Politics

23 Mar 2019, 22:26 PM

23 March 2019 - Montenegro’s new Draft Law on Health Insurance stipulates that pregnant women must work for at least two months at the same company if they want to exercise their right to the maternity leave. In this way, according to the head of the Health Insurance Fund of Montenegro, Sead Čirgić, there will be fewer cases of misusing this right.

Montenegro’s new Draft Law on Health Insurance stipulates that pregnant women must work for at least two months at the same company if they want to exercise their right to the maternity leave. In this way, according to the head of the Health Insurance Fund of Montenegro, Sead Čirgić, there will be fewer cases of misusing this right.Also, the Ministry of Health approved this proposal of the Health Insurance Fund, and it will be included in the Draft Law on Amendments to the Law on Health Insurance. New Draft Law will be discussed during the public hearing scheduled for 26 March.

As Čirgić clarified for Dnevne Novine daily, the main goal of this proposal is to prevent numerous violations of the maternity leave, as many ‘fictional companies’ were established just for these purposes.

“So far, there have been many cases of abuse of the right to go on maternity leave, because the law envisaged that an insured person of the Fund, before exercising the right for maternity leave, must have health insurance for two consecutive months or four months during one year. Now, by changing this segment, it is defined that the pregnant woman must work two months for the same employer, or four months with breaks during the year. This amendment will help reduce possible misuse. For example, a situation that so far happened most often was that a pregnant woman signed a contract with an employer and the day after she applied for maternity leave," explained Čirgić.

The President of HIFM also explained that the new Law determines the highest salary rate for pregnant women and that he does not expect anyone to have any objection in this context on the public hearing.

"The highest salary can amount up to two average net earnings for the previous year. So in that segment, there is a limited amount that can be refunded based on pregnancy," said Čirgić.

According to the Law on Health Insurance and Article 41, the Health Insurance Fund reimburses the employer the paid remuneration in the amount of 70 percent of the basis for compensation, and up to an amount that can not exceed one average salary of employees in Montenegro in the previous year.

The President of the Parents Association Kristina Mihailović is still skeptical about this proposal of the Fund because, as she remarks, the pregnant women are not sufficiently protected as it is. "If we had a Labor Law that protects pregnant women, there would be no problems in introducing this proposal of the Fund, but in a situation where pregnant women are already unprotected, and as before, on account of abuse, they decide to abolish certain rights completely or severely limit them, I am not sure that this is the right solution," Mihailović said.

23 Mar 2019, 12:41 PM

March 23, 2019 - Organizers of the civic movement “Odupri Se- 97,000” invites you to the sixth protest to be held in Podgorica today.

“With the clear goal and desire to be equal in Montenegro, we invite all free citizens to come today at 6 pm to the Independence Square and show that we are more courageous from week to week, more numerous, more persistent and more aware that we are a state! We prove that together we can bring about substantial change in the aftermath of a system that has long been in the public interest,” the organizers of "Odupri Se- 97,000" said.
 
A protest starts at Independence Square. "After the speeches, we are going to the March of Freedom through Freedom Street, Boulevard of St. Peter Cetinje, Moscow Street, Boulevard of Revolution, Ivan Vujošević  Street, Boulevard of St. Petar Cetinjski, and via Freedom Street, back to the Independence Square," "the organizers said.
 
The organizers have sent a message that they expect the protest to pass, as it has so far been, peacefully and dignified, as well as lacking any party or nationality features.
 
"Thank you for your expressed concern, solidarity and respect for the children, the elderly, the pregnant and the disabled, and we look forward to this time too," said the organizers.
 
They called everyone to protest to support the security in the protest and react to possible provocations by contacting the nearest clerks to prevent any incident.
 
"We call on all those gathered in protest that they actively assist the security service and react to any provocation by contacting the nearest clerk in order not to allow any violent incident to endanger our legal right to show that citizens are the state. We call on all free citizens and all factors of society to join even more massively on Saturday: There is no agreement with those who have captured our state by stealing it from the people. We want resignations," the protest organizers said.
 
22 Mar 2019, 00:35 AM

March 22, 2019 - Representatives of the "Odupri Se" (Resist) protest movement have proposed the Agreement on Future to the opposition deputies to agree to jointly advocate for the formation of a government of unity, whose primary task will be to create the conditions for maintaining fair and free elections. As announced at yesterday's press conference, protest organizers hope to achieve unity of 39 opposition deputies in the Montenegrin Parliament, which is 49 percent of the representative body. They remain at the earlier demands for the resignation of senior officials, and the opposition offers a common platform for resolving the political crisis.

In the document entitled "Agreement on Future", the signatories agree that the election of ministers in that government is on a parity basis - one-third of the representatives of the ruling majority and parliamentary opposition parties and a third of the non-partial personalities.
 
