October 17, 2020 - A few days ago, Filip Milolović from the Croatian island of Pašman found a bottle with a comic book by Midhat Kapetanović on the beach, which was thrown into the sea this year as part of the regular program of the Herceg Novi Strip Festival's (HSF) "Comic in a Bottle".
When he found the bottle, Filip contacted the comic book author and HSF organizers and sent a photo of his find:
"I can't believe that the bottle survived the trip to Pašman," Milolovic wrote in his message, adding that he used to come to Montenegro often. Now he has more reasons to visit our country, especially when there is a festival in Herceg Novi.
The bottle found on Pašman is the second reported this year. One didn't travel so far or so long. In September in Bjelila a bottle with a comic by Filip Andronik was found by Nadja Radulovic, Ksenija Perunicic, Nikola Djuranovic from Podgorica, and Petar Batuta from Kotor, who were on holiday in Luštica.
"We were swimming on the beach, and as our dog Alfa at one point walked a little further, I went to get him and noticed something in a hole in the rock. I reached out to see what it was about and pulled out a bottle that we all then opened together and realized that it was from your festival, and sent you a photo and a message." Nadja explained how on September 14, they found another message that Herceg Novi Strip Festival had sent to the world.
Comic in a Bottle is an integral part of the Herceg Novi Comics Festival. Artists who arrived in Herceg Novi have the opportunity to see the city from the sea and get to know the beauties of the Lustica peninsula. Cruising Boka, the artists draw their comic messages, which they will lower into the sea at the entrance to the bay. News about the bottles, which have also arrived on the Italian coast, has returned every year. The organizers invite those who find them to contact them through a special section on the Herceg Novi Strip Festival's website.
October 17, 2020 - The National Tourism Organisation of Montenegro, Tourism Organization of Tivat, Porto Montenegro, and Hotel "Regent" are the organizers of a study visit for the famous Italian photographer - Matthias Falcone, who is staying in Montenegro from October 16 to 19.
The global health crisis has significantly slowed down the dynamics and volume of travel, and the most passionate travelers and tourists are currently planning or researching their next destination through internet portals and social networks. It is therefore photos that are the deciding factor in choosing the next travel destination - emphasizes the National Tourist Organisation of Montenegro.
Falcone, who lives and works in London, is known for his photographs of prestigious world tourist destinations. He will use the four-day study visit to show the contrasts of Montenegro's natural beauty through the camera lens.
Falcone will take photos of attractive tourist locations in the Tivat part of the Bay of Kotor. He will also visit the city of Bar, where, in addition to the inevitable tour of the Old Town and the Old Olive Tree, he will have the opportunity to get acquainted with olive oil production. And to discover a main attraction in adventure tourism- a canyoning tour through the Rikavac River Canyon.
Through digital communication channels of both the photographer and the tour operator, quality photography, and the distribution of photos and content about Montenegro through some of the most visited portals in the UK, such as lodestarsanthology.co.uk, departures.com, escapismmagazine.com, and the Bradt Guide, Montenegro will continue to be promoted as an attractive tourist destination.
October 15, 2020 - All political parties from the new majority have submitted proposals to Prime Minister-designate Zdravko Krivokapic for some of the 18 ministries that they believe have they adequate staff to lead in the new Government, Dan writes.
According to the newspaper, there is a significant amount of overlap regarding preferences for departments between the parties, which means that Prime Minister-designate Krivokapic will have to make a final decision.
It is stated that the highest number of applications is for Deputy Prime Minister and for the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of the Interior (MIA), and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA). There is no interest in several departments, namely the Ministry of Sports, the Ministry of Human and Minority Rights, and the Ministry of Finance.
Earlier, there was an agreement with the Prime Minister-designate to personally take care of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and the Ministry of Finance, i.e., to appoint experts to those positions.
