03 April 2019 - The conclusion of the Panel discussion “Employ Local” is that recruiting domestic labour is beneficial to everyone - workers, employers and the state. This public campaign launched just before the tourist season, was organized by the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare and the Employment Service of Montenegro. The assembly, whose aim is to hire unemployed people from Montenegro during the summer, was opened by the Minister of Labour and Social Welfare Kemal Purišić.
During the panel discussion, it was estimated that all individuals should be socially responsible and give their contribution to the community and the country they live in. Labour and Social Welfare Minister Kemal Purišić said that one of the key priorities in the work of the Government of Montenegro was to achieve more dynamic economic growth and development as a prerequisite for raising the standard of living of citizens.
“In the previous period, the Government has worked hard in order to create the conditions for job creation and efficient functioning of the labour market, with the increase of the workforce and overall employment, especially in the private sector. Reduction of unemployment was one of the main priorities, with the aim of achieving better economic growth and strengthening the competitiveness of domestic economy,” Purišić said.
The Minister highlighted that workforce should be made more competitive before Montenegro joins the European Union, because later on, by the liberalization of the labour market, human resources will try to go to EU countries, where income and working conditions are at a higher level.
According to the conclusions of the panel discussion, Montenegro reduces the number of unemployed persons year after year. To meet the summer tourist season, the demand for seasonal workers has already begun.
Director of Employment Service, Suljo Mustafić, said that according to estimates of the Employment Bureau, this summer will require about 20,000 seasonal workers on the coast.
“That's an opportunity for appeal to both the unemployed and employers. We appeal to the unemployed to take this chance and apply for seasonal work and we ask the employers to have faith in domestic workers, because there are really many reasons for that. Greater job engagement of the domestic labour force in the season contributes to the inflow of funds into the budget, which we all consider to be very important, "Mustafić said.
Through the Bureau, until now, nearly 10,000 people have been employed during the summer. The ambition of this institution is that this number gets to about 11,000 this year.
"I believe that we will respond to this challenge despite the scarcity of offerings of tourism and hospitality services professionals. In order to be more successful in dealing with this problem, Montenegro should introduce the category of permanent seas, following the practice of developed countries. That kind of support for seasonal workers would make it possible for them to be tied to employers throughout the year, which would be a powerful stimulus to remain in Montenegro,” the director of the Bureau said.
State Secretary at the Ministry of Internal Affairs Dragan Pejanović, who also spoke during the panel discussion, believes that it is important to raise the level of employers' confidence in the skills and knowledge of the domestic workforce and that interest in seasonal work will also be increased.
"What makes a destination on the world travel map special - is the service. In that sense, our goal is to hire high quality workforce each year. However, our vision is to increase the number of domestic workers in this area from year to year,” said Brajović, Director General of the Directorate for Development of Tourism Competitiveness.
During the panel conference, a constructive dialogue was attended by representatives of the Montenegrin Chamber of Economy, the Union of Employers, the Tax Administration, the Inspection Directorate, the Centre for Professional Education, the Montenegrin Tourist Association, the Association of Tourism and Hospitality Board, UCG Student Union and representatives of employers from coastal municipalities in Montenegro.
02 April 2019 - Montenegrin Finance Minister Darko Radunović and analysts from Moody's Credit Agency, Heiko Peters and Hannah J.V. Dimpker, who currently reside in Podgorica for the regular annual visit of the Agency, held a formal meeting on April 2 to discuss economic, fiscal and financial conditions in Montenegro.
Minister Radunović informed the Moody’s analysts about the results in 2018 and emphasized that the beginning of 2019 already looks promising, considering that the figures for January and February show that budget revenues were 18.5% higher than in the same period last year and 6.3% higher when compared to the planned revenues for this period.
Also, the Finance Minister reminded the present parties that Montenegro is currently in its third year of fiscal consolidation and that the measures have already given significant results.
"2019 is an important year for Montenegro because of the work on structural reforms, but also because this year will show a downturn concerning public debt, "the Minister said and added that a healthy investment cycle in energy, tourism, transport, and infrastructure was launched in Montenegro.
Representatives of Moody's Credit Agency have met with representatives of the Ministry of Finance, the Central Bank of Montenegro, the banking sector and international organizations in a two-day visit to Montenegro to collect data based on which they will assess the credit rating of the state.