It is stated that the function of the president of the government of civil unity, which will act in a limited mandate, cannot be a member of the parties that are now in power.
 
"Opposition parties have offered a draft agreement that is the result of comprehensive consultations with integrity intellectuals, and the document is subject to change in one part," Dzemal Perovic, representative of the organizing committee of protest "Odyssey".
 
The signatories, as envisaged by the agreement, will not participate in local, state and elections for President of the State, scheduled before meeting the demands of the citizens reported on the protests and the primary task of the government of the civil union.
 
The Government of Civil Unity will not change its current foreign policy approach to Montenegro by its activity or decision," he said in the agreement. Perovic replied that the cooperation with this political alliance from the beginning of the protest was correct, to the journalist question whether they expected support from the Democratic Front that the representatives and sympathizers of these parties are regularly involved in civil protests and that there is no reason to believe that they will now be different. He stressed that the parties for their particular attitudes and politics would have the opportunity to seek support from citizens at the first free elections to be organized in Montenegro when the conditions are met.
 
The agreement envisions the consent of the signatories that a mandate of the government of civil union is necessary to review all laws that call into question the inalienability of private property, the reduction of the VAT rate and the abolition of all the privileges enjoyed by ministers in the government and the institution's leadership.
 
It is necessary, as stated, to increase the minimum labor cost to 60 percent of the average earnings in the past year, and to introduce a ratio of the lowest and highest earnings to public employment in the rate of 1:5.
The agreement provides that during the mandate of the government of civil unity it is necessary to adopt laws on the origin of a property of public officials and their affiliated persons, which would enable the seizure of illegally acquired wealth and a property whose background is impossible to prove.
 
Prevention of party membership, including specific measures, activities and legal solutions, as well as priority work on the establishment of the Constitution of Guaranteed Social Justice, citizens' safety and the establishment of a real social dialogue.
 
Among the steps that are necessary to undertake during the mandate of the government of civil union is to ensure the independence of the Montenegrin judiciary, including the adoption and implementation of a comprehensive plan for the protection of judicial institutions from political and party influence.
 
Energy measures are also foreseen to protect independent regulatory bodies, primarily the Anti-Corruption Agency, the State Audit Office and the Personal Data Protection Agency, and free access to information from political and party influences.
 
Among the necessary steps of the future government is the provision of full freedom of the media, with particular reference to the informative work of the Public Media Service RTCG, to provide accurate, timely and complete information of citizens.
 
"All the signatories to the Agreement have their political and moral credibility to fulfill these obligations and commit themselves to the beginning of constructive and consistent work on the concrete principles, methods, and means necessary for the realization of the points of the Agreement," the document states.
 
In the organizing committee of the "Odupri Se" movement, they believe the agreement will be supported by all opposition parties until Saturday, "because there is no reason not to maintain the unity we have already achieved," said Džemal Perović.
 
Perovic said the deal had already been approved by Democrats, URAs, Demos, SNP, and Independent Deputies.
 
"We are convinced that DF will be wise to evaluate the unity of citizens that has been achieved and will do everything to unite in this sequence of steps to bring this peaceful transition together. I believe that all of us will respond positively by Saturday because there is no reason not to preserve the unity we have already achieved, "Perovic said at the press conference, saying he would not negotiate with the government representatives while claiming that one of the organizers other.
 
"As long as speculated that someone else stands behind us, we will not respond to such a dialogue call. When a serious dialogue call comes, we will do as it is said in the Agreement, so we will work together to form a government. We will not go to the negotiations, but a united opposition will go along with us," Perović said.
 
Perovic said opposition parties were offered a draft agreement that was the result of comprehensive consultations with intellectuals of integrity, stating that the document was in some cases subject to amendments. He claims that he will not negotiate part of the boycott of elections, parliament and foreign-policy directions of Montenegro.
 
"Why is this noise rising so much when three o'clock in the morning we were talking about it? Some parts are taken or vacated, because we can not go back to issues like the boycott of all elections until the fulfillment of the conditions and only the new government can prepare the first fair elections in Montenegro. There is no participation in the assembly when it comes from undemocratic choices. If the crisis did not go in some wrong direction, we did not seek resignation from deputies, but only unbiased," Perovic said, stating that the stability of the state should be safeguarded.
 
Perovic also said that any attack on the organizing committee would do nothing to bring about the regime because he is dealing with citizens. The organizers, as he said, only articulate their will.
 
He said that the deal would be offered to minority peasants, but that there will be much more pressure on citizens and masses. Perovic said and will follow pressures from abroad, citing that this is the last year of this regime.
 
He repeated that there is no current in the Organizing Committee, although there are different attitudes among the members.
 
"When we make decisions, then we all stand behind it. I do not see a more significant step than to have 39 deputies on Saturday. Our suggestion would be to overwhelm the Assembly over laws to show the supremacy of the opposition and the citizens," he said, citing as an example of forming parliament in the shadows.
 