As Dan reveals, the Democratic Front (DF) stated in a letter to Krivokapić that they are looking for the position of Deputy Prime Minister. They announced they have staff for leading roles in the Ministry of the Interior, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Transport and Maritime Affairs, the Ministry of Economic Affairs, and the Ministry of Sustainable Development and Tourism. Also, they have expressed interest in the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Culture, the Ministry of Public Administration, and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.
However, one of the ten ministers from the ranks of the DF would also perform the function of vice president.
The proposal of Democratic Montenegro states that they have staff for leading positions in the Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare and are looking for a Deputy Prime Minister position.
The Socialist People's Party (SNP) also suggested departments that their members could lead. And that one position of Deputy Prime Minister and four ministries, namely Agriculture and Rural Development, Labor and Social Welfare, the Ministry of Transport, and the Ministry of Education.
The Movement for Change (PzP) is negotiating with the Prime Minister separately. They have asked for a function in the security sector, namely the Ministry of Defense, which would be accompanied by the position of Deputy Prime Minister, as well as for the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Science, and Ministry of Sustainable Development and Tourism.
They also emphasized that these are their requirements only as far as the Government is concerned, and that they will seek positions of state secretaries and heads of various directorates.
The Civic Movement URA had stated earlier that they have staff to cover the positions of Minister of Defense and Minister of the Interior. Among their demands are the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Justice, and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.
Dan writes that URA also sought the position of Deputy Prime Minister.
October 15, 2020 - Women in rural areas of Montenegro, who are engaged in agriculture and animal husbandry, have showed how to cope during the coronavirus pandemic, and they should be helped to promote their work. This was assessment made at a conference in Niksic's Technopolis.
The representative of the Association of Olive Growers of Boka, Vesna Djukic, said that women make a significant contribution to agricultural production, food security, land management, management of natural resources, and building climate resistance.
"Women should be helped and it should be pointed out that living and working in the countryside is not just hard agricultural work. It should also be highlighted that there is an agricultural economy where they can find their place, providing themselves with social and economic security, not to mention independence." Said Djukic at the first conference on this topic in Montenegro, organized by the Association of Olive Growers Boka, with the support of the Network for Rural Development of Montenegro.
The goal of their activities is to show women in the countryside that they are involved in many more activities than they think, as well as showing them how to get out of the crisis and continue to live and work, expand agricultural production, and with the introduction of innovations, to give themselves the best possible status.
"Our ideas and efforts in encouraging women to take action and empower themselves is not feminism. It's a model approach so that those who live in the countryside and have much less information and opportunities to learn something new can better promote their work," explained Djukic.
As she said, the daily work of women in the countryside is not visible. They are also the bearers of agricultural production, innovators, and those who first and best responded to the crisis.
"Women are a source of great energy that will preserve the village, traditions, and will give and mark life in the countryside, as well as the production of healthy food, which is increasingly in demand. A woman should also be helped to improve and increase production, "said Djukić.
She stated that it is apparent every day, and with time the situation will become more and more pronounced, that food of ever poorer quality is coming to the market and that there are fewer and fewer choices for a healthy diet.
"Our goal is to have healthy food and a healthy lifestyle, and the village is a feature of both. Women are a pillar of the family, especially those in the countryside. They need help to develop their agricultural production and enter the market in a much safer and stronger position, and be competitive with imported food that may not meet all required standards. We often do not know how this imported food is produced, yet we are forced to use it," said Djukic.
The President of the Network for Rural Development, Ratko Bataković, said that the messages from today's event in Technopolis, attended by about 20 women from rural areas from almost the whole of Montenegro, would help to spread the stories of women in rural areas and their products and services in rural tourism.
"Women are the pillar the family, especially when it comes to rural areas, and when there is no female hand, there is no survival. "Without women, our farms would be closed, and there would be no rejuvenation of the village, so it is necessary to encourage women's entrepreneurship and improve their position in rural areas," Batakovic said.
He said that they are carrying out research, which will be completed by the end of the year, as part of which they visit the villages, collect data, and that so far, they have concluded that more than 90 percent of households have a central role played by women.
