October 25, 2020 - The project "Great Beach Without Plastic" - Ulcinj was held to raise awareness among the public and institutions about plastic pollution sources and consequences. We implemented activity projects with a focus on several groups: school-age children, tourists, and institutions, announced the NGO Green Life.
To present the problem of pollution at Great Beach, the report "Illegal Landfills in the Hinterland of the Great Beach" was prepared. All locations, a total of 22 sites where waste is located, were mapped and described. The report was presented to the institutions and resulted in the rehabilitation of three locations.
Five educational workshops were carried out with school-age children. In an age-appropriate way, they were provided with information on how it is possible to avoid the generation of plastic waste and why it is essential to do so. They were presented with the negative impacts of using disposable plastic and were told how waste negatively affects the environment.
"We organized three educational events on the beaches to raise awareness and explain to beach users that their actions on this issue are significant and that it is possible to influence the problem by global example, which is international in scope. We provided the information to those who wanted to be eco-friendly but did not know how to put the theory into practice.
On three different beaches, we have placed educational boards that will serve as warnings and explain why disposable plastic should be avoided, of course, with ways presented of how to do so. In this way, we have promoted the message we are trying to convey even when we are not directly present," the organizers anounced.
The project "Great Beach Without Plastic" was supported by the Prince Albert II Foundation of Monaco within the initiative Beyond Plastic Med (BEMED), announced the organiser, NGO Green Life.
October 25, 2020 - Opening the documentary exhibition "Nautical Culture" of the Sailing Club Delfin at the Tivat Museum and Gallery last night, the mayor of Tivat, Željko Komnenović, emphasized the importance of this sports club for the culture of living in this small Mediterranean city.
"I had the honor and pleasure to open an exhibition in which one of the oldest sports clubs in Tivat, and the first sailing club in Montenegro, sails towards its seventieth birthday," said Komnenović.
"Don't be fooled by the wealth of years, because to everyone who loves this club and respects everything that its members have achieved, the club is still a young man who has a lot more to show to Tivat, Montenegro, and the sports world. Sport sailing combines the innate emotion that seafarers have towards the sea, the beauty of our bay, the excitement brought by the skill of taming the wind, and the very act of competition, in the very best way. And the long tradition of Delfin is connected with the famous Tivat masters, craftsmen, students of the Naval Technical School, and Arsenal workers. They have skillfully created sailboats, Ding, Jola, Suton, and Bokeljka, since 1951. Delfin has brought sailing and a love of the sea to many, many people.
Arhieve photos, YC Delfin
All this explains the people of Tivat's attachment towards Delfin, and so Delfin reciprocates with increasing expansion and more and more significant successes. Delfin sailor Igor Les was 38th in the world in the 2017 Laser Standard class. Two years later, Tivat hosted the 52nd Balkan Sailing Championship, which made Tivat the epicenter of sport sailing. The European Championship was planned for this year in Tivat but was canceled due to obvious reasons. With its successes, Delfin has earned the European Sailing Federation's trust, so Tivat is now on the map of big sailing competitions.
The Municipality of Tivat will continue to support Delfin when it comes to its regular sports activities, significant competitions, and participation therein. It will also bring support when it comes to celebrating the forthcoming major jubilee in 2021. In doing so, the citizens of Tivat and the local government, which represents them, are paying tribute to the club, which presents Tivat in the best possible light, and we hope that time will bring more success and fair wind to our sailors," said Komnenović.
Speaking about the club, the president of Delfin, Frano Tripović, recalled the former mayor of Tivat and professor of geography, the late Tripo Rajčević.
"He had an interesting approach to the lessons - he would show the students a small performance - he would let the water from a fountain flow and fill a sink with water, and theatrically, as if something big was going to happen, he would put his finger in the water. Then he would ask - how am I now connected to the whole world? Then we would imagine how that water travels from Boka through the Adriatic and Ionian Seas, then through the Mediterranean and the Suez Canal. That kind of good globalism is also related to sailing. Sailing Club Delfin is one of the places in this city that brings Tivat to the world and the world to Tivat. Children come to us at the age of five or six. They begin to get acquainted with the sea, the wind, the weather, before even learning to read or write.