He told the flippant businessman Duško Knežević not to take the protest, but to continue with the revelation of the regime affair.
 
"We appreciate that he is doing a great thing because he can only do it as an insider inside the system. He has been legitimized as a repentant and is prepared to bear his share of omnipotence. We call him to continue in that part of it, and not to absorb our protest," Perović said.
 
22 Mar 2019, 00:08 AM

21 March 2019 - Civic protests do not pose a threat to the state and its political system, according to Prime Minister Duško Marković, who assessed that the Government of Montenegro is persistent in the protection of the state and its citizens.

Prime Minister explained that the demands for the resignation of the representatives of the Government were not grounded because, as he says, the Government has support in the parliament in which it was elected.

At the assembly during which the reporters were allowed to ask the PM questions regarding the current conditions within the country and plans of the Government, Marković announced that the state is becoming more and more stable.

"Montenegrin institutions are capable and ready to protect the constitutional and legal order of our country at any time and in any circumstances, ”Marković estimated. This conclusion of the PM was based on the fact that Montenegro is a state with established institutions; the country is a NATO member, a politically stable country based on democratic and European values.

Protests in Montenegro Do Not Pose a Threat to the State 1

"Therefore, despite the challenges that accompany us, we are achieving to protect the state, protect the citizens and their interests, and the attempts of destabilization have made our security apparatus more compact, and the state more stable," Marković emphasised.

The Prime Minister also pointed out that the European and Euro-Atlantic future, as well as the independence of Montenegro, cannot be endangered in any way: "I want to believe that even protesters do not want to endanger the independence of our country. I want to believe that they do not want to demolish Montenegro, but build the country towards a better future. Still, we will not allow the creation of an overthrowing atmosphere, because that is an ambience that can lead to unwanted consequences, "the PM stated during the assembly.

He added that protests are a democratic and legitimate way of expressing opinions and that the representatives of the Government fully understand their need to emphasize their demands, especially when they are motivated by the desire to improve the standards and quality of life of citizens.

However, as PM explained, the citizens of Montenegro must all agree that the Government is working on improvements daily, which is confirmed by notable results that are visible and measurable.

He pointed out that the economy grew at a rate of almost 5 per cent in the previous two years, that new jobs were created reducing the unemployment by 12,000 people concerning 2016, that development momentum in infrastructure is achieved, as well as the balanced regional development.

He said that the results gave him the right to say that there is no place for protests against the work of the Government: "We provided free tuition for students, 1,500 new places for children in kindergartens, reconstruction and construction of over 150 facilities in the education and health sector, and created new jobs in these sectors".

21 Mar 2019, 21:58 PM

21 March 2019 - Minister of Foreign Affairs Srđan Darmanović paid an official visit to the Republic of Kosovo at the invitation of Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Behgjet Pacolli. Minister Darmanović also met with Speaker of the Parliament Kadri Veseli and Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj.

The officials noted that Montenegro and the Republic of Kosovo have developed very good relations and expressed their satisfaction with the frequent political dialogue that strengthens the overall cooperation. "It is essential that all actors in the region cooperate closely, as well as to act responsibly for the purpose of faster integration into the European Union," said Minister Darmanović.

Kosovo Foreign Minister Pacoli emphasised that the two countries are sincere friends. cherishing good neighborly relations and mutual support.

"The Montenegrin contribution to regional stability is very important and the citizens of our country appreciate it," Minister Pacoli stressed.

The meeting with Speaker of the Kosovo Parliament Veseli noted excellent cooperation between the two coutries, which was confirmed in the previous period when addressing issues of common interest.

"The Republic of Kosovo and its citizens have great respect for the results of the Montenegrin state policy," Mr Veseli underscored. The importance of the parliamentary dimension of cooperation between the two countries was also emphasised as an important segment of the overall relations.

During the meeting with Prime Minister Haradinaj, the head of the Montenegrin diplomacy stressed that Montenegro closely monitors and supports the dialogue between Kosovo and Serbia, stressing that it is important for the two sides to achieve a sustainable agreement that will be in the function of the long-term stability of the Western Balkans. Commenting on bilateral relations, the Kosovo Prime Minister said that " Montenegro is an example of successful development and a role model in European and Euro-Atlantic integration process." The two officials also pointed out the need to boost economic cooperation between the two countries, primarily through better infrastructure connections.

Minister Darmanović particularly highlighted the issue of the status of the Montenegrin community in Kosovo, which is in the focus of attention of the Government of Montenegro, hopeful that the Montenegrin national minority will soon receive a constitutional and legal treatment. In that context, the Kosovo officials said that they strive for the recognition of the status in the highest legal act of Kosovo, greater representation and a better position of the Montenegrin community. Minister Darmanović also spoke with the representatives of the Montenegrin emigrant societies, and pointed out the assurances of the Kosovo side that their status will be recognised in the future by the Constitution. They also discussed the soon opening of the Development Centre of Montenegrins, which will be the hub of cultural, economic, scientific and educational projects of Montenegro's community in Kosovo.

