02 Mar 2019, 00:23 AM

28 February 2019 -  At its latest session, the Government of Montenegro passed the Action Plan for the implementation of the Schengen Action Plan for 2019 and the Report on the implementation of the Schengen Action Plan for 2018.

The discussion expressed satisfaction with the high percentage of realisation of the measures envisaged for 2018 (90.48%). During the reporting period, the Draft Law Amending the Law on Border Control was passed, whose adoption will improve the normative framework and fulfil the obligations stipulated by the Schengen Action Plan. The new Law on Foreigners has been successfully implemented, which regulated the entry and exit in a quality way, as well as the movement and stay of foreigners in Montenegro in line with international standards and obligations set out in the Action Plan for Chapter 24.

The capacities for the arrival of asylum seekers and enhanced cooperation with international partners regarding their care; the activities and capabilities of the border police, as well as cross-border police cooperation and activities on the suppression of transnational organised crime, have been improved. The focus of the new Plan, among other things, will be focused on the implementation of measures for which funding from EU funds is foreseen, in the amount of 8 million EUR.

The session also approved the Strategy for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings for the period 2019-2024 and the Action Plan for the Implementation of the Strategy for 2019.

The strategy represents the national policy of combating trafficking in human beings in the coming five-year period in the following: prevention, protection of victims, prosecution, partnership, coordination and international cooperation. Unlike previous documents, the new strategy contains an analysis of the current situation in the fight against trafficking in human beings, as well as a cross-section of the remaining challenges and recommendations for further action to achieve a higher degree of efficiency of the entire system of combating trafficking in human beings. The efficiency and functionality of the prevention, identification, protection, assistance and monitoring of victims of trafficking with a special focus on children will be improved, as well as the efficiency of investigations, prosecution and punishment following criminal legislation. The goals of the strategy were elaborated in the Action Plan for 2019, where specific activities, bearers, dynamics, necessary financial resources, as well as indicators of the results, were defined.

The Government approved the Decision Amending the State Study of the Location "Sector 5." The area of the planning document is part of the settlement of Kumbor, the coastal area of the municipality of Herceg Novi. The amendments enable the construction, encourage further development of a wider area and create conditions for valorisation of a valuable part of the coast, respecting the guidelines deriving from the legislation and all documents relating to the protection of nature and cultural heritage.
02 Mar 2019, 00:14 AM

01 March 2019 - Prime Minister of Montenegro Duško Marković met with the new Head of the International Monetary Fund Mission to Montenegro Srikant Seshadri. The Government of Montenegro has achieved success and made a major turn in strengthening the economy and stabilising public finances, it was noted at the meeting. 

Prime Minister Marković pointed to the growth of the economy in 2017 and 2018 at rates of over 4.5 percent, deficit reduction, the better revenue side of the budget, reduction in unemployment and strong inflow of foreign direct investments that contributed to the creation of new jobs.

Seshadri congratulated the Prime Minister on the Government's successes and estimated that the positive response to the achieved results was also given by the international market, which answered positively to Montenegro's issuance of Eurobonds last year.

"We achieved an excellent result, above expectations. However, numerous challenges lie ahead of us and we have to answer them first and foremost through strong and comprehensive structural reforms - in the field of public administration, health, education, pension system and social policy," PM Marković said.

Seshadri agreed that Montenegro needs structural reforms and improved management, and in that context, the meeting exchanged views on the challenges and opportunities in those processes.

The Prime Minister thanked the International Monetary Fund for the technical support it provides to the Montenegrin institutions and added that it was precious given the limited administrative capacity and insufficient knowledge of certain complex reforms that need to be implemented.

Seshadri promised continued support of the International Monetary Fund and assessed that Montenegro could have higher growth rates in view of its potentials.

01 Mar 2019, 10:19 AM

The organizers of the civic protest "97.000 – Odupri se", invited citizens to go on the streets on Saturday, at 6 p.m., for a new protest at the Independence Square in Podgorica. "This Saturday, we invite free citizens to go to the Independence Square on March 2nd at 6 p.m. and show that we are a state, that together we can lead to a fundamental change in the system that has forgotten it should serve to the public and the interest of citizens, not to anyone else. Let's resist," it was announced.