According to the assessment of the Agency, Montenegrin credit rating would likely be upgraded if there would be full or close to full implementation of the government's consolidations measures showing up in improving government's debt metrics placing the government's debt trajectory on a sustainable downward path in combination with Moody's heightened confidence that the highway-related fiscal risks are contained.
Also, a credit positive would be the completion of a majority of the EU's acquis communautaire, which would support progress towards EU accession. Equally, a reduction in contingent liabilities, stemming from a combination of materially lower government guarantees and lower risks posed by banks and SOEs, would also be credit positive.
02 April 2019 - Montenegro is significantly ahead of other countries that aspire to become EU member states, it was estimated during the visit of Montenegrin delegation to Berlin, and noted that the continuation of high-quality implementation of reforms, with the support of European partners, especially Germany, would lead to further progress in the field rule of law.
Montenegrin delegation, led by Chief Negotiator Aleksandar Drljević, was consisted of Negotiator for chapters 23 and 24 Marijana Laković, Chief Prosecutor Milivoje Katnić, Assistant Director of the Agency for the Prevention of Corruption Savo Milašinović, and Assistant Director of the Police Directorate for Criminal Police Sector Enis Baković. During their visit to Berlin, they presented the latest results in the fight against corruption and organized crime, which show that Montenegro is ready for the new phase of the negotiation process.
Delegation members held meetings with Head of the Division for Foreign Policy, Security Policy and Global Issues in the Office of the Federal Chancellor, Head of the Division for Serious and Organized Crime at the Federal Ministry of the Interior Joachim Bertele, Advisor of Chancellor on European Affairs Franz Neueder, Head of the Division on Serious and Organized Crime at the Federal Ministry of the Interior Sven Berger, as well as Special Representative for Southeastern Europe, Turkey and the EFTA countries at the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs Christian Helbach. They also spoke with Head of the Division for Human Rights, International Law, and Principles of the EU Almut Wittling-Vogel and Deputy Head of the Division for Europe at the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs Thomas Osowski.
State authorities show determination to direct all available resources to achieve convincing results in areas of importance. We expect all EU members to recognise the latest results of the Special State Prosecutor's Office, the Police Directorate and the Agency for the Prevention of Corruption in the field of combating corruption and organized crime, and that we will soon receive a Report on the fulfillment of interim benchmarks in chapters 23 and 24 and then the final benchmarks, representatives of Montenegrin delegation said.
It was noted that Montenegro had made significant progress in the fight against organized crime, especially highlighting the results achieved in cooperation with the EU and regional countries, as well as the international cooperation of Montenegrin police with EUROPOL and INTERPOL.
Both sides assessed that significant progress was made in the area of the rule of law, and that additional efforts should be invested in areas where progress has not been sufficiently achieved, to achieve EU standards and a better quality of life.
30 March 2019 - The winter tourist season 2018/2019 in Montenegro officially ends March 31, and the Director of the Ski Resorts of Montenegro Miloš Popović assessed that the season was successful, even slightly better than last year's.
"The winter season began in mid-December, and it ends today. There are six ski resorts in Montenegro: Kolašin, Savin Kuk, Javorovača, Vučje, Štuoc, and Hajla. According to the management of the Ski Centre Kolašin 1600, which was opened later than planned because of the installation of the cable car, 4.000 ski passes were sold during 45 days of the season, while 13,000 ski passes were sold in Durmitor during 109 days of the season. In regards to the amount of snow on the trails, this season was very successful, one of the best in the last six years. Actually, this season is even a couple of per cent better than the previous one that was ruled the most successful in the last few years," the Director of the Ski Resort of Montenegro emphasized.
Popović announced additional works during the summer and new contents in the following winter tourist season in Kolašin and other ski centres.
"This is just the beginning of the development of this ski centre. The progress is evidenced by the fact that a tender procedure has already been launched for the new six-seater cable car, which will connect the ski centres Kolašin 1600 and Kolašin 1450. Furthermore, we will prepare about 9 km of ski trails alongside. In addition to the existing cable car, another 6 km of ski trails will be prepared, and when everything is linked, in the next year, we will have 45 km of ski trails," Popović said.