Ministers Darmanović and Pacoli signed an agreement on cooperation between the two countries in the context of accession to the European Union.

"Montenegro is set, based on its commitment to good neighbourly relations and close regional cooperation, to share experience and expertise in the process of European integration with all its neighbours," Minister Darmanović stated, adding that Kosovo can count on Montenegro's support for its EU bid.

20 Mar 2019, 23:59 PM

20 March 2019 - Based on the Sava and Drina corridor integrated development program, which represents new and one of the largest regional initiatives in recent years in the field of integrated water resources management, Montenegro will have at its disposal about 20 million EUR for projects aimed at improving water management in the Drina River basin, according to the report by the country’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

Montenegro Gains 20 Million EUR for Water Management

This allocation of funds was agreed at the first meeting of the representatives of the Drina and Sava River Basin States - Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Slovenia, Croatia and Montenegro, with representatives of the World Bank on the launch of the regional Sava-Drina Corridor Program with a total value of 220 million EUR.

"At the meeting held in Brčko, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegrin interests were represented by the State Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Đuro Žugić and the Director General of the Directorate for Water Management, Momčilo Blagojević. The meeting was attended by the World Bank’s Regional Director for Western Balkans Linda Van Gelder and the Country Manager for Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Montenegro in the Europe and Central Asia region of the World Bank, Emanuel Salinas "the statement read.

Montenegro Gains 20 Million EUR for Water Management 2

The economy and jobs in the Western Balkans region depend heavily on shared water resources such as Sava-Drina waterways, to transport goods, generate energy, grow food and fibres, sustain biodiversity and provide for leisure and eco-tourism. As the Sava flows from west to east across Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina reaching the Danube in Serbia, the river opens the opportunity to regain some of its former position as an important transportation corridor that simultaneously requires interventions to manage floods. The Drina corridor, on the other hand, has significant potential for hydropower generation, food production and tourism development.

Montenegro Gains 20 Million EUR for Water Management 3

The long-term objective of the Sava-Drina River Corridor Integrated Development Program is to foster regional cooperation and unlock productive investments. This regional program, through a range of studies, policy dialogue and investments would aim to strengthen capabilities and economic development of the riparian countries, by jointly selecting priorities for support in technical assistance, dialogue, institutional strengthening, and investment with a focus on the accession process non-EU members and compliance agenda of new members.

Perhaps just as important, the program will also be a relatively uncontroversial opportunity for the countries of the region to signal their ability and willingness to tackle transboundary issues together.

20 Mar 2019, 23:34 PM

20 March 2019 - The determined fight against organised crime in Montenegro, which has recently resulted in the arrests of members of an organised criminal group, the prevention of serious crimes and progress in key investigations, clearly show that the State is ready for the next phase of the negotiation process, said representatives of the Montenegrin institutions at a meeting in Brussels.

A meeting of the EU Council's Working Group on enlargement and the Countries Negotiating Accession to the EU (COELA), which took place in Brussels earlier today discussed latest results in the fight against high corruption and organised crime.

Chief Negotiator Aleksandar Drljević stated that since the last meeting with COELA in October 2018, Montenegro has Chapter 27, hopeful that Chapter 8 will be opened this year. When it comes to the core of the negotiation process, the rule of law, he pointed out that the EC Working Paper on the situation in chapters 23 and 24 identified better results in combating organized crime than in previous years.

"The results are what we want to present today in order to further convince you that we are ready for the next phase of the negotiation process. The recent decisive attack on organised crime in Montenegro has resulted in a number of arrests of members of an organised criminal gang, the prevention of numerous serious crimes and significant progress in key investigations," the Chief Negotiator said.

Member of the Negotiating Group for chapters 23 and 24 and Head of the Working Group for Chapter 23 Marijana Laković outlined the overall progress in the rule of law. She informed members of COELA about the development of a new Justice Reform Strategy for four years, a new information system for the judiciary, and the improvement of the spatial capacities of judicial institutions. As to the promotion of media freedom, she presented the latest activities undertaken with a view to implementing the recommendations of the European Commission, the Council of Europe and the United Nations. "The Government is determined to guarantee and promote freedom of the media, which represents the core value of any democratic society. This was confirmed by the coordinated actions of the judicial authorities and the police that led to moving forward in investigating attacks on journalists," Ms Laković said.

Special Prosecutor Milivoje Katnić presented the activities of the Special Prosecutor's Office in the fight against organised crime and corruption at a high level, with a focus on cases in the field of public interest. He said that in 2018 financial investigations were initiated in seven cases against 47 physical and legal entities. For criminal offenses of organised crime in 2018, 13 charges were filed against 87 persons charged with criminal acts of high corruption, 12 indictments against 31 persons, while one criminal charge was filed against one person for the criminal offense of money laundering.