The protest on Saturday is the fourth civil protest under the slogan "97,000 – Odupri se!". "The protest walk of free citizens will begin at the Independence Square, where we will make new requests. After the speech and announcement, the walk will continue on the Street Slobode to the hill Gorica, then by Ivan Crnojevic Boulevard, Stanko Dragojevic Street, St. Peter Cetinje Street and back on the street Slobode to the Independence Square," the organizers of the protest announced.

They said that in the protest walk, "as earlier, they will pass by the institutions of the system that do not work in the interest of citizens. As before, let’s show power, but also the responsibility we have as free citizens, we expect our gathering to pass peacefully and dignified. We appeal to citizens to join us without any party, national or other characteristics. With gratitude for the past protests, we invite the participants in the fourth gathering to solidarity and respect for children, elderly, pregnant women and OSI population."

They said that the safety patrol service would pay special attention and security but expect the same from those gathered.

"We urge all fellow citizens to provide active assistance to the police service and react to the provocation of any kind by contacting the nearest officer. We should not allow any violent incident to jeopardize our legal right to show that citizens are the state. Through the protest let’s defend the Constitution of Montenegro in the only free institution that we have left – the Street. We invite to another gathering of free citizens. The key feature of this protest is #oduprise," the organizer said in the statement.

Text by Vijesti online, on February 28th 2019, read more at Vijesti

28 Feb 2019, 17:04 PM

February 28, 2019 - Excessive urbanization and some key government plans are a severe threat to Boka Bay, according to UNESCO and ICOMOS experts in the Report on the State of Natural and Cultural Historical Area of Kotor, based on the findings of a joint reactive mission visited Kotor at the end of October last year.

The Report concludes that the state and local government have taken many measures in the last period to meet the requirements of UNESCO and prevent the Kotor area due to the loss of exceptional universal values from being erased from the World Heritage List. 
However, the construction moratorium in the area did not help to prevent new devastation, which encouraged the Montenegrin Government, arguing that projects such as the beach construction in Dobrota at the beginning of last year had given the green light to earlier plans. 
In its guidelines, UNESCO and ICOMOS are seeking alignment of the Kotor's Spatial-Urban Plan, which is under preparation, with the Management Plan of the Kotor Area, as well as the improvement of administrative mechanisms that will enable the Kotor Area Management Council to provide greater incentive and implementation of these recommendations in practice.
The Report treated all "painful points" in the landscape of the Kotor-Risan Bay. Thus, for a restaurant on the Turkish Cape, approved by the Directorate for the Protection of Cultural Property as a "Temporary Building," UNESCO and ICOMOS require an explicit restriction of the duration.
In their report, they support the efforts of the Kotor administration, headed by Mayor Vladimir Jokić, as well as the NGO sector, which are opposed to further devastation of the Gulf. In the Report, the experts of the World Heritage Committee explicitly recommend the abandonment of many new construction projects, as well as the controversial infrastructure projects advocated by the Montenegrin Government, such as the Verige bridge. The Montenegrin government has again raised the question of building a bridge, for which world experts say it is unacceptable and should finally be rejected. They recognize the problem of traffic infrastructure in Boka Bay, but they suggest considering an alternative bridge location, or an utterly alternative solution, such as building an underwater tunnel.
They recommend that the draft of the Spatial Urban Plan of Kotor completely abolish the proposal for the construction of new roads along the Vrmac Mountain and above Kostanjica, the development of the overpasses above Risan, as well as any further urbanization along the hills surrounding the Kotor- Risan Bay.
The report welcomes the Mayor Jokic's decision not to embark on a project for the construction of a cable car along the hill St. Giovanni, who are looking for a Heritage Impact Assessment - HIA, as well as not allowing development of tourist facilities around the Austro-Hungarian fortress in Vrmac.
The UNESCO-ICOMOS mission report analyzes a lot of controversies in the country's irresponsible relationship to the area, recommending the abolition of any further urbanization of Morinj and Kostanjica as well as the site of Glavati. For the already built Boka Gardens complex in Kostanjica, experts are looking for activities to reduce its negative visual impact by removing the fake historical tower.
The development of the Spatial Urban Plan of Kotor is underway, and according to the new Law on Spatial Planning and Construction of Facilities, the competent Ministry of Sustainable Development and Tourism is in charge. 
Kotor has been waiting for this document since 2015, as the Department for the Protection of Cultural Property has consistently obstructed the adoption of the Cultural Property Study for this plan. It was during this period that some of the most catastrophic devastations in the protected area occurred. 
According to its policy, UNESCO requires insight into this document, in which all relevant recommendations highlighted in the Reactive Mission Report have to be incorporated.

