September 26, 2019 - The first leg of 7th Thousand Islands Race that started at noon on Sunday from the Rijeka Harbour on a 278 NM long course to the finish line at the marina Porto Montenegro in Tivat could, in short, be described as: „from lull to lull“. However, between two calms at the start and the finish, there was everything that makes offshore racing interesting and demonstrates why this is one of the most beautiful race courses nature designed. Fleet not numerous but profoundly international consisting of crews from Austria, Croatia, Great Britain, Hungary, Montenegro, Slovakia and Slovenia.
The hope that many sailors wanted the bura (NE) in Rijeka before the regatta to stay proved to be wishful thinking and tradition of starting in light wind prevailed.
Optimistic was the prognosis calling for jugo (SE) over almost the entire course the first two days into the race, meaning a lot of close-hauled sailing and longer routes. However, as long as there is wind, the sailors are happy. The boat speeds that could be traced on the Internet in real-time more significantly increased only after passing island Rab.
The forecasted jugo reached 15 knots with gusting 20 knots. In the first part of the race, three teams retired. The first one was due to the mast falling down of the Austrian Sayg I, the only multihull competing, with luckily no injured crew members. This meant that the end of the race for them was Punat.
A crew member of Austrian Abracadabra required medical assistance, forcing her to stop in Biograd. The bad news continued and Croatian Mowgli lost its mast at Žirje island and forced them to retire. Mowgli, luckily without any injury to the crew, first called at Kapri island and next morning continued to Tribunj.
Last year's winner Slovakian Lucia X with a Croatian crew ripped their foresail that required the crew to climb up the mast and needed to detour to find shelter to complete the repairs. This caused the loss of valuable time and the chance of good result on the first leg. The rest of the fleet was sailing SE avoiding several local thunderstorms before jugo (SE) gave way in the middle Adriatic to forecasted tramontana (N) and northwesterly winds.
Four boats - Slovenian Macropus, Austrian Vento Cadela, Slovakian Lucia X and British Atame with an Italian crew on board were exchanging the lead. Hungarian Sunday Morning, the biggest in the fleet, was the only one choosing the course close to the shore through the Zadar channel and north of Korcula and Mljet islands. Weather conditions almost ideal until Dubrovnik and Cavtat turned into a lull from the beginning of the story. Nearly all night from Tuesday to Wednesday before and after entry to the Bay of Boka Kotorska, the boats were crawling at a speed of 1-2 knots.
The first boats came close to finishing around six o'clock on Wednesday morning, but they needed more than three hours for the last few bouts of NM. Slovenian Macropus and Austrian Vento Cadela were match racing using every breath of the wind available. At the end, Macropus crossed the finish line first at 09:34:13 after more than 69 hours of racing, making this the slowest first leg in the history of the Thousand Islands Race. Austrian Vento Cadela with Christian Pfann at the helm crossed the line 12 minutes later, and that was enough to win the race under corrected time. It very soon became apparent that no other boat still racing could endanger their overall lead.
The long-lasting first leg caused the cancellation of Thousand Islands Race + 2 planned in Bay of Boka Kotorska for the layover between two legs. There will be almost no rest for Montenegrin Sofia that finished last because the start of the second leg follows soon – at noon on Thursday 26th September 2019.
25 September 2019 - Every year, several tourists get lost in the Montenegrin mountains just because they often go on tours on their own. According to experienced mountaineers, one must respect the laws of the country, as well as its territories regardless of the dangers in the mountains. However, Montenegro still does not oblige tourists to use services of licensed mountain guides, reports Cafe del Montenegro
Last year, there were four cases of rescuing foreign tourists in the National Park Biogradska Gora, while this year, there were two. According to the Director of the National Park Biogradska Gora Marko Vlahović, all these tourists did not use services of professional guides but went off the marked walking trails. No mountain rescue service has been charged ever.
The region, on the other side, has this well regulated. In case a tourist gets lost or seeks a guide’s help, he/she is obliged to pay for this service. Moreover, a group who is coming to a country needs to hire a guide from that country, while in Montenegro tourists still organize climbing tours on their own.
In this regard Vlahović urges the tourists coming to Montenegro to hire a mountain guide who knows the walking tours well as in that way it will be impossible to get lost!