"Maybe fewer than five percent of households involved in agricultural production do not include women," said Batakovic.
He illustrated the importance of a woman in the village with the example of friends from Piva, who had to sell property and cattle after the death of their mother because no one had the knowledge to continue the work.
One of the conference participants, Radmila Božović from Grbalj, who is engaged in agriculture and animal husbandry together with her family, said that every woman who meets the right conditions, especially in terms of property, should be engaged in these activities.
"We grow various vegetables and fruit, we have five cows, pigs, we are also engaged in beekeeping. My working day usually starts at six in the morning, and I do all the work slowly. I was born in the village of Babine near Jabuka, between Pljevlja and Prijepolje, where I kept cattle and milked cows, and I started cultivating the land and digging when I came to Grbalj," stated Ms. Božović.
She explained that she finished catering school, but she could not get a job and started cattle breeding.
"I first bought a cow, then rented a stall at the market in Kotor. I started planting vegetables and fruit a little later, " stated Božović.
Responding to the idea that it is unusual to be engaged in cattle breeding and agriculture on the coast, Božović said that there is a lot of land, and mechanization is widespread, but the number of women involved in Kotor is very small.
"Women who are engaged in cattle breeding and agriculture could be counted on the fingers of one hand. There are many more who resell other people's products. However, it is difficult for those who are starting from scratch, " said Božović, emphasizing that they were functioning normally even during the coronavirus epidemic.
October 14, 2020 - Cultural Center Tivat announces that, after a long break, Boka's first 3D cinema will show films again, showing some of the latest world premieres.
From October 15 to 21 in the Great Hall of the Cultural Centre from 20:30 the action drama "Mulan" will be shown (subtitled), and from 6.30 pm and over the next weekend at 4.30 pm, the animated comedy "Trolls - World Tour" will be shown (dubbed).
Directed by Niki Caro, written by Elizabeth Martin, Lauren Heinek, Rick Xhafe, and Amanda Silver, the 2020 film "Mulan" (produced by Walt Disney Pictures) is based on the Chinese legend of the warrior Hui Mulan. It is a version of the eponymous Disney film from 1998. Liu Yifei plays the main role in the film.
"Trolls - World Tour" is a fantastic sequel to the animated film hit from 2016, in which the main characters are played by Ana Kendrik (Ana Štajdohar) and Justin Timberlake (Marko Mandić). In an adventure that will take them far beyond the confines of their familiar world, Maka and Zakeralo will discover that they are just one of six different troll tribes, living in one of six other territories and dedicated to one of six musical directions: funk, rock, country music, techno music, classical and pop-rock. Now their world will become much bigger and much, much noisier.
The voices of other characters are performed by: Iva Stefanović, Branislav Platiša, Milan Živadinović Billy, Slobodan Stefanović, Đurđina Radić Djixx, Nikola Antonović Anton, Marko Marković, Đordje Grugović Grzi and others.
Public Institution Cultural Centre Tivat will adhere to all NCT measures, and the number for information and reservations is 069 342 799.
October 13, 2020 - The Solila Nature Reserve in Tivat has welcomed the return of the most celebrated among wetland birds: after more than 10 years, flamingos have come back to Solila, symbolizing the commitment to the protection of endangered and rare wetland habitats!
Late yesterday afternoon, Miloš Mitkić, an ornithologist and volunteer at the Solila Nature Reserve, photographed three young flamingos feeding in the shallows of the coastal part, and their feathers, which have not yet gained their characteristic pink hue, show that they are this year's young.
These birds are very sensitive to disturbances and interference by humans, and it is believed that precisely due to traffic, hunting, fishing and use of canoes in the previous period, flamingos stopped coming to the area of Solila. After Morsko Dobro took over management, a system of pedestrian paths was introduced, motor traffic was banned, and the authorities clamped down on poaching, which prevented people moving outside the defined paths, and which certainly contributed to the return of these elegant birds.