I think that the sailing school is of vital importance, even in the coronavirus year we managed to gather eighty of our children, which, it seems to me, is significant for the environment. In addition to the Sailing School, Delfin also has a competitive professional sailing section, primarily for the Olympic Laser class, where we have top competitors who bring Tivat to the world through sails, sails that represent the whole of Montenegro. There is also a cruising section- a group of enthusiasts, which deals with the organization of competitive and show regattas. I would single out here the Tivat regatta and the Old Year's regatta. In addition to regattas, various events are organized, so the pear in front of the club has become a cult place in our city, where the spirit of tradition that our ancestors left us, is nurtured. You can see this from these old photos. These are priceless moments where people laugh, exchange ideas, and socialize.
I think growing up with sailing and that demystification of nature through the sport is something fundamental. I think it is a privilege to stay at sea during one's formative years and learn about the sea and marine culture in general. We want our sailing school to become a primary naval school, which really it already has."
Tripović pointed out that the club's doors are open for everyone, certainly welcoming both old and younger generations.
The exhibition Nautical Culture at the Museum and Gallery Tivat is open to visitors until Saturday, October 31.
October 22, 2020 - The National Tourist Organization of Montenegro and the local tourist organization of Tivat, with the support of the hotel "Regent Porto Montenegro" and "The Chedi Lustica Bay," have organized a study visit by representatives of one of the most famous music television channels in Russia "Muz-TV" - the Russian MTV, who are staying in Montenegro from October 21 to 26.
The five-member news team from"Muz-TV" is in Montenegro to record a travel show "Vacation Without Trips" (Holiday Without Travel), through which viewers will have the opportunity to get acquainted with what's on offer to tourists in the coastal, central and northern regions of our country. The author of the show "Vacation Without Trips" (Holiday Without Travel) is famous Russian host and influencer Andrei Razigraev, who visits destinations worldwide, explores exciting stories from the local population, and offers advice on what to experience in the area.
Footage for the show will be filmed in Tivat, Kotor, Herceg Novi, Budva, Cetinje, Danilovgrad, Plužine and Žabljak.
The journalists, who are currently staying in Tivat, had the opportunity to visit the rural household "Pony Art Garden" in Luštica, to cruise the Bay of Kotor and visit Kotor and Perast. Continuing their visit, they will see the Capital of Cetinje, NP Lovćen, and the village of Njeguši.
Representatives of "Muz-TV" will visit the north of Montenegro, Plužine, and Žabljak, where they will have the opportunity to experience something of what is offered in terms of active nature holidays, through the tour Ring around Durmitor. They will record footage on Black Lake and try the zip line on Đurđevića Tara.
"Muz-TV" is one of the most famous music televisions in Russia with a viewership of over 1 million, and their Youtube channel "Muz-TV" has a high rating, with about 1.36 million views per month. The TV show "Otpusk bez putevki" (Holiday Without Travel) is most-watched among the audience's younger and middle generation. The episode filmed in Montenegro will be premiered by the end of this year.
October 22, 2020 - In honor of 70 years of the sailing club "Delfin", an exhibition named "Nautical culture" will open on October 24th, in the Museum and Gallery Buca Lukovic – Tivat.
Club Delfin was formed in January 1951, and is one of the most famous sailing clubs in Montenegro. This club is of great significance, since it has competed for many years in national competitions. The biggest accomplishment of the club so far is the fact that it managed to place in the top 50 in the Olympic Class.
The President of Club Delfin, Frano Tripovic, will open the exhibition "Nautical culture" on Saturday, at 19:00. The exhibition is of a documentary nature.
"Nautical culture" will mainly be open on the first gallery floor, but it will be presented on the second as well.
The exhibition "Nautical culture" is made up of photos of documentary importance, as well as those recently taken. In addition to the photos, the visitors will also be able to see trophies, documents, diplomas, thank-you notes, and other artefacts.
Current exhibitions at Museum and Gallery Buca include:
October 20, 2020 - Regent Porto Montenegro has organized the first photo–tracking tour of Boka Bay with six photographers from Montenegro, Serbia, and Great Britain. These destination photographers had a full and interesting agenda on Saturday, October 17th.
"Organization of the photo-tracking tour is an expression of our need to showcase further the stunning scenery of Boka Bay and the local lifestyle. Through the artistic expression that "speaks a thousand words," we wish to emphasize the importance of photography for travelers when choosing their next travel destination. This is vital in the digital era we live in and with the undeniable importance of social networks. Also, we wanted to highlight the importance and quality of local photographers' work, which has already contributed to Porto Montenegro and Montenegro's position as a high quality destination. Their work will be pitched to key international titles as well as part of the exhibitions in the country and internationally," stated Elena Ljiljanic, PR & Marketing Manager of Regent Porto Montenegro.
