquake that hit the Montenegrin coast in 1979, claims the SOS for Montenegro Network.

Seismic Vessel Comes Tomorrow

In September 2016, Montenegro signed a concession agreement for exploration and production of oil and gas with the Eni-Novatek consortium for four blocks in the Montenegrin submarine near Ulcinj. The Directorate for Carbon Dioxides states that the nearest block of points is about 8 miles from the Montenegrin coast.

In this particular case, seismic research will cover a territory of about 1200 square kilometers in the part of the blocks for which the consortium Eni-Novatek has obtained a concession for exploration and exploitation of hydrocarbons.

The seismic research will be conducted by the Norwegian company Shearwater by ship Polar Empress, which is coming to Ulcinj waters tomorrow. Polar Empress is a science-research vessel that will make the necessary formalities on the anchorage, and the other two Ocean Mermaid and 7 Waves vessels, which will support research activities, will be in Port of Adria.

The project will last for 45 days and includes 3D seismic surveys of the Montenegrin submarine, was confirmed by the maritime agency Nimont, the agent to the Norwegian company.

SOS for Montenegro is SOS for Adriatic

Mosor Prvan from the ecological organization World Wild Fund Adria (WWF Adria), which has been actively involved in the two-year campaign against exploration and exploitation of oil and gas in the Croatian submarine, stated that citizens must be aware of all the real dangers that carry such activities, which is not the case in Montenegro. The Croatian government was forced to withdraw from its plans, following the pressures of the public, which the pertinent attitudes of the relevant experts were presented through the campaign. Prvan emphasized that the Adriatic is a small and closed sea and all activities of such are to be of the great influence on the whole ecosystem.

SOS for Montenegro is Not Alone At Home

The Green Home organization called on the Montenegrin Government to withdraw the contract with the consortium Eni Novatek, while the SOS Montenegro network, in addition to the organization of the march, initiated a petition against the planned activities. Both organizations are strongly supported by the informal civic organization Bokobran Initiative and a lot of local activists along the coastline, who is expected to join the march along its route.

sos for montenegro marchThe SOS for Montenegro march comes from Petrovac via Budva to Tivat, where protestants are expected to arrive tomorrow night, continuing on Sunday to Kotor. The departure for Herceg Novi is planned on Monday, November 12th.

09 Nov 2018, 11:22 AM

November 9, 2018 - According to their representatives, the capital and the Investment Development Fund (IRF) should define a precise action plan with mutual obligations in order to boost entrepreneurship in Podgorica, the employment of young people and the reduction of the unemployment rate.

The Mayor of Podgorica Ivan Vuković, who met with IRF Director Zoran Vukcevic, said that the Capital will focus on intensifying cooperation with the fund in order to create new credit lines and other support mechanisms for young people, beginners in business, the unemployed, women and young agricultural producers.

"The capital will form the Secretariat for Entrepreneurship, and in this way, we will create organizational assumptions that these plans will concretize and strengthen the cooperation with IRF," said Vukovic. According to PG Biro, he said that in the past period, the Capital, through the Bureau for Economic Cooperation and Support to the Business Community organized seminars and training, provided free accounting services, infrastructure for beginners in business, and financial assistance. Vukcevic said he is ready to continue and strengthen the cooperation with the Capital by defining a concrete proposal of measures on which cooperation will be based.

"That's something we can do in the short term. Our fund invests up to EUR 200 million annually in support of entrepreneurship, and we take strict care of the fact that this business is based on clear business rules that are valid in the European Union (EU)," Vukcevic said.

He said that their goal is to strengthen the economy through credit resources and create opportunities for enterprises to develop and increase employment.

"It's all in line with the efforts of the Capital to reduce unemployment in Podgorica and we have been working on this in the previous period," Vukcevic said.

At the meeting, the interlocutors assessed that it is necessary to encourage people to engage in private business and to realize their business idea, especially through education that would be comprehensive, and that all those who successfully complete it and present a quality business plan can expect IRF’s support.

Text by Mina business, on November 8th, 2018, read more at CdM

08 Nov 2018, 10:13 AM

November 8, 2018 - Through the cooperation of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development in Podgorica, a workshop was held with the aim to present the best practices and approaches for improving the placement and achieving a sustainable supply chains of domestic fruits and vegetables.

