News

01 Jul 2020, 18:59 PM
July 1, 2020 - The EU decided yesterday to open its borders to citizens of Montenegro, leading Montenegro to act reciprocally; EU citizens are now allowed to come to to our country without any additional conditions. And they are only the first - it appears that the country will be opening up more and more. There are indeed all the more regular air connections. But when you enter the IATA interactive map and search for MNE, you find our country among those with the most highly restrictive policy regarding its borders and COVID-19 pandemic. So what does this mean?
 
There are many questions regarding entering Montenegro in the COVID-19 era, but not so many accurate sources to get detailed answers. Not because it is highly secretive, but because the situation is changing on a daily basis, especially since we have new COVID-19 cases after a pleasant break of 42 days without new patients officially reported. So, what's new, according to the International Air Transport Association?
 
 
Passengers are not allowed to enter Montenegro.
 
- It does not apply to nationals and residents of Montenegro.
 
- This does not apply to passengers who have been in Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Barbados, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Cambodia, China (People's Rep.), Costa Rica, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czechia, Denmark, Estonia, Fiji, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Indonesia, Ireland (Rep.), Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Korea (Rep.), Kosovo (Rep.), Latvia, Lebanon, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malaysia, Malta, Mauritius, Monaco, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Palestinian Territory, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Senegal, Seychelles, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Tajikistan, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Ukraine, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Viet Nam or Zambia in the past 15 days.
 
 Nationals and residents of Montenegro are subject to self-isolation for 14 days.
 
- This does not apply to passengers who have been in Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Barbados, Belgium, Brunei Darussalam, Bulgaria, Cambodia, China (People's Rep.), Costa Rica, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czechia, Denmark, Estonia, Fiji, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Indonesia, Ireland (Rep.), Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Korea (Rep.), Latvia, Lebanon, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Madagascar, Malaysia, Malta, Mauritius, Monaco, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Palestinian Territory, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Senegal, Seychelles, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Tajikistan, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Uruguay, Uzbekistan, Venezuela, Viet Nam or Zambia in the past 15 days.
 
- This does not apply to passengers who have been in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Israel, Kosovo (Rep.), Turkey, or Ukraine in the past 15 days and have a medical certificate stating a negative Coronavirus (COVID-19) test result issued at most 72 hours before arrival.
 
Passengers who have been in Albania, Bosnia, and Herzegovina, Israel, Kosovo (Rep.), Turkey, or Ukraine in the past 15 days must have a medical certificate with a negative Coronavirus (COVID-19) test result issued at most 72 hours before arrival.
30 Jun 2020, 23:40 PM
June 30, 2020 - Most of the Western Balkans' leaders have been advocating for reforms and good neighborly relations at summits and conferences for years, but without putting words into action, said Pierre Mirel, former director of the European Commission's Directorate-General for Enlargement.
 
In December 2010, Montenegro became a candidate for EU membership. Eight years after Montenegro opened EU accession talks, Mirel told Vijesti that the "captive state" was still prevalent in most Western Balkan countries, with Montenegro and Serbia considered leaders in European integration, and now considered "hybrid regimes".
 
"Public administration remains weak. Media freedom has been attacked, as have many journalists, physically. "Montenegro and Serbia, which have often been mentioned as leaders in negotiations, are now considered 'hybrid regimes' according to Freedom House's report on nations in transition in 2020," Mirel said.
 
You have repeatedly criticized Montenegro for not implementing the necessary reforms. Is that the main reason for the country's slow progress in negotiations with the EU?
 
Pierre Mirel: Some politicians and research centers often blame the EU for the slow accession process with the Western Balkans. Their main argument is that the fifth enlargement took only six years since the opening of accession talks in 1998, while 20 years after the first Zagreb summit when the European perspective of the Western Balkans was first emphasized, only Croatia is an EU member of the region. They usually forget a crucial fact: the countries of Central Europe have abruptly undertaken all the essential reforms required by the 1993 Copenhagen criteria. Most of them were launched as early as 1992-1997 within the framework of the association agreement.
 
Indeed, the internal situation in the EU was very different. However, working on the accession process, Central European countries have given priority to the long-term benefits of joining their "return to Europe" over their short-term political gains, regardless of cost, including political cost. It should be acknowledged that in the accession process, the burden of proof lies on the candidates. How could EU members be willing to get seriously involved in the accession process of countries where the phenomenon of "captive state" prevails, as stated by the EC and many NGOs? It is also apparent that many member states would be reluctant to accept countries inspired by the regime of the Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban.
 
Mirel: The key to progress is political will
What are the main problems facing Montenegro and other Western Balkan countries?
 
Pierre Mirel: Why would EU leaders be willing to push the negotiation process when most Western Balkan leaders have been advocating for reforms and good neighborly relations for so many years, at summits and conferences, but without putting words into action? Albania and Northern Macedonia seem to be exceptions. They carried out profound judicial reforms through the vetting process and later by the Prespa Agreement. In both cases, the political risks were high, but they fulfilled their obligations bravely. So far, other countries have not followed this reform process. The captured state still prevails.
 
Pierre Mirel: The Montenegrin government has agreed to continue the negotiation process according to the new methodology. Do you think that is good for Montenegro? Could this speed up Montenegro's accession process?
 
The new methodology includes very positive elements: a cluster approach that focuses on sectors; participation in EU programs when clusters are closed; higher political governance of member states. It can only benefit Montenegro. However, the importance of the "basis" of the negotiation process (the rule of law, etc.) remains crucial. A performance-based criterion for IPA funding, coupled with a "reversibility clause" - in the event of severe stagnation or even backwardness - would not help any negotiating country in which significant reforms would be prolonged.
 
So, regardless of the accession methodology, the key to progress is political will on both sides. The candidate is responsible for fulfilling its obligations, and the EU to fulfill its promises when the conditions are met. Or conclude backlogs. No methodology will ever replace the political will to meet the criteria and requirements for accession.
 
Pierre Mirel: Is Montenegro accepted to negotiate according to the new methodology a friendly suggestion from Brussels as a consequence of the fact that it did not make substantial progress in the negotiations with the EU?
 
I am no longer part of the negotiation process between the EC and Montenegro, so I cannot answer this question. Looking at the plodding pace of negotiations on Montenegro's accession, I believe that the state had nothing to lose in accepting the new methodology. Quite the opposite, because IPA funding is likely to increase, with the announced investment plan. However, "increased EU assistance will be linked to tangible progress in the rule of law and socio-economic reforms, as well as adherence to EU values, rules, and standards," as stated in a recent declaration from the Zagreb Summit.
 
Therefore, if Montenegro wants the benefits of increased EU assistance, it should implement reforms in line with the new methodology. By the way, what I qualified as the "paradox of Montenegro", i.e. 32 chapters opened, but only three closed in eight years, will continue to prevail.
 
The EC's main priority is to implement a recovery plan
Members of the new EC say their priority is EU enlargement. Could Montenegro be the next new EU member?
 