The guest from Great Britain, Mathias Falcone, is a travel photographer and film director living in London. His work focuses on destinations escaping the ever-changing nature of the world and the people inhabiting them. Mathias has a predilection for Africa, craftspeople, fishers and loves to capture popular places with never been seen before shots.
Strahinja Filipović expresses himself and his views of the scenery through photography and videography. Even though young, he uniquely captures the natural scenery. His sensibility is easily expressed through effective photos and film formats.
Ranko Maraš is thought of as the Kotor and Bokelian photographer who always discloses yet undiscovered details, and the UNESCO protected bay's jewels. He is a true ambassador of the UNESCO bay and transcends the magic of his birthplace impeccably. His photographs are true blue stories of the Mediterranean, which quickly become viral on social media.
Marko Obradović is a multidisciplinary artist recognized by the region through his photographs of the renowned international music festivals and destinations. A combination of graphics, industrial design, and photography are the media he uses to create his art for numerous clients.
Zoran Radonjić, "guest yet a host" in the hotel Regent and Porto Montenegro, is a long term associate of the project. In the synergy with the brand, he builds the visual identity and image of the destination through photography. His recognition within the photographic frame is reflected in details which always expresses his authenticity.
Miloš Samardžić creates sensational photo content with the elements of Boka Bay and Montenegro's sceneries with the focus on outdoor activities: hiking, diving, snorkeling. He also flirts with the destination photography style showcasing the local lifestyle. His passion for nature's colors is visible on his Instagram profile, displaying his dedication to underwater photography and precision in capturing the changing weather's extraordinary moments within the moody microclimate of Boka Bay.
The first photographs from the photo-tracking tour are already on the social networks of the participating photographers:
https://www.instagram.com/marko_edge/ and https://www.instagram.com/mathiasfalcone/ as well as on the Instagram profiles https://www.instagram.com/zoanphotography/, https://www.instagram.com/radza/, https://www.instagram.com/funk__you__/?hl=en
Mr. Falcone was also specially hosted by the National Tourism Organization, which organized a visit to Bar, Old Olive Tree, and Rikavac canyon experience. The photo tour's entire program has been carried out in collaboration with the National Tourism Organisation, Tourism Organization of Tivat, and marketing team of Porto Montenegro.
October 20, 2020 - Lazar Ilić has launched a brand new collection, but this time with a twist.
Just after designing his first line of bags "Hunt", in collaboration with his sister Kristina, Lazar Ilić has decided to pleasantly surprise his fans and buyers by launching his first ever jewelry line - „TAMO ĐE JE SRCE“.
On October 5th, Montenegrin designer Lazar Ilić announced his new jewelry collection using his Instagram account, receiving a lot of positive feedback. Many of Ilić's followers were enthusiastic about his new jewelry collection, and gave him words of support and encouragement. Lazar Ilić is well known for his trendy and glamorous style, yet his new jewelry collection is more subtle, and can be worn by everyone. Lazar Ilić's first jewelry collection is made out of silver, and can be worn by men and women.
Photo by Aleksandar Jaredić @lexilium
“These pieces are intended to be worn by absolutely all of you who view Montenegro as Home -it doesn't matter how old you are, where you live or in which role you've found yourself, which will become apparent in the next 7 days of our campaign and presentation of the currently available models,“ stated Lazar Ilić on his Instagram post with a picture of one of his models from the new collection.
Ilić's new jewelry line is neutral and can be worn with any outfit, no matter what the occasion. Lazar Ilić stated that his jewelry collection is available for orders exclusively online, and unfortunately cannot be found in any stores. The designer also mentioned that he will most likely be expanding his jewelry line in future, which we are very much looking forward to seeing.
October 19, 2020 - Montenegro has welcomed this year’s European Commission report in a better mood. Not because the administration (or citizens) hoped for better grades as a result of hard work in the past year and a half, but because the country is waiting for a new government, the first without Djukanovic’s Democratic Party of Socialists (DPS) in 30 years. All eyes are on this new government, which must take at least some important steps to speed up the country’s path towards EU membership. However, many challenges lie ahead for it, at least when it comes to what is stated in this year’s EC report, writes politologist Jovana Marović for the Balkans in Europe Policy Advisory Group- BiEPAG.