Milica Nikolic: We were looking for a Reactive UNESCO / ICOMOS Mission to Get Concrete Recommendations

The Secretary of the National Office in cooperation with the UNESCO Committee and the National Commission for Cooperation with UNESCO, Milica Nikolic, for TMN explains:
"The state called for a reactive monitoring mission based on all previous activities and our estimates that we need suggestions to go further with all the complex issues that were imposed in the previous period, which were further intensified by the adoption of the Action Plan for the Implementation of UNESCO Council Decisions 2016. This Action Plan was adopted in February 2017 and has foreseen a series of measures. However, these measures were very complex, and each of them had a series of activities. In this regard, the Mission's arrival was crucial to the analysis of the progress made in defining further activities that need to be implemented so that we can respond to all the requirements highlighted in the World Heritage Committee's decisions since the removal of the Area of Kotor from the World Heritage List in jeopardy in 2003 . "
Definitely, significant progress has been made, says Nikolic, adding: "The topics we have started are essential because they have opened up a series of issues that we are trying to solve in the coming period, especially in the context of the Urban Spatial Plan of Kotor and the Revision of Management Plan of the Natural and Cultural-Historical Area of Kotor.”
Asked how much the Ministry of Sustainable Development and Tourism has taken into account the requirements of the World Heritage Committee and the issues we face after the adoption of the Action Plan for meeting the demands of UNESCO, while drafting the Spatial Urban Plan, Nikolic responds:
"I cannot talk about how the Ministry of Sustainable Development and Tourism has gone through the analysis. I know that many consultations with the Department for the Protection of Cultural Property and the Ministry of Culture have been made to bring the draft plan into line with UNESCO standards, to ensure the procedures for the area under UNESCO were different from the usual planning documents. I think the guidelines that the institutions mentioned have given to the Ministry of Sustainable Development and Tourism already embedded in the existing law. What is important to emphasize is that in UNESCO report we find that we have a problem with the administrative label "silence of administration." It is unacceptable to them. The future silence of the administration will not be possible, especially when it comes to the Directorate for the Protection of Cultural Property. It is incredible that we have plans and projects that, without the approval of the Management Board, have been accepted and realized. It will no longer be possible. We'll have to change that. How and in what way, we will try to define in the coming months, in cooperation with the World Heritage Committee. "
The mission suggests that the Law on the Natural and Cultural-Historic Area of Kotor, which is Lex Specialist, has the supremacy over all other laws on the protected area.
"We will make changes to this law; a working group has already been formed. The amendments also include the selection of members of the Kotor Management Council, where it is necessary to ensure more substantial participation of the institutions. The Council currently has representatives of institutions, experts in certain spheres, but have no incentive to make decisions. According to the law, the Council has severe inconsistencies within its competence. But to realize them, it is necessary that in addition to the experts, there are also representatives with mandates to make decisions within sovereign institutions, so that the Council's action is more operational than it is now, "explains Milica Nikolic, who is in constant communication with the World Heritage Organization's experts.
In the Report on the State of Natural and Cultural Heritage of Kotor, UNESCO recommends the establishment of closer cooperation between the municipalities, whose territories represent a buffer zone of the protected area. "Now it is a recommendation, and we expect to be submitted as a request.  It is necessary to establish more concrete and dynamic cooperation between the municipalities of Kotor, Herceg Novi, Tivat, and Cetinje. Probably the representatives of these municipalities will find themselves in the Management Council because there is a need for synergy in the work of all local institutions to function and protect the Area fully. "
According to Nikolic, the lack of cooperation between the competent institutions at the national and local levels in the previous period marked the problems that we had in the protected area. "Whether it is lack of cooperation between institutions, within institutions, cooperation between local and national levels has led to major problems. Many institutions have independently designed certain policies, programs, and projects without consulting with others responsible for the Area. What will be the priority of the National Commission for Cooperation with the UNESCO Committee in the forthcoming period is to strengthen this cooperation because it is one of the biggest misconceptions of the Mission and one of the key issues that is being covered throughout the report. "
Nikolic welcomes the Reactive Mission Report is very detailed and accurate.  "As time and space in the field show we do not have enough capacity to cover such pressure on the institutions, especially the Department for the Protection of Cultural Property with regard to urbanization control, tourism pressures and everything that has been marked by the previous couple of decades when it comes to the Natural and Cultural-Historical Area of Kotor.” The Secretary of the National Commission welcomes the Committee's recognition of the Montenegrin needs presented and provided the mission of the experts who give its most accurate guidance in its report. The institutions now have clear guidelines on how to handle both projects and locations, as well as laws, urban plans, and everything that has caused problems in the past period.
These problems cannot be solved for a short time. This document represents a medium-term strategy. "At the moment, it is most important to bring a good urban plan for Kotor, which will put all of the lower plan paper out of power and give a chance to reconsider all the plans that do not comply with the Urban Spatial Plan of Kotor when it comes into force and gets UNESCO's approval.”
The National Commission for Co-operation with the UNESCO Committee has already given some guidance by a preliminary insight into the Reactive Mission Report. "In the coming days we will have meetings with the planter so that we can thoroughly go through the Report and make sure its guidelines to be incorporated in the Spatial Urban Plan before we send it to UNESCO to get their opinion and, in perspective, to final approval, " concludes Nikolic.
28 Feb 2019, 14:19 PM