Pierre Mirel: As far as I know, the EC's main priorities as a whole are the implementation of the recovery plan - after the Covid-19 pandemic - and the Green Agreement, with which the countries of the Western Balkans will be closely connected. The consequences of climate change will undoubtedly be much more severe than any virus pandemic. Therefore, the EU and the World Bank should work together to prevent dangerous effects with appropriate measures and funding. And the World Bank should finally honor its reform commitments. It can only bring the Western Balkans closer to the EU member states and thus facilitate their accession to the EU because we share the same fate in this part of the European continent.
 
30 Jun 2020, 23:21 PM
June 30, 2020 - The KotorArt Festival has this year also been sponsored by UNESCO, the festival's organizers announced. The festival is planned for the period from July 2 to September 13, with the rotation of different program segments:
 
- KotorArt Kotor Children's Theater Festival (July 2 - 10)
 
- KotorArt Don Branko's Music Days (July 14 - August 14)
 
- KotorArt Philosophers' Square- Pjaca Od Filozofa (August 11)
 
- KotorArt International Klapa Festival Perast (September 11-12)
 
"The festival is of special importance for the culture of Montenegro, being the one of the most prestigious festivals in the country and the region. It gathers numerous artists and audiences over two months in Kotor and Boka, and has received plaudits from prestigious international sources for several years," the organizers said in a statement. 
 
The main programs- Don Branko's Music Days, and the Kotor Children's Theater Festival are the holders of the European quality of the EFFE label festival. The segment dedicated to traditional singing- International Festival of Klapas Perast, has received a Wild Beauty Award from the National Tourist Organization.
 
"Apart from the extremely positive image it has on the European festivals map, and the small but highly professional team behind its realization- the main characteristic of the festival is the autonomy of its program units, decentralized administration, and an unusually high percentage of self-generated funds, especially in Montenegrin conditions. Even in these difficult times, individual segments of the festival, in addition to sponsors - UNESCO, the Ministry of Culture, and the Municipality of Kotor - are supported by numerous sponsors and partners," concludes the statement of KotorArt crew.
30 Jun 2020, 22:40 PM
June 30, 2020 - In the last 24 hours, the Institute of Public Health (IJZ) has completed the analysis of 439 samples for the new coronavirus, among which the results of 47 patients were positive for COVID-19 infection. The new cases of COVID-19 are from Rožaje (18), Berane (12), Podgorica (8), Bar (3), Niksic (3), Bijelo Polje (2) and Kotor (1), the IZJ announced.
 
Of the 47 newly-discovered cases, one was imported and 37 were contacts of previously confirmed COVID-19 cases, while in nine patients the source of infection is being traced.
 
Another death was registered of a male from Petnjica born in 1935, stated the IJZ. The total number of deaths in June is three, and since the beginning of the events, 12.
 
The total number of registered cases since mid-June is 224, with three deaths, and the number of active COVID-19 cases is 221. Since March 17, when the first cases were registered, COVID-19 infection has been confirmed in a total of 501 patients in Montenegro.

Active COVID-19 cases by municipalities:

Rozaje 76
Podgorica 51
Berane 23
Bijelo Polje 15
Budva 14
Bar 7
Cetinje 6
Pljevlja 6
Ulcinj 4
Niksic 4
Herceg Novi 3
Danilovgrad 3
Kotor 3
Tuzi 2
Tivat 2
Petnjica 1
Gusinje 1

Anti-COVID-19 measures for the next seven days

At today's session, chaired by President Milutin Simovic and attended by Prime Minister Dusko Markovic, the National Coordination Body for Infectious Diseases (NKT) decided to open the borders for entry of residents of EU member states without additional conditions. They agreed on temporary measures for the entire territory of Montenegro, focussing particularly on the municipality of Rožaje - with the goal of preventing and supresssing the further spread of coronavirus, the NKT stated.
 
Private celebrations (weddings, graduation and birthday celebrations, etc.) are banned throughout Montenegro, the NKT decided.
Nightclubs and discos must remain closed. In Rožaje, the work of all catering facilities and inter-municipal traffic is prohibited, except for emergencies and work purposes, stated the NKT.
 
The measures will be applied for seven days, after which a decision will be made based on the analysis of the effect of the measures as to whether they will stay in force or will be lifted.  

The EU is opening borders for Montenegrin citizens and 13 other countries

The EU Council adopted the recommendations on the gradual opening of EU borders for the citizens of Montenegro and 13 other countries, as of July 1.
 
Besides our country, only Serbia is on the EU list for lifting travel restrictions from the region.
 
The recommendations are based on estimates of the epidemiological situation, which will be made every two weeks. In the event of a sudden deterioration of the situation in a country, a "quick decision" procedure can be applied, the EU Council said in a statement.
 
The recommendations are not legally binding, as the responsibility for border management rests exclusively with the Member States.
 
The list of countries from which EU entry is allowed is: Algeria, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, Serbia, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia, and Uruguay.
 
The main criterion is that the number of newly infected per 100,000 inhabitants in the last 14 days will be "close to or below the EU average" on June 15, when the average number of newly infected in the EU per 100,000 inhabitants was 16.
 
The third criterion refers to the overall response of each country to the COVID-19 epidemic, including testing, monitoring, and reporting, as well as the reliability and availability of data in third countries, and information provided by EU delegations from those countries will be taken into account.
 
China also meets the criteria, but it will be possible to enter the EU from that country if Beijing lifts the ban on the entry of EU citizens.
 
Citizens of Monaco, Andorra, San Marino, and the Vatican are treated the same as EU citizens. The list and entry criteria refer to trips that are not classed as necessary.
 
Citizens of the EU Member States and third-country nationals who have legal residence in the EU and members of their families can still enter the EU from third countries. Restrictions do not apply to persons, such as health workers, workers in border areas, and persons working on the transport of goods.

No additional conditions for entry of EU residents

Appreciating today's decision of the European Council on the coordinated opening of the European Union countries' borders towards third countries, the NKT decided that Montenegro would allow the entry of EU residents without additional conditions.  Residents of the European Union are permitted to enter Montenegro through non-EU countries, but only if they use those countries only as transit countries, i.e., if they do not stay in those countries, as evidenced by the inspection at the time of entry and exit from those countries.

After opening to the EU, the NKT will subsequently decide on opening borders with other countries

The National Coordination Body for Infectious Diseases will subsequently, after the opening of borders for EU countries, decide on the opening policy towards other countries, the Government announced on Twitter.
 
"The decision will take into account all relevant epidemiological parameters in each country such as the number of active cases of infection, the trend and prevalence of active cases as well as the overall response of each country to COVID-19 including available information on testing, surveillance, contact monitoring, treatment and reporting, and the reliability of information ", the Government announced.

Mugoša: COVID-19 infection is present and will be present

Dr. Boban Mugoša, director of the Institute of Public Health, pointed out: 
 
"This infection is present, it will be present, and we must take all the measures that we have considered before. It is challenging to close borders again and stifle the economy. That is why the responsibility on ourselves is even greater now! We must be responsible citizens of Montenegro, said the director of the IZJ and member of the National Coordination Body for Infectious Diseases.