The Director of the Ski Resort of Montenegro explained that a contract has already been signed for the construction of a new cable car at Bjelasica – ski resort Žarski. The value of the contract is 9 million EUR. The contract for the construction of a base station in Mojkovac worth 1.5 million EUR has also been concluded in the previous period.
"A contract for the construction of a six-seater cable car worth 9 million EUR was signed. The plans will include 3.5 km of ski trails at the ski resort Cmiljača in Bijelo Polje. In the coming period, we will make a public call for the base station at that location worth 1.8 million EUR," Popović stressed. He added that the tender procedure for the six-seater cable car at the ski centre Štedim and Hajla in Rožaje has also been launched. "We will also create a tender for the construction of a base station worth 1.5 million EUR. The contract for the construction of a six-seater cable car in Žabljak worth 9 million EUR with 4.5 km of ski trails was concluded. In Žabljak, we will prepare an additional 1.8 km of ski trails. We will soon launch tender procedure for the first phase of snowmaking worth 1.3 million EUR," the Director of the Ski Resort of Montenegro noted, adding that at least 7 million EUR will be invested in each ski centre.
Director of the Public Works Directorate Rešad Nuhodžić said that the Government of Montenegro will allocate 100 million EUR through the capital budget for the projects that are yet to be implemented.
March 31, 2019 - The Social Democratic Party initiated the dismissal of the President of the Kotor Municipality, Vladimir Jokić, supported by the Democratic Party of Socialists (DPS), the Social Democrats (SD) and the Croatian Civic Initiative (HGI). SDP, among other things, claims that the Municipal President abused his authority and usurped the ingeniousness of the Kotor Municipal Assembly. About the political crisis in Kotor and the initiative for his dismissal, and about the Port of Kotor, the status of Kotor on the UNESCO list and the issuance of the key document for the area – Spatial Urban Plan of Kotor municipality, we spoke with Mayor Vladimir Jokić.
March 30, 2019 - The seventh in a series of peaceful civic protests under the slogan Odupri Se - 97000, where a significant step towards achieving the goals expressed in the Prohibition of Free Citizens, was held in Podgorica, at the Independence Square, where the opposition delegates and protest organizers signed the Agreement on the Future.
March 29, 2019 - The new protest under the slogan "Odupri Se- 97,000" will be held on Saturday, 30 March 30 at 6 pm at the Independence Square in Podgorica. Organizers urged citizens to join with as many as possible, "because it is the only way to meet our demands for the release of captive institutions and to root the changes in the system that for decades serves only the survival of octopus in power."
28 March 2019 - Minister of Defence Predrag Bošković recently met with Jean-Pierre Lacroix, UN Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations at the United Nations Headquarters in New York.
The meeting discussed the international efforts aimed at strengthening global peace and security given that the topic of the upcoming UN Ministerial Conference on Friday is peacekeeping operations.
Minister Bošković stressed that participation in peacekeeping operations should focus on conflict prevention, bearing in mind that local political problems often go beyond the national borders by taking on the regional and even global dimensions.
He stressed that the United Nations peacekeeping missions are a unique and dynamic instrument for helping countries affected by conflict, as well as an important factor in building and preserving lasting peace.
Bošković expressed Montenegro's willingness to provide an active and constructive contribution to the United Nations Department of Peace Operations, emphasising the importance of the participation of the Armed Forces of Montenegro in the UN Mission in Western Sahara (MINURSO) to strengthen the interoperability of the capabilities of its forces.
Minister of Defence Predrag Bošković also met UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. Bošković emphasised that Montenegro is based on the principles on which the UN is based and pointed to a strong commitment to multilateralism and thus to the United Nations system as an organisation that seeks to ensure a peaceful, stable and prosperous world.
He pointed out that the Government of Montenegro or the Ministry of Defence has a constructive role when the region is in question, and that the primary interest of Montenegro is to maintain stability in the area and to continue further progress, especially concerning European and Euro-Atlantic integration. Bošković informed Secretary-General Guterres about Montenegro's defence system reform, with a focus on historical NATO membership.
He assessed that in these challenging times, concerted action is necessary. Therefore, the Minister pointed out that Montenegro, as one of the youngest members of the United Nations, strongly supports the organisation's reform process, with the belief that it represents an indispensable platform in promoting stability, cooperation and further economic development of the region, which is a significant support to the Western Balkan countries on their path to further reform and democratization.