The workshop was realized as part of the project "Support the sustainable integration of value chains in the fruit and vegetable sector in Montenegro", which is implemented by the Ministry with FAO.

As a key obstacle to increasing the competitiveness of domestic producers in the fruit and vegetable sector, there is a lack of connectivity between entities participating in the chain from production to marketing.

At the meeting, it was emphasized that the association of producers can lead to better planning of production, purchase, and placement of products.

At the same time, strengthening the connections and the relationship between producers and customers, including retailers, is essential for making a sustainable supply chain and achieving greater competitiveness of the producers.

The main goal of this workshop is to raise the awareness of the producers about the importance of their organization through agricultural cooperatives. It is a way to strengthen connections and build long-term relationships between suppliers and traders.

Also, experiences on the best practices for placement and transport, as well as packaging and labeling of fresh fruits and vegetables were exchanged, in accordance with the European regulations and standards.

The workshops were attended by producers and representatives of associations, representatives of retail chains and entities engaged in the purchase and distribution of fruits and vegetables.

Text by CdM, on November 7th, 2018, read more at CdM

07 Nov 2018, 14:28 PM

November 7, 2018 - The construction of a military hospital for the needs of the Army of Montenegro (VCG) and citizens is planned on the premises of the barracks in Masline, and the valorization of this part is one of the priorities for the Ministry of Defense, it was announced after the meeting of Minister Predrag Boskovic and Mayor Ivan Vukovic.

After the meeting, Vukovic said that the construction of the military hospital is one of the new, capital projects.

As he said, the Ministry intends to build a military hospital, which would serve the needs of VCG, but would also be open to citizens, because it would be linked to the healthcare system of Montenegro.

Boskovic said one of the major priorities for the Ministry of Defense is the valorization of the barracks 'Marko Miljanov Popovic', with more than 380 thousand square meters.

As he stated, after gaining independence, this area was not maintained in the right way. "Works in this area have already begun. The appointment of staff who will carry out the elaborate of the barracks in Masline in ongoing," Boskovic added.

Vuković said that the Ministry of Defense and VCG is not only a credible international partner but also an important partner of the capital in numerous projects and jobs, which may not be directly related to what is the primary activity of the military.

Vukovic thanked the Ministry for help in breaking through the roads in rural areas of Podgorica.

 As he stated, with the help of the Ministry, over the past three years, about 100 km (km) of new roads have been constructed. Vukovic added that the ministry helped during the fire season during, of which there were 12 joint interventions. 

"There is a lot of space for cooperation. A number of topics were opened at the meeting, and we discussed the ways to use certain locations in the Capital. The Ministry is in possession of significant land sites," added Vukovic. He said that the capital is interested in certain locations owned by the Ministry, which, as he added, will try to put them in the function of cultural development in the area of Podgorica. According to Vukovic, the formation of a working group was agreed, which will deal more closely with all the topics of today's meeting. He said that the relocation of the monument of Josip Broz Tito from the memorial room in the barracks in Masline to another location in the Capital which has not yet been determined is in process. "If everything goes well, it's not unrealistic for the monument to see the light of the day on December 19th," Vukovic said.

One of the key challenges, he said, is the housing problem of VCG employees.

"We hope that the army will never be used to protect the state borders from aggression from anyone, but it will be useful for civil institutions and citizens in solving the challenges that exist," said Boskovic.

He added that one part of the barracks in Masline will be open to the public and that there is an initiative to turn the memorial room into a museum.

Asked whether the Montenegrin army, which took part along with the allies in World War I, would mark a hundred years since the end of the war, Boskovic said that October 5th was celebrated as the day of VCG and that there would be no special celebrations.

Vukovic said that the capital will not participate in the celebration of the tragic moment of Montenegrin history, the Podgorica Assembly, and that the request for the celebration has not been made so far.

Asked by journalists whether the nuclear shelters would be valorized, Vukovic said that the future working group would deal with this issue.

"We intend to implement the project of the western bypass, that is the road that will connect the Cetinje and Niksic roads, the construction of a boulevard between Podgorica and Danilograd should start next year," Vukovic concluded.