Enhanced compliance with special self-isolation commands

It was decided that the competent authorities, primarily the Police Directorate and the Directorate for Inspection Affairs, would tighten controls on compliance with the prescribed measures, and especially self-isolation measures. Self-isolation must be carried out under the strict supervision of the competent authorities responsible for compliance with the rule - it was concluded at the session.
 
The National Coordination Body for Infectious Diseases reminds citizens and legal entities of the measures in force, primarily the obligation to wear protective masks indoors and to keep their distance.

Donations - no new expenses

The NCT adopted the XII Report on the balance of the account and payments from the account of the Operational Headquarters for Grant Management.
 
The report states that the balance of the account as of June 30, 2020, at 8:00 AM was  EUR 6,276,981.77 and USD 75,971.72.
Since March 19, EUR 8,035,850.90 and USD 75,971.72 have been paid into the NKT account from the country and abroad. Total outflows amount to EUR 1,758,869.13.
 
Sources: Government of Montenegro, Institute of Public Health
29 Jun 2020, 21:32 PM

June 29, 2020 - Political Analyst and Director of Centre for Civic Education (CCE) Daliborka Uljarević, appearing as a guest on "Colours of the Morning" (Boje Jutra), said that “we haven’t made headway on some of the basic conditions that were in place in 2011 during the opening of negotiations with EU. Pierre Mirel, former long-term director of the European Commission's Directorate-General for Enlargement, speaking to Vijesti, highlighted similar issues."

Some eight years after beginning negotiations for accession to the European Union, Montenegro has made no progress, believes the political analyst and Director of the Centre for Civic Education.

Uljarević, speaking on "Colors of the Morning", said that “we have not made headway on some of the basic conditions that were in place in 2011 during the opening of negotiations.

Pierre Mirel, former long-term director of the European Commission's Directorate-General for Enlargement, speaking to Vijesti, highlighted similar issues.”

"We often hear in government speeches, and sometimes also among other voices in the country who do not know the process of European integration, that they want to support some kind of justification, stating that the EU is in some way to blame for the fact that eight years after the start of negotiations we have opened not all, but 32 of the chapters, and that we have temporarily closed three. This is what Pierre Mirel previously called the Montenegrin paradox, because it has not been seen in the process of European integration so far," Uljarević said.

Uljarević added that the EU is not to blame for this, and that when we compare the speed with which the countries of Eastern Europe joined the EU, and even some countries of the former Yugoslavia, there is one reason for our "snail's pace".

"That's what Mirel underlines. There, there was clear political will to transform societies. That is what we do not have here and that is what will have to change in the near future. We are committed to the new methodology, it can bring a lot of benefits to Montenegro, but if we continue to behave like we are now, we may see a point where the process starts going backwards; all the progress is indeed related to the rule of law,” said Uljarević.

As paradoxical as it may seem for the situation in Montenegro, we can go back to 2011 when we received the conditions for the start of negotiations.

"The European Parliament also pointed out the problems at that time. Concerns were expressed then within the European Parliament due to the excessive concentration of power in the judiciary; then they were specifically referring to the judiciary and the mandate of Ms. Medenica. This year, the assessment has been exactly the same. The third mandate is a subject of controversy, and the government’s approach is really an affront to common sense," said Uljarević.

The Director of the CCE says that this is possible only here because everything is subordinate to single-party and vested interests.

"Our problems are recurring. There is no report relevant to at least some extent, published in the past year, in which the issues pointed out by us in civil society as well as the media have not been completely swept under the carpet by the government, who refuses to change anything. These run from the judiciary through topics related to the Agency for Prevention of Corruption. That agency cannot be truly independent with a Council elected by the self-ruling majority,” said Uljarević.

Uljarević added that amendments to the law must be made, which will enable true representatives of civil society to sit on the Council, people who are independent, and not those who are bound by bureaucratic conditions and who, as individuals elected by the authorities, would serve to maintain their status.

29 Jun 2020, 12:55 PM
June 29, 2020 - As of yesterday's cross-section of the condition at 6 pm, the Institute's laboratories have completed the analysis of 243 samples, 17 of which were positive for COVID-19 infection. One case was imported from Bosnia and Herzegovina. Six were contacts of previously positive patients, while in 10 patients, the source of infection is being traced.
 
These are cases from Podgorica (9), Pljevlja (4), Tivat (2), Herceg Novi (1), and Rožaje (1).

Since mid-June, 174 cases of COVID-19 have been registered in Montenegro, by municipalities: 

Rožaje: 59
Podgorica: 43
Bijelo Polje: 13
Budva: 14
Berane: 12
Pljevlja: 6
Cetinje: 5
Bar: 5
Ulcinj: 4
Danilovgrad: 3
Tuzi: 2
Tivat: 2
Herceg Novi: 3
Kotor: 1
Gusinje: 1
Niksic: 1
 
Two deaths were also registered, bringing the number of currently active COVID-19 cases to 172.

COVID-19 confirmed at kindergarten in Tivat

After a test was performed last night at around 11 pm, the presence of COVID-19 infection was confirmed in a teacher from the educational unit Tivat, Public Preschool Institution "Bambi." All epidemiological measures will be implemented according to the epidemiologist, just as has been done so far, the Municipal Team for Protection and Rescue stated.
 
The public will be informed in a timely fashion on further developments, and until the implementation of controls, testing of all contacts and all other necessary steps, the Public Preschool Institution Bambi in Tivat will remain closed, the kindergarten announced.

European Union to Publish List of 15 Non-Member Countries Whose Citizens Will be Allowed to Enter EU from July

Spanish Foreign Minister Aranca Gonzalez Laja said that the European Union is compiling a list of 15 non-member countries whose citizens will be able to travel to the EU from Wednesday.
 
The final list will be published this afternoon or tomorrow morning, Gonzales told Spanish radio Kadena SER.
 
"This is not an attempt to be inclined or hostile to countries. It is an attempt at collective responsibility," the minister said.
 
Gonzalez Laja stated that the EU considers accepting passengers from China if Beijing responds by taking passengers from the EU from July 1.
 
She also confirmed that Spain would fully open its borders with Portugal, despite the increase in infections in the neighboring country.

If the EU criteria are adopted, citizens of Serbia, BiH, and Russia will not be able to enter Montenegro.

Citizens of at least 26 countries, including Slovenia and Croatia, could enter Montenegro from July 1, if the European Union's (EU) main criterion for calculating the declining rate of coronavirus infections is adopted.
 
On Sunday, the National Coordination Body decided that Montenegro should harmonize its further policy of opening borders with the EU's policy and decisions as soon as they are final and announced.
Radio Free Europe reports that the European Commission's (EC) guidelines on opening external borders state that the epidemiological situation should be comparable or better than the EU average for a positive decision.
 
According to these guidelines, the infection rate should be a maximum of 16 new cases per 100,000 inhabitants in the last 14 days.
 
The MINA agency processed the data on the number of patients using the World Health Organization, Worldmeters, as sources, and the change in the number of newly infected from June 14 to 28 was taken, which was recalculated at the rate of 100 thousand inhabitants for each of the observed countries.
 