Enis Baković of the Police Authority noted that good cooperation between the Police and the State Prosecutor's Offices, as well as international cooperation with EUROPOL, INTERPOL and EU member states, resulted in numerous actions in which members of organsed criminal groups were apprehended and a large amount of drugs and cigarettes was seized.

Director of the Anti-Corruption Agency Sreten Radonjić presented the results of Agency in the past year. He particularly referred to the Agency's work on the implementation of the Law on Financing Political Entities and Election Campaigns, pointing out that in the last three years the Agency has launched 486 misdemeanor proceedings against political entities and authorities for violating the Law on Financing Political Entities and Election Campaigns.

Representatives of EU member states praised Montenegro's results in the fight against corruption and organised crime, stating that all member states should recognise it and support Montenegro's transition to the next phase of negotiations. They are convinced that the policy of enlargement will remain high on the agenda of the EU after the elections to the European Parliament in May.

18 Mar 2019, 22:58 PM

17 March 2019 - President of Montenegro Milo Đukanović is welcomed in Berlin with the highest military and state honors, where he arrived at the invitation of President of Germany Frank Walter Steinmeier. After the official ceremony, the two presidents discussed the relations between Montenegro and Germany, the European future of Montenegro and the Western Balkans.

President Steinmeier expressed his great satisfaction with the opportunity to host President Đukanović, with the assessment that the relations between Germany and Montenegro are very close and that the two countries have the potential for even stronger cooperation, primarily in the economic sphere. Steinmeier recalled the support of Germany's Montenegro during NATO accession, saying that Montenegro is a valuable partner in the Alliance.

"Our next task is integration into the EU," said the German President and stressed that Montenegro is one of the fastest countries on the European path.

In that sense, he expressed the belief that the EU will, after elections for the European Parliament and more precise images of Brexit, focus more heavily on the integration of the Western Balkans. On this path, Montenegro will have full support from Germany, especially regarding one of the most important issues in the negotiations on the rule of law.

The President of Montenegro thanked President Steinmeier for inviting him on an official visit to the Federal Republic of Germany and the very eventful program of the tour. With the satisfaction of the extremely good relations between the two countries, he thanked President Steinmeier for the great support of Germany, which is continually provided to Montenegro at the time when the country preserved stability, and when it embarked on the path of integration and the establishment of democracy, as an independent state, for working hard on the construction of institutions and achieving European standards. This German attitude is not only toward Montenegro, but also toward the entire region, for which stability is the key to further integration, and a higher quality of life of citizens.

Germany's attention is impressive, and it would be essential to use your influence so that other European addresses help europeanization of the Balkans, said President Đukanović. He also introduced Steinmeier with the priorities of state policy-the dynamic economic development of the country and EU membership. Even more important is the presence of German investors, which will help us to adopt European standards faster and more directly, Đukanović said.

"Although a small country, we are trying to be a serious promoter of European politics in the region," he said, with the assessment that Germany's support in the field of justice, internal affairs and foreign affairs is particularly important.

A significant part of the conversation was dedicated to the current situation in the region. President Steinmeier was particularly interested in the position of President Đukanović in relation to the remaining open issues. Both sides welcomed the agreement of Skopje and Athens, which can be an example of how difficult issues are solved when there is political will and clear goals for it, which should serve as an inspiration for the remaining open issues in the region.

The First Ladies of Montenegro and the Federal Republic of Germany Lidija Đukanović and Elke Budenbender had a separate conversation during which they paid special attention to the role of women in public and political life and youth education.

17 Mar 2019, 16:44 PM

March 17, 2019 - The organisers of the protest "Odupri Se- 97,000" have said at the fifth meeting, held Saturday, 16 March in Podgorica, that they will not give up on the demonstration until all state institutions are released. They announced a new gathering at the Independence Square for March 23, inviting people to bring at least one person to the next protest that wasn't present this time. One of the members of the organising committee, Dzemal Perovic, called for the liberation of Montenegro and the unification "against those who privatised our country".

Reflecting on the negative campaign on the decision of the organising committee to give up the previously announced permanent protests to meet the prominent demands of the leaders of the institutions of the system, Perovic said: "The jabs for the mistakes of the organising committee, what is the purpose - we are people, we are making mistakes. But tonight we are unmistakably aware of what we want. What you sow, you're sorry tonight. We came for our freedom!"

"Our face is our flag," Perovic said, responding to the recent objection of the President of Montenegro, Milo Djukanovic, that at the meetings in Podgorica there are no Montenegrin flags. Perovic asked Djukanovic where he carried the state flag, while "stealing state resources and staying in Dubai and San Tropez".