Text by MINA, on November 6th, 2018, read more at Vijesti

07 Nov 2018, 12:24 PM

November 7, 2018 - The ten-month commercial indicators in 2018 are the best in the history of Montenegro Airlines' business. The most similar ten-month result in the previous years was for 23,519 passengers below this year, and it was achieved with a larger fleet and 2,141 flights more than was the case in the ten months of 2018. This result represents the best introduction to the year of the quarter-century celebration since the national airline was established, said the director of the national airline Živko Banjević in an interview with “Dnevne novine”.

Banjević emphasizes that Montenegro Airlines will mark its 24th birthday and entry into the 25th year of business as a socially responsible company with a donation to the Clinical Center of Montenegro for the procurement of missing medical equipment.

DN: Obviously, you are vastly satisfied with your business results.

BANJEVIC: Of course. For ten months this year, Montenegro Airlines has transported 576,000 passengers in all three categories of traffic, regular, charter and code-share. This result was achieved with 6,704 flights in regular and charter traffic, i.e. with a fleet of up to six aircraft. We've recorded 68,751 or 13.55% more passengers compared to the same period in the previous year, with one additional plane in the seasonal period, as well as 635 or 10.46% more flights in regular and charter traffic. By the end of the year we expect from 50,000 to 60,000 passengers, so the total number of passengers transported in 2018 will be greater than 620,000. 

Our 576,000 passengers represent 25.44% of the total number of passengers served at Montenegrin airports from the beginning of this year until the end of October, in competition with up to 45 other regular, charter and low-cost airlines. MA in the first six months of this year, with the increase in the number of passengers transported by 9.18% compared to the same period of the previous year, recorded the highest growth compared to airlines from the territory of the former Yugoslavia. The preliminary business result of MA for ten months in 2018 is 1.5 million euros higher compared to the same period of the previous year, and it has been the best in the last four years, regardless of some aggravating factors that could not be influenced, out of which I would, in particular, emphasize the extremely high fuel costs. 

DN: You are at the head of the MA for less than two years, and you, along with the Board of Directors, got the "hot potatoes". What is the best scenario, in your opinion, for the state and employees, i.e. for the company? It was recently announced that there is an interest in purchasing of MA ?

Banjević: At the beginning of 2017, Montenegro Airlines was in an extremely difficult position, from the aspect of the financial, commercial and operational business. With the support of the owners, the company's management, managerial and staff efforts, the business is mostly consolidated and optimized, as is shown by the results from the beginning of January last year to the present day. Deloitte's analysis from the end of last year has shown that the continuation of the business gives overall better results compared to alternative scenarios, i.e. programmed bankruptcy and liquidation. The Government of Montenegro, knowing the importance that the MA has for the Montenegrin economy, together with the management of the company, is looking for an adequate model of financial consolidation primarily from the aspect of the debts towards the Tax Administration, Flight Control and Airports of Montenegro, as well as the optimal long-term solution for the company's business. 

DN: The MA Board of Directors, at a regular session held last week, adopted the proposal regarding the Consolidation Plan

Banjević: That's right. The Board adopted the Proposal of the consolidation plan from the aspect of the debts incurred as well as the long-term stable business model, which was sent to the line ministry and the owner. For now, I can say that this is a project in phases, which optimizes the Company's business in a flexible manner, not excluding the option of finding a strategic partner and eventual privatization.

For Montenegro, the most important thing is that there is a functional airline in this region, which will work in the interest of its citizens and the entire Montenegrin economy, as well as represent a stable relationship with the Europe and the world. The interest in purchasing Montenegro Airlines shows us that it is also recognized by potential investors that the Company has achieved significant results on the way to recovery, and that this is done in the right way, the importance of the airline for this area and the market potential.

DN: What was the burden of MA's business over the past year and nine months since you are at its head?