MINA analyzed data from EU countries, countries in the region, the United States of America (USA), Great Britain, Russia, Turkey, Switzerland, and Canada.
 
According to that criterion, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Northern Macedonia, Kosovo, the USA, Russia, Bulgaria, Israel, Portugal, Romania, and Sweden and Liechtenstein will not be able to enter Montenegro.
 
Citizens of Slovenia, Croatia, Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Norway, Poland, Slovakia, Spain, and Switzerland will enter Montenegro, among others.
 
In the period under review, Serbia has 24.8 new cases per 100 thousand, and Montenegro 24.7.
 
Free Europe writes that even if the EC recommendations are adopted, they are not binding on EU member states, which can individually continue with the implementation or abolition of restrictive measures for travel of citizens from so-called third countries.
 
Also, each EU country has the sovereign right to individually introduce additional preventive measures for citizens who may come from third countries, according to which the borders are open.
29 Jun 2020, 11:45 AM
June 29, 2020 - The exhibition Montenegrin Theater History and the promotion of a special issue of the magazine Pozorište, entirely dedicated to the centuries-old theatrical tradition of Kotor, will be held in the Atrium of the Cultural Center "Nikola Đurković" on Tuesday, June 30, starting at 11 am. The organizer is the Cultural Center "Nikola Đurković" Kotor with the support of the Municipality of Kotor.
 
Drama artists Tihana Ćulafić and Marija Sarap and the author of the exhibition and editor from the "Nikšić Cultural Scene" will talk about the importance of the exhibition, which consists of thirteen panels and the magazine Pozorište. The exhibition will be open until July 7. The program is also a part of the repertoire of the Nikšić Theater, held within the Nikšić Cultural Scene, the Cultural Center "Nikola Đurković" Kotor informs.
 
 The project "Montenegrin Theater History through the Centuries" is conceived as an exhibition, taking an illustrative-narrative character. The original documentary material collected by the method of selection, in modern graphic-design technique, was presented on 13 panels. Of that number, 12 boards, photographs, documents and accompanying text illustrate the development of dramatic art in the municipalities: Nikšić, Cetinje, Podgorica (history and production of two theaters: CNP and City Theater), Kotor, Budva, Bar, Tivat, Pljevlja, Bijelo Polje, Berane and Herceg Novi. The title - the 13th panel - is the central one, where the Montenegrin theatrical history is presented.
 
According to well-known Montenegrin theater theorist and academician Sreten Perović, the project "Montenegrin Theater History" is a valuable effort to give deserved recognition to the theater and to all institutions, societies and production groups that built and realize this kind of art."
 
"Such a project, in the context of the priorities of the development of Montenegrin culture, can truly be seen not only as unique but also as very important. This is all the more so due to the lack of cultural content that indicates trends in the development of theater art and production in Montenegro from early forms of stage expression to the contemporary theater at the local and national level," stated film and theater advisor at the Ministry of Culture Montenegro, Ilija Subotic.
 
For the literary historian and publicist Dragan B. Perović, the exhibition "represents a real little holiday and a cultural time machine."
 
"It is admirable with how much energy and knowledge the approach to the realization of this project has been carried out. We have the opportunity to see a rich heritage, tradition, continuity in one place in an important cultural and artistic area such as theater. Of course, for various reasons, there was a blow to continuity, professional life was disrupted, and attempts were made to mold it. But despite these efforts, the theater survived. After all, it is no coincidence that the performing arts have lasted from ancient times to the present. The creators of this exhibition managed to show us in the best way why this is so, sublimating and presenting strikingly the development phase of theatrical activity in all Montenegrin communities. From the cities from the Montenegrin coast, which inherited various influences, to those in the north, which managed to replace some limiting factors with their enthusiasm ", said Perović. He sees this project like a scrapbook, which includes all important actors in their places. By developing professional activities, they brought a touch of culture, regardless of whether they were professionals or amateurs. We received a lexicon of theatrical life and performing arts, where each theater house has its special stamp. Each of the panels is a gem in the exceptional mosaic of theatrical life in Montenegro, which, placed together like this, give a harmonious picture. Practically, we already have one diorama, which encompassed all epochs of the development of theatrical art in our country ", wrote Perović in the catalog of the exhibition. At the opening of the exhibition in Nikšić (May 7 last year), he expressed his belief that "this exhibition will help us break away from stereotypical representations of cultural activities only on the occasion of festive days." It is a document of a time, a history, a monument to duration. On the other hand, this is a gentle reminder to understand that investing in culture and theater is not a cost, but a real investment that pays off many times over. It returns through the education of theater audiences, through the development of a culture of critical thinking and primarily through the nurturing of a culture of remembrance and respect for traditional values ​​as a pledge for the future, "concluded Dragan B. Perović.
 
Montenegrin Theater History, Publishing Activity of the Nikšić Theater, was realized with the support of the Ministry of Culture of Montenegro. The exhibition's design is the work of academic painter Darko Music, and Ranko Radulović signed the graphic processing of manuscripts and photographs. Niksic firms also supported the exhibition's preparation: "Drvex" d.o.o. and Milić plus d.o.o.
 
Apart from the main theater, the exhibition has been held in Bijelo Polje, Pljevlja, Bar, and Tivat.
 
Source: Radio Kotor
28 Jun 2020, 23:02 PM
June 28, 2020 - The Institute of Public Health (IPH) confirmed COVID-19 infection today in another 12 patients from 438 samples analyzed.
 
New cases of coronavirus have been registered in Rožaje (4), Podgorica (3), Budva and Cetinje, two each and Bar (1) ", the IPH announced.
 
There are currently 157 active cases of coronavirus in Montenegro.

Number of COVID-19 patients by municipalities:

Rozaje: 58
Podgorica: 34
Bijelo Polje: 13
Budva: 14
Berane: 12
Cetinje: 5
Bar: 5
Ulcinj: 4
Danilovgrad: 3
Pljevlja: 2
Tuzi: 2
Herceg Novi: 2
Kotor: 1
Gusinje: 1
Niksic: 1
 

Two COVID-19 patients die

Two patients who tested positive for coronavirus have died.
The Institute of Public Health announced that the sample taken from a patient who died during the day at the Clinical Center of Montenegro was negative for coronavirus.
Earlier today, the Government announced that they were awaiting the test result for the third deceased patient.
 
A government announcement on Twitter that "imported coronavirus takes its toll in Montenegro."
 
"We extend our sincere condolences to the families of the deceased," the Government said.

NKT: Further opening of borders will be harmonized with EU decisions

All measures adopted by the National Coordination Body for Infectious Diseases (NKT) and the competent authorities' activities have contributed to a high level of protection of the health and life of citizens. It was announced after the NKT session.
 
"The National Coordination Body professionally and impartially analyzed epidemiological data coming from individual countries and consistently made decisions intending to protect the health and lives of Montenegrin citizens and foreigners in our country. The countries of the region confirmed that we had made the right decisions in the interest of the citizens of Montenegro and public health this time as well ," it was stated at the session.
 
The number of coronavirus tests per number of inhabitants in Montenegro is among the highest in the region, and follows the highest European standards, NKT stated.
 