"While you make foreign currency cash and sign up for offshore firms - where is your state flag? While you are transferring the circus from a state strike to the apostles - where are your constitutions, laws, and justice? You will never pass on the intimidation and resentment of citizens to each other, using the natural differences between us - national, religious or party. We have come here for true justice," Perovic said.

To regime media and reporters, Perovic said they are looking for the protestors' mistakes in vain.

"Looking for mistakes and weaknesses of the Organizing Committee, we and hundreds of thousands of others who will join us are unmistakably aware of what we want and how we will achieve it," he said.
The fifth set "Odupri Se - 97,000" overcame the previous gathering, which speculated with numbers of about 20,000 people. According to the organiser's assessment, yesterday's protest in the Capital City was the most massive gathering of citizens in the recent Montenegrin history.

Before the protest walks, the organisers reminded of over 60 companies that had once conducted the Montenegrin economy, and who did not survive the "goblins" transition. "Health, education, culture, dignified life, solidarity and freedom have been eased," said actor Slavisa Grubisa.

Professor Goran Ivo Marinovic said that Montenegro would already be a part of European Union if not having DPS.

"DPS is the cause of all of our problems and the main topic of all the chapters in the negotiations," Marinovic said and called on the ruling politicians to leave the armchairs.

He also said that there would not be "a sick system based on fear and stifling freedom of thought" in Montenegro, when the state created the conditions for free and fair elections and when a democratic change was first made.

Marinovic does not live in Montenegro, and his career as a professor at the faculty, he says, "runs around the world, from South Korea to Mexico." "But I'm always happy to return home," he said in front of thousands of citizens, adding that there are no such people anywhere in the world, nor such natural beauty as in Montenegro.

"The existing regime made a living to survive, and nature, our greatest asset, to a means of personal gain," Marinovic said.

He also said that the government fears the outcome of the protest "Odupri Se - 97,000," because they are "no longer able to manipulate citizens".

protest 16 march Boris PejovicThe fifth gathering of the civil movement "Odupri Se", Photo by Boris Pejovic, Vijesti

Addressing thousands of citizens, Professor of History Petar Glendza said that Podgorica has never been more beautiful than last night. "There is not one place in this world I would rather be, but right here and with you." He said that he wanted changes and that he would resist a system that "humiliates, degrades, restricts and all this plunder".

"I do not want to deal with onion planting, but with my profession! And from the job, I do professionally and conscientiously to have a dignified life! I no longer want my fair earned money to be scattered for a variety of malversations, electricity and fuel bills with unreasonable taxes, to “envelopes”, and all the wrong and misguided moves of those who make the most important decisions in the country without any responsibility. I want the opposite - you and me investing our money in our future "Glendza said. He added that he wanted a system that would guarantee citizens "security, creativity and comfort, not fear, inefficiency and bravery".

"I want a state that is service to its citizens. And we are those citizens. We are a state, and what we live today is just a simulation, and that's why we are looking for root changes, "said the professor of history from Cetinje. Glendza also sent a message to the opposition, stating that they have to change themselves, the way of action and the choice of priorities.

Student Teodora Pavićević said that no one could take this "little bit of freedom" to citizens.

"They took us all they could, the state, the future, but this little bit of freedom cannot take us, never. They will not frighten us; they will not divide us, they will not silence us because we are together tonight, all of us here for freedom, for social justice, not for their injustice, "she said. ”Is it fair to attack youth and protect a mafia? That excellent students, graduate economists, lawyers, masters work as waiters and taxi drivers? Do the workers work 12 hours a day unpaid, to make wealth for those stealing us? Is it fair that young people leave the country because they do not have a party booklet? "Pavićević asked.

Thousands of citizens went for a protest walk through the Freedom Street, Boulevard of Ivan Crnojevic, Stanko Dragojević Street, Boulevard of St. Petar Cetinjski and completed a gathering at the central city square.

protest onionThe Doll "Luko Krivic" in front of Satet Prosecutors' Office, Photo by BIRN

The demonstrators passed the building of the Government, the Presidency, and the Assembly. In front of the premises of the Prosecutor's Office set up a doll with an onion instead of the head, alluding to the statement of the Special State Prosecutor (SDT) Milivoje Katnic that "the protest organisers undermine the people and better make themselves to plant onions". "Luko Kaznić" (Guilty Onion) doll, dressed in the suit of the Prosecutor, was the second performance inspired by this statement. The doll name is the allusion to the fact that the current Chief State Prosecutor, Milivoje Katnić, was engaged in the military operations of the Montenegrin Army in Konavle, Croatia, the region known for agricultural production. The Student Initiative earlier stifled the symbolic onion planting in front of the State Prosecutor's Office building.

As in previous gatherings, this time there were no national and party flags, and protestors carried transparencies "One Works, Four Votes," "Shame on You," "Street of Freedom is One Directional" chanting "Milo Thief", "We are a state, " We're a flag, " Students are here, "and occasionally the Independence Square and marching streets illuminated the torches.