February 28, 2019 - A group of engaged citizens in the Diaspora supported the civil protests in Podgorica and Bar by letter.

In their letter, Montenegrin inteligence in the Diaspora says:

"This way we want to encourage all stakeholders in peaceful civic protests that have been held in Podgorica every Saturday, from February 16th, and in Bar in the last few months.
We support your efforts to promote the necessary social changes and we want to highlight the enormous importance of the out-of-institutional action of citizens who are prepared to fight abuse of power, corruption, non-compliance with laws, the abolition of media freedom, the resale of social and natural resources and the absence of a perspective for young people.
We believe that our human, civic and academic duty to support the protests - they are the expression of freedom and a cry of illness in which corruption and injustice have become a healthy state. Montenegro, as we want to be democratic, open, ecological and progressive and grow our country, the contribution of all its free citizens, the country and the Diaspora is needed.
The prerequisite of such a free and democratic European Montenegro is the democratic shift of authority. Under the conditions of imprisoned institutions and manipulated elections, the first step towards this change is this massive civic activity outside the captured institutions and through the direct manifestation of their sovereignty.
Authoritarian rulers, lurking in corruption, crime and anti-democratic practices, cannot be the leaders of such a Montenegro. Free citizens of Montenegro can and must.
Group of Engaged Citizens and Citizens in Diaspora"
By this letter, the protests supported:
▪ Dr. Goran Ivo Marinović, Professor at the Latino American University (Mexico)
▪ Dr. Bojan Baća, Postdoctoral at the South East European Studies Center, Grace University (Austria) and researcher at the Laboratories for Global Digital Citizenship, University of York (Canada)
▪ Dr. Jelena Bakić, a researcher at the Center for Tran Disciplinary Research "Culture, Space and Memory," University of Porto (Portugal)
▪ Marko Begović, Ph.D. at the German Sports University in Cologne (Germany), research partner at the Sports Institute "Play the Game" (Denmark), director of the sports academy "Hellas" (Sweden)
▪ Albert Bikaj, magistrate at the University of Zagreb (Croatia)
▪ Dr. med. Žana Blagojević, Radiology Spectrum (Slovenia)
▪ Vasilije Čarapić, magistrate at the University of Oxford Brooks (United Kingdom)
▪ Sonja Dragović, a researcher at the Laboratory for Urban Studies Studies (Portugal)
▪ Mirko Đuković, Ph.D. in Central European University (Hungary)
▪ Ljubomir Đurković, drama writer (Slovenia)
▪ Dušan Đurović, former editor of the Semi-official (Island)
▪ Ilija Đurović, writer (Germany)
▪ Maša Elezović, magistrate at the London University College (United Kingdom)
▪ Biljana Janjšević, magistrate at the Chalmers University of Technology in Goteborg (Sweden)
▪ Saša Klikovac, Social Pedagogue (Sweden)
▪ Prof. Dr. Filip Kovačević, Department of Political Science, University of San Francisco, California (United States)
▪ Jovan Loncar, Businessman (United States)
▪ Denis Ljuljanović, Ph.D. in Marmara University (Turkey) and Justus-Liebig University (Germany) and Assistant at the Department of History of South East Europe, Justus-Liebig University
▪ Petar Marković, Ph.D. at the Free University of Brussels (Belgium) and the Free University LUISS Guido Carle (Italy), ECIT Executive Director and guest lecturer at the Vesalius College in Brussels (Belgium)
▪ Hanja Marović, journalist (Germany)
▪ Ivan Marović, composer (Germany)
▪ Dr. med. Dušan Matković, anesthesiologist (Kuwait)
▪ Mirjana Medojevic, theater director and drama writer (Slovenia)
▪ Boro Milović, researcher and consultant in the area of public diplomacy and EU affairs (Belgium)
▪ Stevan Milivojević, LGBTIQ activist, Chinese language student (China)
▪ Dr. med. Marina Minić-Novčić, Internal Medicine Spectrum (United Kingdom)
▪ Radoš Mušović, magistrate at the University of Edinburgh (United Kingdom)
▪ Prof. Dr. Nikola Perovic, economist (United Arab Emirates)
▪ Dušan Popović, designer, Chinese Academy of Art (China)
▪ Miloš Pušonjić, director (Poland)
▪ Boris Radunović, Architect (China)
▪ Dr. Nela Smolović Jones, a lecturer at the Open University (UK)
▪ Marko Sošić, magistrate at the University of Edinburgh (United Kingdom)
▪ Slobodan Šabeljić, writer (Portugal)
▪ Maša Šćepanović, Ph.D. at the University of Carlos III in Madrid (Spain)
▪ Dr. Vera Šćepanović, a lecturer at the University of Leiden (Netherlands)
▪ Vuk Uskoković, Ph.D. at the European University Institute (Italy)
▪ Luka Vučinić, a Ph.D. in Trinity College in Dublin and a researcher at iCRAG - Ireland's Research Center for Applied Geo Nuclease (Ireland)
28 Feb 2019, 01:27 AM