The Balkans in Europe Policy Advisory Group (BiEPAG) is a cooperation initiative of the European Fund for the Balkans (EFB) and Centre for the Southeast European Studies of the University of Graz (CSEES) with the aim to promote the European integration of the Western Balkans and the consolidation of democratic, open countries in the region. BiEPAG is composed of prominent policy researchers from the Western Balkans and wider Europe who have established themselves for their knowledge and understanding of the Western Balkans and the processes that shape the region.
The Commission’s assessment of the situation in the country is as expected. Montenegro has continued to make limited progress in most chapters, thus maintaining an average overall score, which is disappointing more than eight years after the opening of accession negotiations. This year has affected this attitude to such an extent that the crisis caused by the coronavirus has allowed the reforms to be put “on hold”. The negotiations themselves have been stuck for some time, despite the Commission’s new methodology presented in February, and regardless of the fact that Montenegro accepted it, even though it was not binding for the country. This is certainly a good sign, in the sense that it sends the message that Montenegro wants to negotiate under stricter conditions, but without a clear picture on either side of when this could bring significant results.
Many things are repeated in this report that also appeared in previous iterations, which on the one hand indicates a lack of progress, while on the other hand again raises the question of whether the Commission’s reports are a sufficient guide to candidate countries for reforms and whether this most visible mechanism should be even more concrete. In this report particular attention is paid to the general atmosphere and functioning of the system, as well as the situation in the country when it comes to polarisation, alongside the politicisation of institutions and the involvement of all actors in the democratic process, particularly in the parliament, and its role in democratisation. It is problematic that some scandals have been continuously mentioned in the report almost since the beginning of negotiations. The details of the DPS’ governing body session were published back in February 2013, revealing the party’s mechanisms of misuse of public resources for election purposes (known as “the audio recordings affair”), and this has found its place in every annual report of the Commission on Montenegro. In each report, the EU seeks “the political and judicial follow-up of the alleged misuse of public funds for party political purposes” to which the government is persistently turning a blind eye. The same goes for the many other scandals and abuses we have witnessed. This is mostly what any response to the Commission’s recommendations looks like in practice if it demands reactions and cuts that are in direct conflict with the party’s interests. This is also the first guideline of what should be done in the future for better results.
The Commission has maintained the practice of defining priorities for key areas, for example in the section relating to the fight against corruption, pointing out problems in the work of the Agency for Prevention of Corruption, the manner of conducting financial investigations and securing track records both in prevention and repression. In practice though, the institutions persistently respond only to some of the problems identified, while there is no link between the European Commission’s instruments and greater pressure to address and adequately respond to the burning issues. In this sense, the recommendations/priorities could be even more concrete and measurable. In principle, a clear task and an answer to it also give a basis for a stronger assessment of whether it has been fulfilled or not. In other words, this should be an important matter in the application of the new EU methodology – linking specific priorities with clearly-announced incentives and sanctions.
In short, this year’s European Commission report confirmed that Montenegro is a country with serious problems in the judiciary, the electoral system, and the functioning of the state system in general, with corruption at all levels. It is also strongly polarised as a society. Montenegro also continues to respond to these problems partially and superficially, which requires a stronger and more serious reaction from all actors in society. A more committed partner from Brussels is needed to turn things around and achieve better results.
Author: Jovana Marović
Jovana Marovic is Executive Director of the Politikon Network, a think tank based in Podgorica. She studied at the Faculty of Political Science in Belgrade where she received her doctorate. Between 2004-2016, Jovana worked as a Counselor for the European Union in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ multilateral department, Advisor for International Relations and European Integration within the Cabinet of the Budva Municipality’s Mayor, Research Coordinator at the Institute Alternative (think tank and scientific research institute) and Special Advisor to the Minister of Labor and Social Welfare. She is also engaged in lecturing. Jovana is a Member of the Working Group for Chapter 23, Judiciary and Fundamental Rights, within the Montenegrin Accession Negotiations for EU membership.
October 18, 2020 - Solila Nature Reserve has been the focus of media interest in recent days. At the online conference "Global Green Destination Days 2020", Tivat was declared one of the Top 100 Green Destinations, among other things, based on the successful management of the Solila Nature Reserve, which was nominated as a "Good Practice Story."
Another piece of news that aroused great public interest was the welcome return of the most eminent guests among wetland birds. After more than ten years, flamingos have arrived in Solila again!