Although the organisers, before the protest, called on citizens not to argue for possible provocation and concern for security, there was an incident during the protest walk that ended without any consequences for the health of people and property.

From the Police Administration, they reported that more protestors, during the protest walks, insulted police officers and shot them with stones and other hard objects. The Police states that some demonstrators shot in the direction of state institutions to hurt police officers and test them for reaction. They explain that no police officer has been injured.

Strong police forces were deployed at the Government, Presidency, Parliament and Prosecutor's Office buildings, while police were behind the Presidential building with protest demolition equipment.

"The Security Service in the Organization of the Movement" 97,000 – Odupri Se "prevented one person throwing stones to the Assembly building," the organisers said on this occasion. As they cite, a video of that event was made, which will deliver to the police.

"We welcome the efforts that the police officers are investing in finding and adequately punishing every violent behaviour and extermination, to ensure the security of all participants and every subsequent public gathering," the 97,000 – Odupri Se movement said.

The new gathering at the Independence Square in Podgorica is scheduled for next Saturday, 23 March at 6 pm. The fifth meeting ended with a call to each of those present to bring with them at least one person who did not attend the protests so far, to further enlarge the movement.

protest 16 march Vijesti OnlineCopyright: Vijesti Online

17 Mar 2019, 11:58 AM

17 March 2019 - The Mayor of Budva, Marko Bato Carević, said that he supports the owners of open bars located at the main city promenade in Budva in their struggle to be allowed to work this year. He also stressed that the local government does not have the jurisdiction to decide which temporary buildings can be allowed to work, and that the jurisdiction was given to the Public Company for Coastal Zone Management of Montenegro.

The owners of six popular discotheques, which were removed from the Plan of temporary objects in Budva by the Company for Coastal Zone Management and the Ministry of Sustainable Development of Montenegro, announced a protest on March 19.

Protests in Budva Let Budva Continue To Be The Centre of Nightlife in Balkans 2

Legal representative of owners of cafes and restaurants in Budva, lawyer Zoran Piperović, said that the discussions with representatives of the PCCZM and the representatives of the Ministry have been held for a month. During these negotiations, the representatives of these institutions have been constantly implying that the person in charge for this decision was the Mayor of Budva, reports News Agency Vijesti. "I was told that as a condition for concluding contracts for this year, we need to deliver the Permission from the Public Company for Coastal Zone Management, three certificates from the hotel owners whose hotels are located in the immediate vicinity of the facilities and the approval of the Mayor of Budva."

Piperović said that hotel owners already gave their confirmation that these facilities do not interfere with their own businesses. "The state claims that they will give the permits, if the Mayor of Budva does the same. I am well aware of the theory of law and state, and I have to admit that I have not yet encountered this kind of case, which is reflected in the fact that the state says – “we want to give the necessary permits, but the Mayor won’t let us," Piperović explained.

Protests in Budva Let Budva Continue To Be The Centre of Nightlife in Balkans GRADONACELNIK

Commenting on this situation, Mayor Carević said that someone wants to get him dragged into the whole problematic situation. "The local government has no jurisdiction and there is no need to announce any opinion whatsoever on this matter.  It is up to the Public Company for Coastal Zone Management to decide and comment on the matter," Carević said.

He stressed that protests are legitimate in this matter and that he supports the requests of the restaurant and bar owners.

"Everyone has the right to fight for their rights. Running a business is a tireless process, and no one can stand in the way of business, no matter how hard he tries. The business should only be flexible and adaptable to all standards, but it cannot be stopped. Budva is a city of entertainment and nightlife, and Budva without these facilities will never be the same. How much will it affect the turnout, it remains to be seen, "Carević said.

Carević did not miss the opportunity out to show his disagreement with the decision of the previous municipal leadership - that the municipality deleted 250 temporary buildings located along the promenade, stating that it was not in accordance with the stand of the Democratic Front.

Protests in Budva Let Budva Continue To Be The Centre of Nightlife in Balkans 3

"If only they listened what I said earlier, this situation would not have occurred. Still, the one who has made the decisions at the time will have to solve the present situation which is the result of those decisions, ”the Mayor added.

According to him, the decision makers at the time should have taken into account the economic aspect, as more than a thousand people will now lose their jobs.

"I told them what we should do at the time, and if they listened, we could’ve reached an agreement which would’ve benefitted all sides. They did not allow that possibility; because we were conditioned by the principle "this or that" and the representatives of the Democratic Front had to accept one of the options. A parliamentary decision was then passed and it is currently being implemented, and there is no more room for discussion. We could’ve done everything differently, without the tensions and conflicts we now have to deal with. But the decision has been made and we will implement it as we must, "Carević said.