27 February 2019 - Montenegro is committed to universal abolition of the death penalty and provides full support to the international community in ensuring transparency of data in this area, all order to develop effective strategies and prevent discrimination and inequality, Minister of Foreign Affairs Srđan Darmanović repeated in Geneva.

On the second day of his visit to Geneva, Montenegrin Minister of Foreign Affairs participated in a high-level panel discussion on the death penalty on "Violation of human rights about the use of the death penalty, in particular with respect for the right to non-discrimination and equality".

During this panel discussion, Michelle Bachelet, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, reminded that death rows were disproportionately populated by the poor and economically vulnerable; members of ethnic minorities; people with psychosocial or intellectual disabilities; foreign nationals; indigenous persons; and other marginalized members of society. The High Commissioner encouraged all States to take a stand on the right side of history and join the international trend towards abolition.

Montenegro Seeks to Abolish the Death Penalty 2

On this occasion, Minister Darmanović had the opportunity to meet with Michelle Bachelet, and discuss the topic of the panel.  "During the discussion, the role of the Office of the High Commissioner for the Prevention of Human Rights was emphasized, and the Minister transferred the willingness of Montenegro to cooperate with OHCHR to further improve the situation in the field of human rights protection," the statement from the Ministry said. Darmanović also thanked OHCHR Expert Support in the goal of strengthening capacities and facing challenges in this area.

High Commissioner Bachelet praised the proactive role of Montenegro in the work of the Human Rights Council, cooperation with special procedures and mechanisms of the UN, as well as regular and timely reporting to the contracting authorities. She emphasized that it was important to continue with the reforms, and she expressed the readiness of the OHCHR to provide additional assistance to Montenegro in further activities on this plan.

27 Feb 2019, 09:56 AM

February 27, 2019 - Organizers of Civic Protests "97000-Odupri se" (Resist!) have said they will not negotiate with Montenegrin President Milo Djukanovic. They say they expect only irrevocable resignation from him.