The NKT also announced that they have decided to harmonize the further policy of opening the borders, "which is a definite need of our economy," with the plan and decisions of the European Union as soon as they are finalised and announced.
 
They called on the citizens to "preserve the health and lives and our economic substance together."
 
"We must be in solidarity and united even now. That is a prerequisite for the success of the entire society," the NKT said.
 
Source: Institute of Public Health, Vijesti Online
28 Jun 2020, 21:31 PM

June 28, 2020 - The fact that the main tourist season will this year bypass Montenegro's tourism capital is not the only thing currently on the minds of the citizens of Budva and indeed the rest of Montenegro. In one of only three opposition municipalities in Montenegro, political conflicts have been ongoing for a month now, and have partly spilled over into the streets of Budva. The Montenegrin police are actively involved in the entire process.

A brief summary would not do justice to the complexity of the situation, so here we will provide you an overview of the most important events that have marked the beginning of a "hot political summer" in Montenegro.

budva logo Budva Municipality logo

April 30: The Crnogorska party submits to the Municipality of Budva's parliamentary service an initiative for the removal of the Mayor of Budva, Marko Bato Carević.
 

Sixteen councilors sign the proposal, three from Crnogorska, 11 from the Democratic Party of Socialists (DPS), one from the Social Democrats (SD), and independent councilor Stevan Džaković.

May 27: Members of the Democratic Front (DF) in Budva file a criminal complaint against an alleged organized criminal group that, as they claim, agreed to replace the government in Budva, with the million-dollar corruption of independent councilor Stevan Džaković. The criminal charges were filed with the Special State Prosecutor's Office and the Chief Special Prosecutor Milivoje Katnić.

The report addresses an unidentified person, who is said to be influential in the DPS, "associated with high-level crime and a bank in Montenegro", and an organizer of a criminal organization. In the application, the DF mentioned many persons from the political, public, and business milieu.

May 28: All 12 councilors of the Democratic Party of Socialists (DPS) Budva come to the local parliament (scheduled for June 30) and vote for the removal of Mayor Marko Carević and the President of the Municipal Assembly Krsto Radović.

At the Ministry of Finance's request, the Commercial Court issues a temporary measure blocking all accounts of the Municipality of Budva to the tune of 29.3 million euros, the amount the German-Austrian company WTE / EVN withdrew from the state account in December 2019 by activating the guarantee. The Municipality of Budva claims that this is a state guarantee, given by the Government of Montenegro for a wastewater project. The contract defines that the local government is not obliged to pay the sum to the state in case of activation of the guarantee.

May 29: The Democratic Front (DF) in Budva announces that the DPS, together with Crnogorska and independent councilor Stevan Džaković, has a plan to "brutally violate the law, statute, and rules of procedure and hold a parallel quasi-session of the Budva municipal assembly to try to remove current government ".

"The freeze on all accounts of the Municipality of Budva best proves this is a joint venture of state bodies, primarily the Ministry of Finance and the Commercial Court, supporting DPS to undo all positive effects of the local fight with organized crime and corruption, "said the DF.

Police officers secure the local parliament session in civilian clothes, causing esentment among the Democrats and the DF members. After the end of the meeting, the police remove independent councilor Stevan Džaković from the improvised hall, waiting for the increasingly disaffected crowd gathered in protest against the violation of the electoral will.

May 30: A session of the local parliament is held in Budva, at which the dismissal of the President of the Municipality, Marko Bato Carević, is discussed. The member of the Democrats of the Municipal Assembly (MA) of Budva, Dragan Krapović, stated that the law had been clear and that the deadline for voting on the removal of Carević had expired.

The next session is scheduled for June 29.

June 3: The Municipal Assembly of Budva does not decide on the dismissal of its President, Krsto Radović, after the legal deadline of 30 days for a declaration expires at midnight.

The Chairman, Gojko Liješević (Democratic Montenegro), schedules the continuation of the session for June 29.

budva carevic and radovic cdm.me

Krsto Radović and Marko Bato Carević, Source: cdm.me

June 5: Seventeen councilors of Budva's Assembly address the Ministry of Public Administration and ask for their opinion on the occasion of two sessions of the local parliament in Budva, held to discuss initiatives for dismissal of Mayor Marko Carević and President of the Municipal Assembly of Budva Krsto Radović, states the DPS.

June 6: The Municipal Board of DPS Budva files a complaint against the responsible persons in the Municipality for violating the law, the Statute and the Rules of Procedure of the Municipal Assembly of Budva, states the President of the Budva Coard of DPS Predrag Jelušić.

June 7: The Budva Committee of Democratic Montenegro announces that it is preparing criminal charges against the President of the DPS committee in the city, Predrag Jelušić, and "other people responsible for the Port of Budva." They are also preparing criminal charges for several other cases, which, as they state, involve Public Enterprise Morsko Dobro and Jelušić as its Director.

The Democrats react to Jelušić's statement that the DPS in Budva was filing charges against those responsible in that Municipality, adding that the DPS "knew very well" that the President of the Budva municipal assembly, Krsto Radović, had complied with all legal deadlines and statutory and business obligations.

The party announces criminal charges against "all those responsible and involved in corruption and the buying of support of councilor Džaković, as well as for false reporting."

June 8: The Assembly Service of the Municipal Assembly of Budva receives a request to convene a session by the newly formed majority in the local parliament, consisting of DPS, SD, Crnogorska, and independent councilor Stevan Džaković. Sixteen councilors sign the request, with 11 signatures needed for its adoption.

June 9: The Ministry of Public Administration assesses that the President of the Municipal Assembly of Budva, Krsto Radović, acted contrary to the provisions of the Law on Local Self-Government and the Statute of the Municipality because he did not allow councilors to vote on the proposals submitted.

The Mayor of Budva, Marko Carević, requests an urgent meeting with Minister of Finance, Darko Radunović, to solve the problem of the million-dollar freeze on the city treasury.

June 11: A new majority in the Municipal Assembly of Budva fires Mayor Marko Carević and President of the Municipal Assembly Krsto Radović. They hold a session in the tourist resort Slovenska Plaža. All 17 councilors of the new majority, consisting of councilors from DPS, SD, Crnogorska, and independent councilor Stevan Džaković, vote for the removal of Carevic and Radovic. Vladimir Bulatović (Crnogorska) is appointed acting President of the Municipality until the election of a new president, and DPS councilor Snežana Kuč is appointed interim President of the Municipal Assembly.

June 16: "Regarding my departure from the position of Mayor of Budva, several legal problems are intertwined. The Constitution of Montenegro states that the will of the citizens is guaranteed. I came to power by the will of the citizens, and now they want to remove me with an election law that violates Montenegro's Constitution. The method of personal mandates is an old tactic of the DPS that has been corrupting councilors for decades and changing the citizens' electoral will by buying them," said the dismissed mayor of Budva, Bato Carević.

The Special State Prosecutor's office investigates the allegations of criminal charges against the officials of the Municipal Assembly of Budva and the Mayor, the Chief Special Prosecutor Milivoje Katnić states at a press conference. He explains that they are acting on corroborating reports from Budva politicians and a statement released by one non-governmental organization.