Flamingos often look for large areas of sea shoals, and it would appear that there is enough food for them in the sea area adjoining Solila. We believe that, due to the good management of this protected area, flamingos will again be regular guests at Solila.
October 13, 2020 - In order to make the flight check-in process easier and faster, Montenegro Airlines has introduced an online check-in service. The service is available for all Montenegro Airlines flights from Tivat and Podgorica.
By registering online from your computer, tablet or smartphone through the company's official website, passengers can access their boarding pass in just a few steps. Passengers do not need to have a printed boarding pass, but can now save it on their phone to show to airport staff.
Check in is possible no earlier than 48 hours, and no later than 2 hours before the planned departure time of the flight - Montenegro Airlines announced.
Montenegro Airlines currently operates to Ljubljana, Belgrade, Frankfurt, Paris, Zurich, Dusseldorf, Copenhagen, Hanover, Lyon and Vienna.
By introducing online check-in, the company is further reducing the risk of spreading COVID-19. Due to the current global situation, we ask passengers to familiarize themselves in advance with the general restrictions, and conditions of travel related to their destination. Detailed information on entry measures for individual countries can be found on the company's website - the announcement states.
October 12, 2020 - We can already see specific changes and improvements in the Boka Bay ecosystem due to the coronavirus pandemic, Ana Pešić, a senior research associate at the Kotor Institute of Marine Biology at the University of Montenegro, from the Laboratory for Ichthyology and Marine Fisheries, told Radio Kotor.
"For nature, the coronavirus is a kind of respite—an opportunity to renew partially, to rest from the influence of man. It is already evident that the reduced turbidity of the water in the bay, as a consequence of reduced sea traffic, is benefitting the ecosystem. There has been an increase in water transparency, which positively affects the entire bay and life in it. Because when a large cruise ship sails into our bay, a large amount of mud rises. It disturbs the life of fish, especially pelagic species when navigating in the bay. That was not the case this year, and the effects are already recognizable," explains Pešić.
Due to the drastic reduction in the number of tourists, there is less noise and inflow of wastewater. "Even though sport-recreational fishing at sea is not prohibited, due to reduced tourist demand, fishing in our bay is not the same as in previous years. We are already noticing the positive impact of the epidemiological situation, caused by the coronavirus, and we will see this in the following period as well," Pesic said.
Source: Radio Kotor
October 11, 2020 - Breaking the deadline for completing the first section of the highway in Montenegro from Podgorica to Kolasin requires signing a new annex to the contract between the Government of Montenegro and the Chinese company CRBC (China Road and Bridge Corporation), which is the main contractor. According to the previous annex to the contract, the first section from Smokovac to Matesevo was supposed to be completed by the end of September, writes RFE.
The Ministry of Transport did not answer questions put by Radio Free Europe (RFE) as to when a new annex to the contract with the Chinese company CRBC should be signed after another deadline to complete the construction of the first section from Podgorica to Kolasin. The Chinese company also informed RFE that it will not be announced for now.
A vital feature of the Montenegrin Government's arrangement with the Chinese company is the non-transparency of contracts and loan spending, says Dejan Milovac from the MANS research center.
"Chronic non-transparency creates suspicions that we believe that an investment, now worth more than a billion, cannot pass without corruption in Montenegro. All communication between CRBC, Exim Bank (Chinese Credit Bank), and the Ministry of Transport, on the other hand, has been declared a business secret. From MANS's standpoint, it is completely unacceptable that citizens do not know how the largest loan Montenegro has taken in modern history is being spent. "After four years from the beginning of the construction, we find out, for example, that there are additional works, construction of a loop, water and electricity supply, which were not foreseen in the original contract," says Milovac.