Source: Investitor

16 Mar 2019, 11:07 AM

March 16, 2019 - The Fifth Protest of the Citizens' Movement "Odupri Se - 97,000" will be held today, 16 March from 6 pm at the Independence Square in Podgorica. Organisers invite citizens to join them in high number, because, as they say, it is the only way to meet the demands of citizens for the release of captured institutions and root the change of the system that for decades does not serve them, but the survival of the octopus in power.

"Resistance is expanding, and more and more free citizens find it to be the last moment for historical changes throughout the society. We all share the responsibility to reach them in a peaceful and civilised manner. That is why we appeal to citizens to take care of those who are standing or walking beside them to preserve their dignity and protect their right to rebellion, regardless of the individual causes of dissatisfaction being different. Please pay special attention to the elderly, then to the disabled, pregnant women and parents with children," the organisers said, adding that this protest, as well as all before it, must go through a peaceful, dignified and nonviolent manner because radicalising the rally brings only radical consequences.
 
After the speeches at the Independence Square, the protest march goees through the Freedom Street to the Buducnost stadium, via Boulevard Ivan Crnojevic, Stanko Dragojević Street, Boulevard of St. Petar Cetinjski and back to the Freedom Street to the Independence Square.
 
"As a protest walk, we will, as usual, find the institutions of the system that is not working in the interest of citizens. From the “Square of Independent Citizens,” we will tell them: Resistance will not stop," reads the initial commitment of the civic movement "Odupri Se.”
 
In addition to the organising support of the Student Initiative, the movement was supported by the Dramatic Studio "Prazan Prostor" (Empty Space), the Syndicate of Education, Citizens Union "Civis," and the Montenegrin Diaspora in the EU.
 
Drama Studio has put down the show Room, scheduled for 16th March, due to the overlap of the play time and protest in Podgorica. "This decision is a product of the desire to encourage theatre workers and audiences to, in keeping with the nature of the theatre as a space for social change, to take a proactive stance on their own," said Empty Space.
 
The Syndicate of Education says: "We expect all political actors in Montenegro to understand the weight and seriousness of the current social moment in which we find the necessity of accumulating problems that have captured our society. The Syndicate of Education of Montenegro seeks the education system free of political influences and faster introduction of professional standards and responsibilities at all levels.”
 
Bunt and the protest "Odupri Se" supported the newly formed Citizens Union "Civis" by referring to all members of the Montenegrin society who "publicly or secretly despise the zombie philosophy of success and advancement in modern Montenegro, based on " resourcefulness", arrogance, ignorance, and hypocrisy. You finally came to meet and talk about the vision, idea, freedoms, rights, work and the life of his highness - a free citizen.” Chessman Radmila Milošević signed the announcement, as well as former deputy Zoran Miljanic, cartoonist Goran Šćekić, former president of the Syndicate of Army Nenad Čobeljić, whistleblower Radomir Glendža, dramaturg and "face of the protest" Jelena Milošević, professor of physical sciences at the University of Montenegro Mara Šćepanović, president of the Syndicate of Education of Podgorica Slobodan Savović et al.
 
A letter of support came from the Montenegrin Diaspora in the EU: “We, Montenegrin citizens of the Diaspora, are very interested in the events in our home country. Concerned about its future, on its way today, we are ready to help all the democratic forces in the struggle for its recovery, prosperity, and prosperity.
 
You, who realised that the time has come for the state institutions and the freedom of citizens to defend themselves in the streets of the towns of Montenegro, you have our unprofessional support in this challenging but honourable work," the group said from Zurich. 
 
At the last protest, held on 2 March, the organizers announced that if all the previously issued requests for resignations of the head of state, the prime minister, the chief state prosecutor and the supreme state prosecutor, and the RTCG Public Media Service leadership were not met, they would invite the citizens for permanent protest to the fulfilment of these requirements. However, in the meantime, they abandoned the great security challenge that made such a decision. It has caused the disillusionment of a part of the public.
 
“Protest organisers can get stuck, but no one can be a professional and constantly fail like the Montenegrin Government. The police took to the hearing of the driver and the owner of the van that saw the sweaty face of the worried president. That van shocked the "system institutions," because it spreads the laughter of freedom among citizens. At the same time, Director of the Police Directorate Veselin Veljovic performed a police force looking to protect the streets of the citizens, and this post was properly sponsored on the Montenegrin Government's FB page of our money, so that as many citizens could see the repressive apparatus in full of fighting ready. These synchronised and coordinated actions of the Police Administration undoubtedly say that it is fundamentally implemented - the friction of the dictatorship," said Milos Krivokapic, a member of the protest organisation committee.
 
“For the scourge of the regime, and there were such examples in the world, citizens are the only formula. Only mass protests organised decisive resistance that will unite all victims of this system. Now it is just a matter of time when the regime will collapse under internal and external pressure,  said in an interview for Vijesti one of the initiators of Odupri Se movement, Dzemal Perovic.
 
 
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