Carević files criminal charges against three inspectors of the Administrative Inspection, as well as against DPS board member Snezana Kuč and the leader of the Budva Board from Crnogorska, Vladimir Bulatovic, for "abuse of official position, creation of a criminal organization for the violent takeover of power and intrusion into official premises."

Officials of the Administrative Inspection of the Ministry of Public Administration are prevented from filing a decision of the new parliamentary majority in the governmental service of the Municipality of Budva, by which Carević and Radović were dismissed, after which the inspectors ask for police assistance.

June 17: Budva Mayor Marko Carević, his son and brother, Budva Municipal Assembly President Krsto Radović, and five other associates are arrested for failing to allow police to bring administrative inspectors into the municipal building.

The Manager of the Municipality of Budva, Milo Božović, the Secretary for Investments, Mladen Mikijelj, the Head of Carević's cabinet, Nikola Jovanović, and Carević's Advisor, Đordje Vujović, are also arrested.

Municipal officials and citizens gather early that morning outside the Municipality of Budva, as a dozen police vans arrive in Budva. The entire city is under police siege, according to Vijesti.

budva citizens june 17Citizens of Budva Offering  Food to Police, Source: RTCG

On June 16, the Administrative Inspection of the Ministry of Public Administration issues a decision ordering that the new majority be granted access to the Municipality and documents. Carević and Radović do not recognize those decisions. They claim that they are illegal and do not allow the newly elected officials to enter the Municipal building and have access to documents. They state that the political crisis in Budva has come after councilor Stevan Džaković, who was on the list of the Democratic Front, decided to support the opposition, which in that Municipality consists of the Democratic Party of Socialists and the Montenegrin Party. The sacked leadership claims that this is political corruption.

The Vijesti portal states that the police applied an inappropriate degree of force and tear gas against the municipal officials and citizens and that the windows on the municipal building were broken. The most significant reastions from the media were caused by the recording of the police's actions towards the former Secretary for Investments of the Municipality of Budva, Mladen Mikijelj.

Carević, Radović, and other officials of the Municipality of Budva are released later in the afternoon. Radović states that the entire public could see that Montenegro does not have a Constitution and that legislation and the rule of law have been suspended and subordinated to the greatest dictator Milo Đukanović.

The Vice President of the Democrats and councilor Dragan Krapović calls on the citizens to remain persistent and stay, and calls on representatives of all parties to come to Budva. As he states, democracy is being defended there.

He says that the municipal officials in Risan hospital were found to have injuries inflicted on them by the police during the detention, but that they were generally well.

Krapović sends a message to the international community to take into account of what is happening in Montenegro. "Do not keep silent on the unpleasant scenes of Milo Đukanović's military junta," he said.

June 20: There are almost eight million euros in the account of the Municipality of Budva, but the money cannot be used as long as the temporary measure of the Commercial Court is in force at the end of May at the request of the Ministry of Finance. However, during the political crisis, when there are "two authorities" in the city, which have started a dialogue to overcome tensions and calm passions, resolving the account blockade will have to be a priority. During the talks, political representatives are forbidden to make any political statements and thus raise tensions, and prevent an agreement. The Commercial Court has not yet ruled on the objection lodged by Marko Carević's administration against the interim measure, blocking bank accounts.

June 22: Snezana Kuč schedules consultations with the presidents of the committee groups on Thursday, June 25, on the occasion of the next session of the parliament, on the current political situation.

In the invitation to the councilors' groups, it is stated that the topic of the meeting is consultations related to the work at the next session of the Municipal Assembly of Budva and the conversation regarding the current political situation.

The leader of Montenegro, Vladimir Bulatović, leaves the building of the Municipality of Budva, where he talks with the DPS councilor Snežana Kuč and President of the Municipality, Marko Carević. The meeting ends without an agreement. The Municipal building meeting is briefly attended by the President of the Municipal Assembly, Krsto Radović.

budva 22 june rtvbd Civic Protests in Budva, Source RTV BN

On that same day, deputies and councilors of Democratic Montenegro break through the cordon of private security in the Municipal Assembly (MA) of Budva, who had been hired the day before by the acting President of the Municipality, Vladimir Bulatović.

The President of the Municipal Assembly of Budva, Krsto Radović, invites those who want to resolve the political situation in Budva to come to the Municipal building. He tells people gathered in front of the Municipal building that the leader of Montenegro, Vladimir Bulatović, "confirmed that he had ordered" his arrest and that of President of the Municipality, Marko Carević. Radović calls on those gathered to remain peaceful and not to attack the police.

Marko Carević, Krsto Radović, leader of the Democrats, Aleksa Bečić with eight deputies, as well as four deputies of the Democratic Front, Slaven Radunović, Marina Jocić, Milun Zogović, and Jovan Vucurović, are in the building of the Municipality, as well as municipal officials and councilors, and police inspectors.

June 23: Carević and Radović state that they have received word from the police that no one will be able to enter the building of the Municipality of Budva, and ask the gathered citizens to disperse.

Representatives of the local government and representatives appointed by the new majority of councilors a few days earlier as acting presidents of the Municipality and the President of the municipal assembly, will not be able to enter the municipal building. Carević asks the police to provide him with a document stating that the Municipality was closed.

The legal representative of the Municipality of Budva, Vladan Bojić, says that something that unforeseen had happened that day, that the Municipality had been turned into a police station.

"For the first time, the police are closing down the local government and unconstitutionally preventing workers from coming to their jobs. It is a sure way to ruin an unreasonable decision that is direct to the detriment of citizens. This is a violation of the Constitution because workers are forbidden to come to work." said Carević.

The Municipality of Budva is not provided with official information based on which the police forbid everyone to enter, which was also confirmed by Vladimir Bulatović, who tells Vijesti that he has not received any document.

June 24: On the occasion of the invitation of the DPS and Montenegro for mediation in Budva, the EU Delegation to Montenegro tells "Vijesti" that they have nothing to add to the statement of the EC spokesperson Anna Pisonero Hernandez.

She states that the EU welcomes the dialogue in Budva and calls on all political actors to show respect for the rule of law and democratic principles and to show political maturity to find a sustainable solution to the current situation through dialogue and mutual respect.

The leader of Crnogorska, Vladimir Bulatović, sends a letter to the security service asking security to prevent all employees from entering the building of the Municipality of Budva, except those listed. Bulatović, who has signed as acting President of the Municipality of Budva, bans councilors from entering until further notice.

Economic crime inspectors enter the building of the Municipality of Budva and begin control of the members of the security.

In Budva, police deploy tear gas after a warning is issued to citizens who have surrounded the police station to disperse.

budva june 24

Special Police Forces in Budva, June 24, Source: Vijesti Online

After being arrested earlier that day, Carević and Radović, as well as DF councilors Đorđije Vujović and Đordje Pribilović, and SNP councilor Krsto Radjenović are released. Among those detained are the Vice President and councilor of the Democrats, Dragan Krapović, the Head of Carević's Cabinet, Nikola Jovanović, and the Manager of the Municipality, Milo Božović. Not far from the police station, famous boxer Nikola Sjekloća is also arrested. The Head of the Protection and Rescue Service, Dragan Božović, and the Head of the Utilities Collection Service, Ninoslav Kaludjerović,  are also detained.