Banjević: In addition to the known outstanding debt to the Tax Administration, Flight Control and Airports of Montenegro, the new management, after taking over the company’s business operations, had to deal with 16.5m EUR of outstanding debt to foreign suppliers, primarily to aircraft owners, airline parts, EUROCONTROL, as well as to domestic suppliers and commercial banks. Therefore, everything that could stop the further business of the company in one day. We succeeded in reaching agreements with everyone so that the continuity in MA operations was not interrupted. We have respected all these agreements and restored the trust of our partners and associates. The high growth rate in air traffic in the already congested European market, with one of the historically most unstable seasons in terms of weather conditions over Europe, has caused frequent shifting of slots for flights, leading to delays on which MA could not have affected, as well as any other airlines. This summer, for the first time in our fleet, we had a Boeing B737-500 aircraft, which was leased together with the provision of all operational services by the partners, due to which the deviations in terms of regularity of the traffic could not be influenced to its fullest extent.  

DN: Mostly for what?

Banjević: It is certainly an enormous increase in fuel prices by as much as 27% compared to last year, which was not predictable. Namely, the cost of air-fuel for these nine months in 2018 is 4.3 million euros higher compared to the same period last year, i.e. by 3.2 million euros higher than the plan for this year. Nevertheless, so far, we have managed to deal with all the difficulties.

DN: And you were often present in the media ... How much has it affected the company's business?

Banjević: Frequent captions in the media, the departure of the MA into bankruptcy, insolvency, etc. have directly affected the decline in sales in certain periods. Almost all foreign partners, primarily fuel suppliers at airports, as well as airport companies, have requested payment of complete services in advance, in order to protect their business from "Bankruptcy and Liquidation of MA". There was also frequent blocking of accounts by Flight Control and domestic commercial banks. After all, we are still here, stronger and more stable. That's how it will remain.

DN: We are witnessing that countries greatly assist the national airlines in covering losses. In our country, the help of the state to MA is not welcomed from part of the public and the media. How would you comment on that?

Banjević: You are right when you say that part of the public and the media did not positively support what the Government and Parliament provided to the Company in the past period. I think that this is primarily due to insufficient information about the importance of MA for the Montenegrin economy. You see, MA in its history transported 8.9 million passengers up until today. Only in the period from January last year to present, when the Government of Montenegro intervened with the change of management and with later support, the Company transported more than 1.1 million passengers. So, more than one and a half times the size of Montenegro. MA is the second largest state-owned company, which has an annual income of about 70 million euros, and whose indirect effects on tourism revenue range from 150-180 million euro per year. Direct effects related to the payment of gross salaries, payment of services to Montenegrin airports, engagement of domestic economy outside tourism, etc., which also remain in Montenegro, are going up to 15 million euros a year. Bearing all this in mind, those actions that the government took in 2017 and later in order to rescue the national airline company, we can call politically accountable and economically wise. 

DN: What was the alternative?

Banjević: The alternative was closing the Company, which would mean that tens of millions of obligations on various bases would be borne by the state, with a direct impact on tourism revenues last year, as well as in 2018 and later, i.e. all the positive effects I mentioned earlier would be lost. All in all, they would pay incomparably more from the country's cash register and lose their airline with a negative effect on the tourism economy. Also, we are really witnessing that countries in the region and in Europe are helping their national airlines, managing economic principles and recognizing their importance for the entire state economy. It has recently been reported in the media that a European state has helped its airlines with a fuel subsidy of about $ 350m, due to the enormous growth in fuel prices in 2018. Taking into account the achieved results, as well as the aforementioned facts about the importance of MA for the Montenegrin economy, we believe that MA justified the support provided by the Government of Montenegro.

DN: How did this year's tourist season go? What are the results?

Banjević: During the high season, from June 1st to September 30th, MA transported 350.677 passengers in all three categories of traffic, regular, charter and code-share, which is 17.86% more than in the same period of the previous year. This result is a record in the history of the company's business, in line with the business plan for 2018, and was achieved with one additional airplane and 492 flights more than in the previous year.

Renting the sixth airplane with bigger capacity has proven to be a good business move for many reasons. We transported more passengers in comparison to the previous year and with six planes, achieved record results. We have returned a part of the market that we could not cover with the situation in the previous year or with five aircraft. We have transported more passengers than ever before with six or more aircraft, which means that we did not stagnate in the period when there is a trend of an increase in the passenger traffic in the airline business at the Montenegrin market, but on the contrary, we contributed to this and took an additional part of the market for ourselves, making additional income. In the end, we also protected our future operations as we showed that we have the capacity for six aircraft and more than 600,000 passengers per year.