However, once you find your guide, be sure to check out a hiking break in Northern Montenegro, where the tour is focused around the town of Pluzine, which is located in north-western Montenegro and is the center of the Piva region. A certain part of this cruise takes place through the Piva Canyon, which will take your breath away just by taking a look at its size and height. The two-night full board stay takes place in traditional cabins made of wood and stone, which are located in an eco-resort overlooking the Piva Lake, making this an excellent opportunity to relax, breathe in loads of fresh air and get your thoughts away. Also, many different culinary specialties of Montenegrin cuisine are included in this offer, featuring all three main meals, as well as a driver/guide, a hotel pickup and drop-off, some local taxes and all activities provided by the programme.
25 September 2019 - The citizens, economy and the Government in Montenegro owed more than 3 billion EUR to the banks on the grounds of different types of loans, shows the latest data of the Central Bank of Montenegro, reports CdM.
Domestic and foreign citizens owe 1,315 billion EUR but have 1,787 billion EUR in their accounts. At the end of August this year, financial institutions in Montenegro arranged a total of 3,033 billion EUR of loans for population, economy and the Government. Citizens of Montenegro owed 1,303 billion EUR.
Montenegrin companies had loans worth more than 1 billion EUR, whereas foreign financial firms owed 347,5 million EUR. Domestic financial institutions had 25 million EUR of loan debt and NGOs had 8,8 million EUR of debt.
Local and state governments, funds and state-owned companies had loans with a total value of 230 million EUR. This way, the Government owes 151,5 million EUR. Local administrations - 41,5 million EUR, funds - 1,5 million EUR and state companies owe 35,5 million EUR.
Average interest rates on all loans were 3,08% in August. Interest rates for Government and its institutions were held at the lowest range. Citizens still pay most to the banks – interest rates amounted to 7,63% at annual level.
For cash loans, banks were reimbursed with 8,49% of total funds at annual level. They earned most from education loans.
On the last day of August, there was a total of 3,535 billion EUR deposited in Montenegrin banks. Around 1,289 billion EUR belongs to Montenegrin citizens. Banks and similar institutions have 34,4 million EUR, and companies have 888,2 million EUR and non-profit organizations have 59,2 million EUR. The government entrusted 180,4 million EUR, local administrations – 70,2 million EUR, funds – 5,97 million EUR and state companies – 246,8 million EUR.
As far as deposited funds of foreigners are concerned, the financial sector keeps 8,7 million EUR in the accounts of Montenegrin banks. Other foreign companies have 25,9 million EUR, non-profit organizations have 3,1 million EUR and foreigners have 497,9 million EUR.
The average passive interest rate applied to keep money in banks amounted to 0,43% at the end of August. That means that companies could have earned 0,29% of the total amount annually, whereas the population could have had 0,58% of the amount.
Deposits interest rates are still at 0,02% at annual level. Lowest interest rates are demand deposits and one-year deposit interest rates (0,01% and 0,03% respectively).
Read more news about lifestyle in Montenegro at TMN's dedicated page.
25 September 2019 - Expensive loans, collection of receivables, extended deadlines for obtaining permits and long, drawn-out court procedures in commercial disputes are some of the most important challenges and barriers Montenegrin businesspeople are faced with, said CEO of Montenegro Business Alliance Milan Dragić, CdM reports.
He said that it was necessary to intensify activities and engagement of all relevant subjects in order to reduce barriers, especially those referring to sluggishness or insufficient responsibility in public administration.
"The problem of illiquidity and collection of receivables still exists. Provision of financial funds is a problem due to expensive loans and this issue should be addressed with utmost attention, as it affects the business development. Deadlines for obtaining different kinds of permits should be shorter and a number of documents required for the procedures should be reduced. It is necessary to accelerate court procedures in commercial disputes, especially in contract performance. These barriers target all sectors and they need to be addressed comprehensively. Every economy and society as a whole depend on business. Is there anything more important than providing optimal conditions to those who create new values," asked Dragić.
According to him, innovation is necessary if we want to be competitive in demanding foreign and domestic market. In that context, the quality of products and service offered is essential.
"We should endeavor to provide the greatest possible productivity in order to increase competitiveness. Creating a stimulating environment for businesses is crucial. MBA is very engaged in this regard," says Dragić.
Asked to give his opinion on the business environment in Montenegro, Dragić says that it has considerably improved.
"MBA was the first company to start dealing with the problem of business barriers. And the progress we have made is more than obvious. Usually, people who decide to set up their own business lack initial financial funds. In other words, they are required to provide the money on their own. That has to be changed if we want to encourage business development," pointed out Dragić.
He also added that the cooperation with state and local administration authorities is increasing.