After 5.30 pm, tear gas is thrown outside elementary school "Stefan Mitrov Ljubiša", and then at the crossroads, where riots break out. Stones are thrown at the police station, and tear gas is thrown into the hall of the Sports Center during children's training.

Members of the Special Police Units come to the official parking lot of the Municipality of Budva before and after citizens have gathered because the end of working hours was approaching. They await the departure of acting presidents of the Municipality and the Municipal Assembly, Vladimir Bulatović and Snežana Kuč, from the Municipality premises.

June 27: A new majority of councilors in the Municipal Assembly of Budva elect DPS MP Nikola Divanović as the President of the Municipality of Budva.

Andjela Ivanović (Crnogorska) is elected President of the Budva municipal assembly by 17 councilors - 12 DPS councilors, three Crnogorska's councilors, one Social Democrat (SD) councilor, and Stevan Džaković, an independent councilor.

The decision is not recognized by a coalition of the Democratic Front (DF), Democratic Montenegro, the Civic Movement URA, the Socialist People's Party (SNP), and the Social Democratic Party (SDP).

The session is marked by chaos, including physical clashes between political opponents, which lead to five opposition councilors being taken to the police. Vijesti states that DF councilor Milan Šoljaga tried to enter the session, but private security did not allow him to do so.

The media are not allowed to attend the Municipal Assembly of Budva session at which Divanović and Ivanović are elected. However, the rules of procedure of the local government body prescribe that the meetings are public and must be open to journalists.

budva assembly meeting 27 june

 

Police Forces in front of the Municipality of Budva, June 27, Source: Vijesti Online

The Media Union of Montenegro (SMCG) strongly condemned the actions of the private security team that was engaged in the building of the Municipal Assembly of Budva, which during the session of the local parliament forcibly and inappropriately expell Pobjeda journalist Đurđica Ćorić from the municipal premises.

The Budva Board of the Democratic Front (DF) states that Nikola Divanovic (DPS) is the self-proclaimed President of the Municipality of Budva and that the Democratic Party of Socialists (DPS) in Budva have shown the kind of democracy from the golden age of the regime of former Romanian leader Nicolae Ceausescu.

DPS MP Nikola Divanović claims that he is the legitimate President of the Municipality of Budva because the parliamentary majority had voted for him. He says that he will start working on solving the problem on Monday, promising that there will be no revanchism and that everyone who wants to work has a place in his team.

28 Jun 2020, 19:34 PM

June 28, 2020 - Specific dates for opening borders alongside measures introduced by competing countries have meant that some tourists, who would otherwise have preferred to come to Montenegro, have already opted for destinations such as Croatia, Turkey, Greece, Albania, Egypt and Tunisia.

Montenegro is currently open to more than 100 countries, but more than 70 percent of them are not the markets from which most guests come. According to the Association of Hotels and Apartments of the Municipality of Ulcinj, the more favorable entry measures introduced by Albania have led to up to 90% of their tourist capacity being filled, compared to last year.

The situation in Croatia is similar to Montenegro’s, yet as a European Union member it must adhere to the measures prescribed by the EU.

Criteria

Montenegro is currently open to countries with fewer than 25 active cases per 100,000 population. The problem with this criterion is that on any given day the criterion may be fulfilled, and yet in five days’ time it may no longer be. In the meantime, flights have been arranged, sales have been agreed, and packages sold to tourists, yet five days later everything has to be cancelled. In order to save the economy, the tourism industry is proposing the abolition of the PCR test when tourists enter, with stricter controls.

Given this situation on the tourism market on the one hand, and the significant impact that tourism has on the economy of the country on the other, the tourism industry expects the competent institutions in Montenegro to find sustainable solutions that will allow economic activities to make the most of the rest of the tourist season.

As the "Fly Montenegro" agency claims, the current measure cannot be applied from the point of view of specifying flights, because countries that meet that criterion can be on the list of banned countries again by the time of the scheduled flight, e.g Poland and Israel.

"Competing countries (Croatia, Turkey, Greece, Albania, Egypt, etc.) do not have the criterion of 25 active patients per 100,000 inhabitants but have either fully open borders, with certain measures to implement distance and mandatory wearing of masks when entering (Albania, Greece, Croatia, Egypt, etc.), or carry out tests for incoming passengers (Turkey)," Fly Montenegro states.

According to their information, in addition to the aforementioned measures, Croatia and Albania have introduced filling in forms upon entering the country. The purpose of the form is to know where an individual will be staying, and the date of arrival and departure in order to monitor the situation and controls. In Tirana, forms are filled out manually during the flight, to avoid crowds on landing. Croatia has created a web application through which passengers can fill in the required information before arriving in Croatia in order to avoid waiting at the airport.

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Tivat - Photo Boka News

The Association of Hotels and Apartments of the Municipality of Ulcinj recently appealed to the Government to open the borders and allow unimpeded entry and stay of persons from the countries of the region because, as they say, the economic situation is very difficult.

The President of the Association, Fuad Lunji, claims that in Albania, compared to last year, 80 to 90 percent of the capacity is currently filled and that they are doing fairly well, adding that many of their tourists had wanted to stay in Montenegro. 

“Tourists as tourists have an alternative and why would they go somewhere where it is closed and pay for a PCR test, when they can go somewhere that is completely open and pay nothing. We cannot be too smart and not be able to establish that,” Lunji stated.

He suggests that with increased controls at border crossings, tourists should be allowed to enter without tests.

 “Every person in Montenegro depends directly and indirectly on tourism, especially those of us on the coast who depend on tourists from the entire region: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Kosovo, Albania, North Macedonia - these are our markets. We were the only ones to make a PCR test compulsory. I agree that the situation is bad, and it is a pandemic, but I think we have a much worse economic situation heading towards us. I feel sorry for all the people who get sick, people who die, but believe me, a huge catastrophe awaits us when all this stops,” Lunji believes.

His hotel "Salina" in Ulcinj currently has no guests. While the borders were temporarily open without a test, he says they had full weekends of tourists from Kosovo. However, he now claims that their situation was better in November and December last year than now.

“We have to find a way out and make the best of the situation, whatever the disease turns out to be,” Lunji thinks.

Interest

Travel agency "Fly Montenegro" spoke to Pobjeda, saying that apart from the region, there is a huge interest from tourists from Belarus and Ukraine, from where about 100,000 tourists came to Montenegro last year. Flights from these countries are now being diverted to Albania precisely because of the measures.

“The fact is that due to the global crisis caused by Covid-19, we cannot expect significant numbers from Western European countries this tourist season, because they are telling everyone to spend their summers in their countries. So our potential traditional incoming markets remain primarily Belarus, Russia, Ukraine, our region, Poland, the Emirates, the Czech Republic, Israel and others,” claims Fly Montenegro.