During this year's summer season, MA traveled to 27 destinations in 15 countries.

Banjević: MA has become a looked-for partner for cooperation. Now, the complete picture of the company in the world is completely different. Information on the results we achieve, the potential of MA and the Montenegrin tourism industry, as well as the plans for the future, have found their way to existing foreign partners and to representatives of various branches of the aviation industry or commercial aviation. MA is now seen as a desirable partner for cooperation, to these people and companies. 

MA flies to 30 destinations in 16 countries 

DN: Where do MA planes fly? Are all the routes you maintain cost-effective? 

Banjevic: In 2018, MA flies to 30 destinations in 16 countries. Eight destinations are all year long, and they are Belgrade-Serbia, Ljubljana-Slovenia, Rome-Italy, Vienna-Austria, Zurich-Switzerland, Frankfurt-Germany, Paris-France and Moscow-Russia. Seasonal regular destinations are Dusseldorf, Munich and Leipzig in Germany, Lyon-France, London-United Kingdom, Copenhagen-Denmark, and St. Petersburg-Russia. The charter destinations are Tel Aviv-Israel, Naples, Bari, Palermo in Italy, Oslo-Norway, Helsinki-Finland, Bratislava, Košice, Poprad-Tatry in Slovakia, Ostrava-Czech Republic, Brive and Marseille in France, Salzburg and Linz in Austria, Tehran-Iran.  The revenues from charter and co-transport services fully cover all costs, with adequate income. Revenues from all regular lines of MA, year-round and seasonal, fully cover the so-called direct operating costs, such as aviation fuel, airport services, EUROCONTROL and flyovers, aircraft maintenance, etc. However, these revenues cannot fully cover the fixed and additional costs at each destination, and these are all others except the direct flights. That is exactly what makes the minus in the business, which we will try to solve within a long-term business model.

Text by Dnevne novine, on November 5th, 2018

06 Nov 2018, 14:19 PM

November 6, 2018 - The company “Benergo” from Berane, whose founder is the Berane Municipality, and Executive Director Radomir Mihajlović, received a concession for the construction of the small hydroelectric power plants (SHP) Miolje polje on part of the Berane plumbing system.

By the concession agreement, which should be signed by Minister of Economy Dragica Sekulic by mid-month, Mihajlovic is allowed to use the water from the source Merica, as reported by “Dnevne novine”.

"The rights and obligations between the state and the concessionaire, as well as closer conditions of financing, research, design, construction, usage, maintenance, revitalization and the takeover of SHP Miolje polje, will be determined by the concession contract. The concession, based on the energy permit is given for 30 years, with a fee of 6.1 percent of the planned annual electricity production," it is stated in the document recently adopted by the Government.

“Benergo” submitted a request for issuing the energy permit to the Ministry of Economy at the end of 2015. After a detailed review and analysis of the documentation, it has been established that the criteria set by the law and the rules have been met. Accordingly, the company from Berane received the energy permit in 2016. After submitting a request for a building permit, “Benergo” will have to solve property-legal relations in relation to the land that is in the direct function of the concession’s realization. The concessionaire should also provide the money for the implementation of the contract, and to rationally use the constructed facilities, with the safety provisions for the people and property. The obligation to submit bank guarantees is also envisaged, of which the first one, in the amount of 30,000 euros, is submitted on the day of signing the contract. 

"At the latest 15 days after the beginning of the second phase of the plan, the concessionaire is obliged to submit a new guarantee for the execution of works for the first year in the amount of 25% of the value of the planned investment," it was emphasized in the Governmental document.

The financing and fulfillment of the contract realization plan, including in particular the development of technical documentation, preparatory works, construction works, road alignment, connection to the power system, and the maintenance and operation of SHP, will be fully provided by “Benergo”.

The first phase of the contract, whose implementation will last for one year, refers to the execution of the technical documentation, while the facilities of the future SHP will be built for two years. The remaining 27 years relate to the operation of SHP, after which it will transfer to state ownership. The small plant Miolje polje will have an installed power of up to one megawatt.

Text by Dnevne novine, on November 6th, 2018, read more at CdM

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