"Certainly, it can be much better, but there is will and that is what matters. Representatives of state and local authorities are becoming aware of the importance of business associations and they are ready to take up our suggestions. To be more precise, they are starting to regard us as their equal partners and that is a necessary prerequisite for raising the quality of our business relations. We firmly believe that the role and influence of business associations will become even more important," concluded Dragić.
Read more news about business in Montenegro at TMN's dedicated page.
Celebrations to mark the anniversary of the Federation of European Carnival Cities, Dies Natalis, are taking place this year in Herceg Novi, with representatives of carnival cities from around the world visiting from Friday. For three days, from the 27th to 30th of September, Herceg Novi will welcome guests from the largest carnival family in the world, alongside members of the International Board of the Federation, which is celebrating its 39th anniversary this year.
Members from Aruba, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, France, The Netherlands, Croatia, Italy, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Germany, Portugal, Slovenia, Serbia, Sweden, Turkey, Ukraine, and Montenegro will be attending one of the most important events for the Federation, reports Chair of the Federation, Lars Algel.
The programme will officially begin with the raising of the flag of the Federation of European Carnival Cities at the Clock Tower (Sahat Kula) on Friday, 27th September at 6 pm. Two meetings of the International Board are scheduled, as well as the signing of a cooperation agreement between the Federation and the Municipality of Herceg Novi. Guests will also have the opportunity to visit the city and discover its history, culture and festival traditions.
It is worth noting that Herceg Novi has the honour of hosting Dies Natalis on an important anniversary, that of 50 years of the Mimosa Festival. During the Mimosa Festival in March, the Municipality accepted the proposal of the Federation and supported the candidacy, and at the Convention in Turkey, the proposal received the support of the International Board.
Terminal 2, which opened at Tivat Airport late last year, in less than two months this summer handled 102,000 passengers and will certainly relieve the total traffic of passengers in the airport building. "This increases the comfort of passengers and the quality of service, which is the obligation of every airport to provide to the passengers," director of Tivat Airport Rade Maric told to “Radio Tivat”, emphasizing that it is necessary to raise the quality and extend the aircraft platform as a priority.
There is nothing unsafe at the Airport, but the fact is that some of the investments needed to be made long ago and that the involvement of all airport participants needed to be much greater to maintain that security at the required and demanding level. Since we have increased passenger comfort and quality of service with the new terminal, the same should be done with the expansion of the aircraft platform," explained Maric.
At this point, the priority is a wider and more comfortable platform, that is, generally to bring the entire operating areas to a higher level. The executive management of "Airports of Montenegro" has recognized this as a need and is intensively working on it, said Maric, stating that the introduction of night flights at the airport will greatly relieve traffic on a daily basis.
According to him, the priority would be that the planes do not remain on the platforms, that they are not late and that they are not diverted when it is dusk and 30 minutes after that, mainly to Podgorica Airport. "So, we would have relief and not have to rush at 9 pm, or when the peak season expires and we can no longer accept planes. This would be a limited time because we are still an elite tourist destination, and we have to keep in mind the comfort of those who come to rest in Tivat. Certainly, an hour, an hour and a half to two would significantly contribute to the relief of daily traffic," explained the director of Tivat Airport.
The airport has been doing very well this month as well. Traffic is almost at the level of the summer months, said the director of the airport, emphasizing that very good results are expected in the first half of October.
From the beginning of the year to September 22, there was a turnover of 1,188,000 passengers, which is almost 100 thousand more than in the same period of the previous year when there were 1,093,000. During that period, 6,000 aircraft were accepted and 5,860 in 2018, Maric said.
These results show that the season and the post-season are slowly equalizing, which will happen in the coming period. "We are going to extend the season to 6-8 months a year. A record was achieved this summer when 66 aircraft and 12,269 passengers were received and served in one day. That record in the history of both Montenegro's airports was recorded on August 4th.
The largest and most important resource of Tivat Airport is one significant portion of employees who every airport would wish to have. They are credited for having so much traffic in such a small space, without any incidents. "A couple of minor excesses are negligible compared to such a large number of passengers and aircraft served," the director of Tivat Airport concluded.
Text by Zora Krstovic, on September 24th, 2019, read more at Radio Tivat
Tivat airport welcomed 1.18 million passengers by September 22, which is 95,000 more than in the same period last year.
“Pobjeda” writes that the number of aircraft accepted during this period increased from 5,860 to 6,000.
Director of Tivat Airport Rade Maric said those results show that the season and post-season are slowly becoming equal.