The first section of the highway in Montenegro, which should eventually lead from the Adriatic Sea (Bar) to the Serbia (Boljare) border, was supposed to be completed in May 2019. Due to the unmet deadline, an annex to the contract was signed for a new deadline on 30 September 2020. The agreed price was initially 809 million dollars and then increased by another 90 million for the subsequent construction of access roads to Podgorica and communal infrastructure along the highway.
In addition to requests from the non-governmental sector, political parties are also seeking an analysis of previous agreements, critical parts of which have remained secret to the Montenegrin public.
In the meantime, political changes have taken place in Montenegro. If they form a new government, the business with Chinese companies will be taken over by a triple coalition that won a majority to create a new government.
The leader of the coalition "For the Future of Montenegro" and the candidate for prime minister, Zdravko Krivokapić, announced control over the contract for the highway construction and the way the Chinese loan would be spent.
A senior official of the Civic Movement URA, Miloš Konatar announced to RFE that the contract for the highway construction will no longer be secret, emphasizing that so far, citizens have paid dearly for all arrangements declared secret by the previous Government.
"Citizens have paid more than 100 million euros in quantitative terms precisely because of the inaccuracy of the contract at the beginning of the construction. Many items from the contract have been declared a state secret and are inaccessible to the public. And we must first carry out a comprehensive analysis, increase the transparency of the project to include all the intelligence we have," says Miloš Konatar, adding that the lack of transparency must change in the coming period:
"Let's see completely clearly how much the citizens of Montenegro will ultimately pay for the section of the highway and how much this project has cost us so far."
One of the biggest unknowns is whether the start of the loan payment to the Chinese Exim Bank will be postponed with the postponement of the completion of the highway's construction, i.e., whether the grace period that expires in 2021 will be extended.
Economic analyst Zarija Pejović says that Montenegro will have to refinance the loan installments, and the new Government will negotiate a possible postponement of the loan payment:
"I think that the new Government will have to negotiate as soon as possible with the representatives of CRBC. I hope that a compromise will be found on that issue."
After completing the first section, Montenegro is waiting for the construction of the second section from Mateševo to Boljari. Dejan Milovac from MANS states that the priority is to build a complete highway:
"The worst thing would be, when it comes to the new government, to suspend the project for any reason and for Montenegro to have only those 41 kilometers of highway, which in no way can justify everything that was invested in that project."
On the section from Smokovac to Mateševo (priority part of the Bar - Boljare highway), almost 93 percent of the works have been completed. At the beginning of August next year, everything could be completed, Jonuz Mujević, Executive Director of Monteput, one of the contractors, told RSE regarding the highway.
Mujevic said that they are now waiting for and answer from the chief engineer, i.e., the supervisory body, to respond to the request of CRBC, the main contractor, regarding the extension of the deadline.
"When we get the view of the chief engineer towards the investor, we will know what steps should be taken. The new annex to the contract on design and construction will be signed after the decision of the supervisory body, which will specify the new deadline for completion of works, considering that the existing deadline has been breached," says Mujevic, adding that the works are progressing at a "specific" pace.
"We are both satisfied and dissatisfied with that dynamic, but it work is being done. "Since the arrival of Chinese workers, the work has intensified, and if it continues like this, we will have a positive outcome," Mujevic points out.
He also states that the pandemic contributed the most to the extension of the deadline for completing the first section of the highway because a large number of Chinese workers, who use their regular vacation around the New Year, could not return to work.
"Therefore, from February to June, we had almost no workers on individual sections of the road (sections three and four). Work re-started in June, and we are satisfied with the current dynamic," says Mujević.
According to him, that section will be completed because the funds have been provided. Asked when the work can be expected to end, he replied:
"My opinion is that it will be at the beginning of August next year."
According to the CRBC, about 1,000 workers are working on the construction of the highway, of which 379 are Chinese citizens, and the rest are domestic workers, employees of subcontractors.
Asked several times whether there is a possibility of Montenegro falling into debt bondage due to the already high public debt, which amounts to 78% of GDP, Montenegrin officials have repeatedly denied this possibility.