Bošković emphasised that there is no alternative to multilateralism, stressing that Montenegro will continue to proactively play a role in strengthening peace and preventing conflicts on the global level, with the emphasis on the need for more determined and unified coordination and more active part of all UN members.
Guterres thanked for supporting UN reforms, and welcomed Montenegro's policy, with particular emphasis on the cooperation affirmation policy in the Western Balkans region. He expressed support for Montenegro's European integration and stressed that Montenegro was recognised as a reliable partner in establishing cooperation at the level of the wider international community.
The UN Secretary-General emphasised that Montenegro confirms its commitment to continuously contribute to world peace and conflict prevention by participating in international missions and that it is the right moment to consider new modalities of building trust and conflict management to contribute to the building of more stable and peaceful societies. He expressed the belief that Montenegro will remain committed to an open policy of good neighbourly relations to contribute to the stability of the region constructively.
26 March 2019 - Minister of Defence Predrag Bošković paid an official visit to the State of Maine, where he met with Governor Janet Millsand National Guard Commander Major General Douglas Farnham.
At the meeting with Governor Mills, Minister Bošković emphasised the importance of Montenegro's full membership in the Alliance, and outlined the role that Montenegro has in ensuring lasting peace and stability in the Western Balkans.
He pointed to the importance of comprehensive bilateral relations between Montenegro and the United States, with the view that one of the crowns of these relations is precisely the State Partnership Program – SPP between Montenegro and the State of Maine, which is based on many compatibilities of Montenegro with this US federal state.
Boškovic also stressed that the Ministry of Defence and the Armed Forces of Montenegro are particularly satisfied with the intensity of defence cooperation that should be strengthened alongside the development of relations in other areas of the state partnership.
Governor Mills praised the overall progress of Montenegro that resulted in NATO membership and expressed satisfaction with the high-quality the State Partnership Program. She pointed out that the State of Maine is open to establishing more significant cooperation with Montenegro, especially in areas such as tourism, economy and education.
At the meeting with Commander Farnham, Minister Bošković stressed the high-quality bilateral defence cooperation, emphasizing that the United States represents the main ally and strategic partner to Montenegro in the area of development of defence capabilities.
He said that the long-standing partnership between the Armed Forces of Montenegro and the National Guard of Maine within the mentioned State Partnership Program not only actively links these two structures but also gives particularly evident results in terms of improving the existing capacities of the Montenegrin armed forces.
The Minister expressed the gratitude for the support of the National Guard of Maine in strengthening the interoperability and readiness of the Armed Forces of Montenegro for participation in international peacekeeping missions, as well as helping to fulfill the conditions for full membership in NATO. Furthermore, Bošković pointed to the continuous improvement of bilateral defence cooperation, especially in the areas of cyber defense, human resources development, and joint exercises and training.
General Farnem pointed out that the National Guard of the State of Maine will continue to strongly support the Armed Forces of Montenegro in fulfilling capability goals, and expressed the expectation that the defence cooperation of the two countries will be continued for mutual benefit. He said he was pleased that the SPP has directly influenced the development of the armed forces of both countries.
March 26, 2019 - The protest “Odupri Se - 97,000” organizers reported that they received from the Democratic Front (DF) and Social Democratic Party (SDP) proposals for amendments to the Agreement on the Future Draft. As they rate it, it is an excellent way to continue cooperation with a view to resolving a severe political crisis.
March 24, 2019 - The sixth protest in the campaign "Odupri Se - 97,000" (Resist!), the series of the most massive civil protests in Montenegrin history, gathered more than ten thousand citizens from all parts of Montenegro in Podgorica last night, the organizers said.
"Our empty refrigerators and pockets are our policy," said one of the speakers Maja Jovovic, a representative of the mothers, former users of benefits for mothers for three or more children, who were abolished by the Constitutional Court's decision.
Jovovic pointed out that Djukanovic cannot read, because demonstrators do not endanger the state, but "rescue the state from him." “Unemployment, pensions, salaries and electricity bills for ordinary citizens are the reasons for protesting!" said Jovovic. He also considered abolishing benefits for mothers with three or more children.