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Herceg Novi during coronavirus

It is especially important, they say, to consider measures of competitors in the tourist market (Croatia, Turkey, Greece, Albania, Tunisia, Egypt, etc.), which over time are taking more and more tourists from the traditional incoming markets and are therefore decreasing  the chances for some sort of rescue for at least part of the tourist season.

“We already have seen a number of examples where flights from Belarus that were planned for Montenegro were redirected to Albania, where the first flight arrived on 12th June. The first flights from Minsk, which were planned and sold to Tivat in mid-June, were diverted and landed in Tirana. The flight was welcomed at Tirana Airport by the Minister of Tourism of Albania. Belarus is not yet on the list of countries from which it is possible to come to Montenegro because they have more than 25 active patients per 100,000 inhabitants, which is completely realistic considering that mass tests are performed in that country, between 15,000 and 20,000 a day,” states Fly Montenegro.

They add that for now, flights from Minsk to Tivat have been moved to start on 10th July.

“If a sustainable solution is not found, the airline Belavia will be forced to completely cancel flights to Montenegro this year and redirect all its flights to competitive markets. How important the Ukrainian market is is best shown by the fact that negative PCR tests for Ukrainian tourists are not required by Croatia, Albania, Greece, Turkey or Egypt,” said Fly Montenegro.

Barrier

As they explain, the last change according to which Ukraine was put on the list of countries from which tourists can visit Montenegro, but with the obligatory negative PCR test not older than 48 hours, cannot be applicable to tourist arrivals for two reasons.

plaža

Beach - tourism

“The first is of a technical nature because in Ukraine the minimum turnaround for PCR tests is 72 hours or longer, as the number of laboratories that issue PCR tests is limited. The second is economic in nature because the PCR test costs about 80 euros, which automatically removes us from the market as competing countries can attract them by not insisting on a negative PCR test. For example, a family of four has to pay over 300 euros for tests alone, and there are huge queues for PCR testing. In addition, no one can guarantee that the tests will be issued between the 48 and 72 hours as required by us, and therefore tourists opt for competing countries where there are no such requirements,” the agency clarified.

The outcome of this situation, they say, is that the planned flights from Ukraine to Montenegro from 1st July have been cancelled.

28 Jun 2020, 15:42 PM

28 June, 2020 - The village of Suscepan, 1.5 km from the center of Herceg Novi, and at an altitude of 300 metres was, according to the architect Marin Đurašin (1954 - 2000), the centre of ancient Troy.

Đurašin’s theory (he also wrote a book on the subject, although his death prevented him from publishing it) was that the whole of Boka Kotorska was ancient Troy, and that Suscepan was its centre. Troy, or Elijah (ancient Greek: Τροία [Troía] or Τροίας [Troías], or Ίλιον [Ílion] or Ίλιος [Ílios]; Latin: Troia, or Ilium; Turkish: Truva or Troya), was a legendary city and the scene of Trojan war, which is partly depicted in Homer’s Iliad, an epic poem in ancient Greek composed in the 9th or 8th century BC.

This assumption did not have a greater impact, nor did it lead to greater tourist interest in the village, which offers a beautiful view of the entrance to and the interior of the Bay of Kotor.

The village of Suscepan was assumed inhabited in the Middle Ages and has been under Turkish, Venetian, Austro-Hungarian rule. It had, in the main, followed the fate of Herceg Novi, then that of the whole of Boka Kotorska and Montenegro.

Until World War II, the locals lived mainly from agriculture and livestock. Olive oil and wine were produced, grain was sown and vegetables were planted. Fruit was also grown - most often figs. A few inhabitants worked in nearby Herceg Novi - mostly in trade and tourism.

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Suscepan - Bostanj Spring

Today, no-one in the village is exclusively engaged in agriculture. Most often it is an additional activity or carried out solely to meet individual need.

Until the increased construction at the end of the last century, the village looked like a typical coastal Boka village. The houses were built at a distance of 500 - 700 metres, and the hamlets were connected by paths paved with stone. They were built on slopes and along the perimeter of rare arable land. Today, almost every house has a tarmac - or more often concrete - road.

The few inhabited old houses in the village are built of local stone. Upstairs is a living area for the family, and the ground floor-barn is used to accommodate wine, oil, grain, flour and other foodstuffs. In some houses on the ground floor there are cattle.

In front of the village houses is a part of the yard - terraces - paved with stone and surrounded by a low wall-seat. In some yards there was also a “bistjerna” for collecting rainwater. The terrace was covered with vines and served as a small extension of the house proper, for gathering after a hard day’s work. In the summer, sometimes a table was brought out, so people could eat on the terrace.

The garden also has a threshing floor - a round paved surface covered with stone slabs. This was used for threshing grain.

The village does not have an official centre, but the population used to gather around the Bostanj spring. The spring is channelled, the area around it paved and has a stone wall-seat. In addition to this spring, there is also a spring in Smokovac and Zirina.

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Saint Stephen’s Church

 During religious festivals, locals gather around the village church of Saint Stephen. The church was built at the end of the 19th century, but it is assumed that there had been a building there previously. The church is a single-nave, vaulted building with an apse of a semicircular base and a bell tower on a pediment with three bell windows. It is built of stone, but all the walls, except at the front, are plastered. According to the motifs from the preserved parapet slab, which is today in a museum, it is assumed that there was a pre-Romanesque church on the site, dating from the 10th or 11th century.

 The Church of Saint Stephen

The iconostasis is the work of Corfu icon painter N. Aspioti. Around the church is a gate with tombs. It is thought by some that the church was built by the Bosnian king Tvrtko (founder of Herceg Novi) or Stevan Kosača.

The Legend of the Village's Origin

Legend has it that the Bosnian King Tvrtko I began the construction of the church of St. Stephen in the centre of Herceg Novi, inviting the most famous masters of that time from Kotor and Dubrovnik. But one morning, the stone disappeared from the square and appeared about 1.5 kilometers from the city - in its current location. The king was advised to build a church there, which he did. According to the legend, the settlement that started to grow around the church was named Sveti Stefan (Saint Stephen) - later Suscepan.

Each to Their "Own" Troy

German entrepreneur and amateur archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann began excavations on the hill of Hisarlich in today's northwestern Turkey, near the sea coast, southwest of the Dardanelles under Mount Ida in 1873 and claimed that this was the location of ancient Troy.

Researcher Ilija Ogorelica claims that ancient Troy was located near Belgrade, more precisely on the border of the settlements of Rušanj, Ripanj and Lipovačke šume. Milutin Jaćimović claims that Troy is "the Serbian historical capital of Skadar".

Mexican Roberto Salinas Price (1936 - 2012), philologist and wealthy Mexican passionate homerologist, first put forward the idea in the 1980s that Troy was on the east coast of the Adriatic and that the Trojan War had taken place in the Neretva Valley, and that the holy the city of Troy was on the site of present-day Gabela.

There are also theories that Troy was located at Ljubuški in Croatia, and also in Macedonia,… but with no scientific evidence supporting the claims.

/S.Kosić/

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