"The presence of flamingos is a symbol and confirmation of the commitment to protect endangered and rare wetlands, and we hope that they will be regular guests," said the Solila Nature Reserve.
Flamingos, Photo by M.Mitkić
Tivat salt pans (between Tivat airport and the Lustica peninsula) are located on the Adriatic Migration Corridor and serve as the last resting and feeding ground for migratory birds on their way to the south. For a certain number of birds, they are also a wintering ground.
Researchers found the first data on the salt basins of the Tivat salt pans in medieval writings, emphasizing their significance for neighboring Kotor's economy, based on salt production and sale. Even the Statute of this city regulated the production, import, export, and sale of salt. Back in 1683, when this area was under Turkish occupation, it is described that the place where Solila is located today was essential for salt production, representing 81% of the total income of the local population.
According to the data from the historical archives, the work on Solila always took place under the watchful eye of solar workers (preparation of bases, construction of dams, canals, ditches). The salt harvest, which took place at the end of summer, included a locally able-bodied population and draft cattle.
Old photo of Solila
According to historical sources, in 1425, the saltworks had 109 plots. Twenty 24 belonged to Metropolitan Zeta, 27 - to the population of Lustica, 10 - to Djurasevici, 32 - to Kotor, and 16 - to well-known Kotor families. Salt marshes have been continuously the "apple of discord" between neighboring countries. When the salt marshes ceased to be used for their intended purpose, birds began to come here.
The area of Solila is located as a saltworks on all historical maps of this area.
Tivat's Municipality started the construction of a new saltworks in the sixties of the last century, based on the project from 1956 and 1959. Works were performed on two occasions- from 1959 to 1961, and in 1963. A new Saltworks was formed in which, according to some accounts, had only two harvesting seasons.
During the new saltworks' construction, the Municipality invested in the Široka river's regulation, a peripheral canal construction, and works on the main sea embankment structure.
Solila, Photo by Andjelko Stjepčević
However, when the establishment of a new saltworks in the Solila area began, salt from North African saltworks began to arrive on the European market, where the costs of salt production, due to favorable natural conditions and significant wind, were significantly lower those on the northern shores of the Mediterranean.
It caused the decline of about 200 smaller, traditional salt pans in the Mediterranean and even those in Solila.
With a decision of 2007, the Solila area was protected as a unique, special nature reserve to preserve plant and animal species, primarily ornithofauna.
We must state that some irresponsible individuals have been dumping various types of waste in Solila for years, and poachers have killed everything that flies. Thanks to the Public Company "Morsko Dobro," the manager of this area, the Municipality of Tivat, the Tourist Organization of Tivat, and the Center for Protection and Study of Birds, Solila over time has become an ecotourism and birdwatching destination, with info points, a visitor center, renovated bridges, observation posts, seating, and a tourist guide service.
One hundred fourteen (114) species of birds have been registered in Solila. However, the list is not even close to bieng finalized because several new species choose the habitat every year. Since 526 bird species have been recorded in Europe so far, the number of birds present in this lagoon makes up more than 20 percent of the total number of species of European ornithofauna.
Out of 342 registered bird species in Montenegro, 114 species have been registered in Solila itself. And as many as 109 observed species enjoy some form of protection. All this indicates precisely how vital the Solila themselves are for the ornithofauna of Montenegro. Here we can often meet species such as seagulls, whistling duck, wild duck, gray heron, sparrowhawk, little grebe, and others. The most valuable species of birds are the Java cormorant, pebble, flamingo, and sea hawk. It is a perfect place for bird watching. In addition to birds, about 14 species of rare amphibians and reptiles live here, of which three species are threatened with extinction.
Ibises, spoon herons, storks, and flamingos have been spotted. As a curiosity, we point out that eight black ibises (lat. Plegadis falcinellus, Engl. Glossy ibis) spent time on Solila last year.
"These migratory birds, otherwise known from Egyptian mythology, nest in Europe and places in the Balkans, and they are also widespread in Africa and Asia. Until a few decades ago, ibises were on the brink of extinction due to the destruction of their habitats in wetlands. However, by protecting wetlands and raising environmental awareness, today, it can be said that the ibis population has recovered.
In our reserve, we also host a beautiful spoonbill heron (lat. Platalea leucorodia, Engl. Eurasian spoonbill), which has a characteristic spoon-shaped beak and a tuft on the head. Her body is covered with white feathers, while her legs and beak are black. This heron belongs to the ibis family and can reach a height of up to 1 m and weigh about 1 kg.