"We are going to extend the season from six to eight months a year," he said.
Maric said that the traffic of passengers in the building was relieved via Terminal 2, through which 102,000 passengers had passed in less than two summer months.
"At this moment, the priority is to bring the entire operational areas to a higher level, which the executive management of the Airports of Montenegro has recognized and is intensively working on the same," Maric said.
Text by Boka News, on September 25th, 2019, read more at Boka News
NGO “Nasa akcija” (“Our action”) marked the International Day of Cleaning the Coast with an action at the beach of the Institute Vrmac in Stoliv.
Sa akcije(Foto: NVO Naša akcija)
76 volunteers from this NGO, students, and teachers of the Arcadia International School and citizens collected 10 m3 of waste, mainly plastic bottles, cans, cigarette butts, and tires.
During the action (Photo: NGO Naša akcija)
Cleanup actions for the International Day of Cleaning the Coast are being implemented across Montenegro for the third year in a row by Zero Waste Montenegro, and this year in partnership with the EU delegation and the Info EU Center and participation of over 15 NGOs, institutions and other organizations. In Kotor, the cleanup was implemented through the project "Youth for the Clean Adriatic" supported by BeMed and the Foundation Prince Albert II of Monaco, as well as the Tourist Organization Kotor, with the support of Utility company Kotor, as announced from the NGO “Nasa akcija”.
During the action (Photo: NGO Naša akcija)
The Day began 30 years ago and includes over 100 countries and millions of volunteers worldwide.
During the action (Photo: NGO Naša akcija)
Text by Vijesti online, on September 22nd, 2019, read more at Vijesti
September 24, 2019 - Herceg Novi has received two new murals. One could be found on the wall beside the crossing of the Stairway of Danica Tomasevic and the Pet Danica Promenade. Another one is drawn on the wall along with the steps in Risanska Street. Both themes are the sea. The murals were painted as part of this year's Street Art Festival.
24 September 2019 - The Government is committed to constructive dialogue with representatives of the civil sector because as decision-makers they want the NGOs to be a reflection of the entire society, Prime Minister Duško Marković said in Bijelo Polje at a meeting with representatives of NGOs from northern Montenegro.
"We need a dialogue with NGOs. We appreciate the contribution of the civil sector to policy implementation," said PM Marković opening the roundtable "Cooperation between the Government and NGOs – the key to civil society development".
The Government, the Prime Minister said, is attentive to the suggestions and criticisms that come from the civil sector and creates responses systematically and sustainably. Furthermore, he noted that the Government does not claim success alone, although it is presented in public as the only responsible subject of success is lacking.
Commenting on areas of joint work and problem-solving, PM Marković praised the contribution of NGOs from the north to environmental issues.
"NGOs from the north have strongly and directly raised the issue of individuals and private companies that are adversely affecting our living environment," the Prime Minister stressed and recalled examples of recent Ćehotina pollution in Pljevlja and Lim in Bijelo Polje where the State responded through cooperation with local NGOs.
PM Marković also emphasised that tens of millions are being spent in the north for the development of road, traffic, energy and digital infrastructure, new water supply systems and other incentives, noting that without a developed infrastructure, neither companies nor investors can invest in the cities of northern Montenegro.
"In Kolašin, as part of the on-going project, 30 million EUR is being spent to develop infrastructure and a new ski centre. Twenty-three million is spent in Bijelo Polje. We are not talking about a project that should be done, but a project that is being implemented. As a citizen, I was delighted to see this morning in the media and on Twitter a picture of a new cable car that Leitner had installed in Cmiljača. I have already talked about Đalovića cave – 18 million EUR worth project, " the Prime Minister said.
Speaking about the development of the North, the Prime Minister also referred to some comments on development policy:
"Even today, these critics tell me – development is not road construction, it is easy to build roads, Montenegro needs to open factories. Who will open a factory in the North if there is no road? Who will make a viable business plan if there is no road, if there is no power, if there is no internet? These conditions are prerequisites for any business. Imagine if these obstacles still existed in the future, imagine them as a great hurdle for any serious business and factory that can be opened in Montenegro. Therefore, we are spending tens of millions in the north today to develop road, traffic, energy and digital infrastructure, the Ministry of Agriculture is investing in new water supply and other incentives. Without that, there are no companies or investors anywhere in the world, not even in the North. I know that it is too late, that maybe we should have done it earlier, but I know we had to go in that direction – and we did," PM Marković highlighted.