"In the multitude of lies and deception, there is a deception of over 22,000 mothers. Two years ago, mothers hungered for 11 days for injustice and violations of the Montenegrin Constitution. We are still on the street, and we will be until the laws in Montenegro are respected! We will be in the street until everyone asked resigns," Jovovic said.
Photo by Igor Benic
Nikola Grdinić, a manager of small and medium enterprises and a free citizen, was also summoned to the assembled.
"I believe that the protest is the basis of the revival of this country and that everything must go from the street. Not just this street, but from all our cities, north, south, east, and west. The protest is a reflection of the culture of a nation. The protest has become a way of life in Montenegro. It is the first step to breaking this regime, but also announcing the control of every future government."
Grdinić asked the demonstrators to rate the work of "the president of the Ramada Assembly," the "self-contained prime minister and his fears" and the "self-proclaimed president." Loud whistles followed the questions by the crowd.
"These are not our institutions. We are a legislative, executive and judicial authority. We are a state! We are Montenegro!" said Grdinić, stressing that "the greatest act of patriotism is here."
On behalf of the Student Initiative of Montenegro, a student of the Faculty of Dramatic Arts at Cetinje, Minja Novaković, was convened. The speech started with a mini performance with a chair because she "grew up in a society that teaches us to sit, listen, and suffer."
"Tonight I refuse to sit! I stand here in the name of all students and young people of Montenegro. We do not want us and our parents to fear. When they say at work, 'Watch out what your boy or girl is doing in protest,' I say, 'I just watch!' I'm worried that I do not let them threaten me. I take care of my right to freedom. I keep my power to a dignified existence," she said.
On behalf of the students, she said she wanted an educational system that would make her a specialist.
"I want to create a future in this country. I do not want to suffer from the collective depression imposed on us by this society. It's enough! We are responsible and fearless! Let everyone hear us, 'Students are here!'" Minja said, urging her colleagues to join them in large number on Sunday in front of the Montenegrin Assembly.
The actor Slaviša Grubiša read the "Free Citizens' Declaration" in which the demands for resignation at previous meetings are listed.
We recall, in the previous protests, the resignation of Council members and general director of Montenegrin Radio Television, Božidar Šundić, was requested. Irrevocable resignation was also demanded by Supreme State Prosecutor Ivica Stankovic, Chief Special Prosecutor Milivoja Katnić, and director of the Agency for the Prevention of Corruption of Sreten Radonjic. The protest organizers also demand the resignation of Prime Minister Duško Markovic and Montenegrin President Milo Djukanovic.
Grubiša emphasized that "opposition parties’ unity and close cooperation are essential in this process."
"Among the free citizens, from the first day in protest, and representatives of the parliamentary opposition from the Democratic Front, Democratic Party of Montenegro, Socialist People's Party, Social Democratic Party, Demos, URA Civic Movement, Labor Party, United Crna Gora, as well as Independent Deputies."
"There are also with us non-parliamentary parties, trade unions, students, academics and doctors, and we will be even more. It is a protest of all citizens, and everyone is welcome. "
The protest march moved to the Freedom Street, next to the Prosecutor's Office building, then the Boulevard of St. Petar Cetinjski near the Central Bank, the Assembly, and the President's building. Passing by each institution, loud sounds were heard, and demonstrators screamed: "We are a state!" And "Leave!” In front of the Assembly, the citizens turned to the police with the transparencies, "And your children deserve better" and "This police work for citizens."
The walk continued through the bridge of Blažo Jovanović, where the column stopped short by the Elektroprivreda of Montenegro, with the chanting of "Raise the electricity bills, you'll hear a storm." Then the column went to Moscow Street next to the RTCG building, and the Boulevard of Revolution and the Street of Ivan Vujsevic returned to Boulevard of St Petar Cetinjski and the same way back to Independence Square.
The meeting concluded on behalf of the organizer Denis Mekić, addressing the citizens who did not join the protest yet.
"Everyone of you, who call your chief to check if you voted in the elections, all of you who have been told that your job is threatened, that your child's future is threatened in this country, all those who are threatened by intimidation - your salary does not give you any Prime Minister or President, but us, citizens. Citizens will continue to pay you as long as you work for them, for your Country".
With the message: "We'll see you on the street proudly and without fear!" The organizers called for the next protest, scheduled for Saturday, March 30 at 6 pm at Independence Square.