Spoonbills live in humid areas where they feed on small fish, frogs, crabs, and sometimes aquatic plants. They nest in sedges, bushes, and nests low above the water, and according to the information of the Center for Protection and Study of Birds, in Montenegro, they nest only on the island of Paratuk on the river Bojana, where 32 pairs are registered ", information from the Solila reserve states.
These days, the Anas clypeata, which differs from other ducks with its specific, spoon-shaped beak, rests in the salt marshes. This widespread species nests in Europe, Asia, and North America, while spending the winter in the southern regions. In the Solila Nature Reserve, in 2018, the first nesting and the first cub of this duck species were recorded.
Baljoška, a fox as the locals call it, fuliga (Fulica atra) is always among the first heralds of autumn migration in reserve.
This autumn, storks and flamingos are a real confirmation that we are on the right path of preserving one of the pearls of the Bay of Kotor, the Solila Nature Reserve.
Tivat saltworks - from salt grains to bird habitats, is part of the project "Tivat Breviary," which was funded through the NGO Projects Funds Provided by the Municipality of Tivat
October 17, 2020 - The defeat of the DPS at the national level seems to be less of a surprise than the epilogue of the local elections in Tivat. The peoples' decision to place their trust in the civil lists after 24 years of rule by the DPS and coalition partners is a kind of precedent on the Balkan political scene.
Called for at the beginning of April, local elections in Tivat were postponed due to the COVID-19 epidemic. The lack of interest from the parties at the national level in the situation in Tivat, where since 2016 the DPS had had absolute power and support of coalition partners - the Social Democrats and the Croatian Civic Initiative, prompted representatives of local parties, former opposition councilors, and members of the public to organize in the coalition list. "People Win" (NP) managed to win as many as 13 of the 32 seats in the Municipal Assembly of Tivat on August 30. The Boka Forum (BF) won two seats, and the Goran Božović list (GB) one. With the minority support of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) councilors, Tivat's new government majority has 17 seats.
DPS has nine councilors, and their traditional partners - SD and HGI - two each.
At the new parliament's constitutive session, held on September 23, the President of the Boka Forum, political scientist Doc. Dr. Andrija Petković was elected for the President of the Assembly. Yesterday, at the first working session, the new parliamentary council appointed Željko Komnenović, the People Wins list holder, as the President of the Municipality of Tivat.
Professor of Serbo-Croatian language and Yugoslav literature, journalist and publicist Zeljko Komnenovic (49), replaced the mayor, Dr. Sinisa Kusovac, relieved of his duties at the same session.
Former President of the Municipality, Dr. Siniša Kusovac, and the New Major of Tivat, Željko Komnenović, Photo by Siniša Luković
"I accept these duties with great seriousness, responsibility, and humility, above all towards the brave citizens of Tivat who showed great heart and determination in the elections on August 30 to take the fate of their city into their own hands. This is the beginning of a new era that we will create and trace together. The future must be the same for everyone, a future for our children, and a city of equal opportunities for all its citizens," said Komnenovic. "Tivat on August 30 voted against centralism, corruption, crime, nepotism, partitocracy, hopelessness and minority domination over the majority," said Komnenović, accepting the position of mayor.
"Although unexpected, you won an unprecedented victory and brought freedom to all of us. The biggest task is just beginning, and the coalition government of NP, BF, GB, and SDP will bring long-awaited justice to the citizens. We will conscientiously and responsibly manage the Municipality and the city's resources, take care of all our citizens and their interests. Our common goal is a rationalized and efficient local government that will solve citizens' problems and needs. In the further development of Tivat, we will try to use all the potential of our city, reduce bureaucracy, protect the rights of local people, and start more intensive cooperation between Boka cities. We will also ensure fair cooperation to investors who are implementing projects here," Komnenović pointed out, adding that the local government "should never again be enslaved to the interests of party headquarters, interest groups and captured institutions."
New Major of Tivat, Željko Komnenović, Photo by Siniša Luković
The new parliamentary majority previously proposed and adopted the decision on dismissing the President of the Municipality of Tivat, Dr. Siniša Kusovac. In the new parliament's long first working session, the new majority explained in detail that Kusovac did not ensure the implemention of the Strategic Development Plan of Tivat 2019-2023, whereby about thirty projects outlined in the document did not make it off the drawing board.
Kusovac also caused significant material damage to the city by signing an illegal contract to waiver 5.6 million euros of utilities to Porto Montenegro, "forgetting" almost two million euros of city money in the bankruptcy-affected Atlas Bank, and non-implementation of the court verdict in the "Dalmacijavino" affair, reads the proposal to dismiss the former mayor, Dr. Siniša Kusovac.
Dr. Andrija Petković (BF), the new President of the Municipal Assembly of Tivat, says for Total Montenegro News that he will be 100 percent committed to the radical changes in that area that all three winning civic lists announced in their election programs.
Dr. Andrija Petković, Source: Municipality of Tivat
By education a political scientist, active in political and social life, Dr. Andrija Petković is a long-term journalist, who has been on several occasions professionally engaged in public relations in the state and local administration, as well as in the private sector. He worked as a lecturer at the Faculty of Mediterranean Studies, and in recent years as a sports editor and presenter at Radio Tivat. He has published six collections of poetry. In the previous convocation of the Municipal Assembly of Tivat, he performed the function of councilor.
TMN: For a long time, and especially over the last four years, the assembly hall was not a space for constructive discussion and agreement on issues of importance for the city, but a body for confirmation of decisions that were often made contrary to the interests of Tivat and its citizens. They have shown in the elections that they want changes. They are expecting them now. Do you think that it is the Assembly's responsibility to restore citizens' trust in local institutions as their service? If so, how do you intend to achieve this?
First of all, I must point out that it is a great honor for me to have the opportunity to perform such an important function, first of all, from the people from the Boka Forum and then from our coalition partners. Of course, the responsibility is, therefore, all the greater since we all need to be aware of what moment we are in. Two viruses have hit us - one is the current COVID19, to which the whole world has no answer. For the second virus, the citizens of Tivat found a solution on August 30, and that is the virus DPS-SD-HGI rule, which destroyed the municipal coffers. From one of the wealthiest municipalities in Montenegro, they have put us in a situation where we have to fill a significant budget hole, so much so in fact that it sometimes seems to be bottomless.
You are right- the parliament was often a place where decisions were made that were contrary to the interests of Tivat's residents, especially those of the local population. They helped the Podgorica bureaucracy and satisfied the interests of private investors. This statement also contains the answer to your questions on how to restore citizens' trust in the system's institutions. The citizen must recognize that the decisions made in the future result from professional planning to solve the problems that have accumulated. The outcome will be an improvement in the quality of life of all members of our community.
I think the Assembly is just a small screw in the whole thing, to call it a "complex." Admittedly - an essential screw, from which that trust begins. Reasonable dialogue, constructive discussions, offering different solutions for the situations in which we are, and finding ourselves, by ignoring to the extent possible party attitudes and differences, and eliminating all petty individual interests. From the porter to the President of the Municipality, everyone must make sure that the public has no doubt that we are here to work in their interests. They must be made to feel welcome in the town hall by the people they pay to do the job.
However, there must be a change in the opposite direction as well. We hope to attract higher quality and much broader participation of citizens in public debates. We expect them to bring proposals that will not have anything to do with vested interests. And perhaps most importantly - corruption starts not from the public office but from the citizen who brings the bribe. That is the most important thing to overcome.
Dr. Andrija Petković and Dr. Dritan Abazović, the President of the Civic Movement URA and the Leader of the Coalition list Black on White, Source: Boka News
TMN: Do you think that the previous government had good cooperation with investors, primarily Luštica Development and Adriatic Marinas? Representatives of all three winning lists often thematized the last local government's moves, which in their opinion, were not in line with the best interests of Tivat and its citizens. In your opinion, is there a need to legally analyze this cooperation?
It depends which angle you look at. If we mean satisfying the needs of foreign and domestic investors and realizing the interests of individuals from the parties that made up the government, then that cooperation was exceptional. And if you mean bringing benefits to the local population and progress to the city, then Tivat did not get anything or at most received many times less than what was offered. Somehow all these everyday, local interests were left aside. On the flip side, every, even the slightest desire of the companies, was treated as an order. There are numerous examples. I'm not just talking about irrigating a golf course or forgiving a debt of 5.6 million euros, nor just about the most significant projects. I am also talking about smaller investments and everyday omissions which, until their appearance in an accessible public space, and even down to the smallest detail, were branded with an iron lock. We will not allow that anymore. For the new government, both at the state and local levels, the task is to find and launch all legal instruments to act in that direction.