After the session of the Council for monitoring the electoral program of Democratic Party of Socialists (DPS), Djukanovic said that if the protest organizers are interested, he would accept "any healthy dialogue initiative".

"Calls to buy time do not interest us. The president of the citizens cannot negotiate, but only listen to them, and we have already sent our messages. We look only at the invitation by Milo Djukanovic announcing an irrevocable resignation, which is one of our basic requirements. Such a move is only acceptable to citizens, good for society and institutions, and relaxing for him," the protest organization committee said, answering the question whether they would seek a meeting with Djukanovic.

Several thousand demonstrators organized a protest march in Podgorica for the third time last Saturday, demanding the resignation of the president of the state Milo Djukanovic, Prime Minister Dusko Markovic, Special Prosecutor Milivoje Katnic, RTCG Council and General Director of Public Service Bozidar Sundic, and the release of state institutions from party pressure.

Djukanovic said earlier that he would not resign, and questioned how he perceived the protests in which his retreat was being sought, assessed that they were a legitimate expression of citizens.

"It is important that they do not be violent on these occasions, because then they risk being in conflict with the state. The elections in this country should work in accordance with democratic rules, and everything else that citizens propose, which leads to the improvement of the quality of life, we will consider responsibly, "said Djukanovic after the session of the Council for the Election of Democratic Party of Socialists (DPS).

Text by Samir Kajosevic, Vijesti

26 Feb 2019, 20:57 PM

February 26, 2019 - Civic protests brought the opposition to a final act because, in the atmosphere of massive civil protests already launched, they could not remain aside. They helped to create a picture of opposition unity and showed that it was time for the opposition parties to get political light points in the second plan finally, says the director of Politikon Network Jovana Marovic.

From the opposition parties supporting the protests say that this time, their blade of political action has finally focused on the Democratic Party of Socialists (DPS), that they realized the importance of the moment and the extent of the protests, and that all the differences within the opposition must be forgotten for the success of the demonstrations.

Most of the opposition parties publicly backed the peaceful gatherings of citizens so far and respected the demands of the organizers to come to the protests without party marks, and from the Democratic Front (DF) provided transportation for citizens who wanted to go to Podgorica and join the protest. Since the start of the protest, opposition parties have not attacked each other, and Democrats leader Aleksa Becic recently said that the party vetoed all the conflicts in the opposition.

Marovic says that the organizers are clear from the very beginning that any party features are not desirable at gatherings and during the protest walk, and that it is a recipe for successful resistance to any pressure. "For now there are no visible attempts to put protests into the party context, and it would be good to remain so. On the other hand, the opposition scene is not idyllic, and it can be seen by dissonant tones, which are still in a different light compared to the protests. The protests helped to create an image of the unity of the opposition, but since it existed and at the very beginning of the boycott of the parliament, the opposition should finally get the political light points in the second plan, and this time it plays more wisely, " Marovic told Vijesti.

Provided that the protests are fruitful, that the pressure on power is steady and continuous, she adds the opposition must take care not to bring things back to its beginning by its traditional attacks.

"Spontaneous protests show us that citizens want more fundamental changes to the shift of power, which is one of the basic postulates of democracy. Citizens also tell the authorities, but primarily the opposition, that the value framework has to be changed, and those cosmetic refinements are not enough either to come from one or the other, "says the director of Politikon Network.

DF deputy Jovan Vucurovic says that the protest has undoubtedly begun to give results. "And it is obvious that there are energy and determination to endure the demands that have been made fully. The people have united, want to free Montenegro, no longer want to be a hostage to the criminal regime, and openly oppose so many obvious anomalies, corruption, and robbery that comes from the very top of the government, "he said.

He states that he got the impression that everyone in the opposition realized the importance of the moment and the extent of the protest, as an essential tool in the direction of changing the regime.

"DF, the first who promoted nonviolent struggle in Montenegro's political life, expresses the satisfaction that we are all on the same task now and that there is a high degree of consensus and unity in opposition to meet citizens in all matters to succeed. DF has repeatedly emphasized that it supports the protests and we are available to help as far as we can, without any solicitation and moves that could harm them. In our opinion, this is the obligation of everyone in the opposition, "Vucurovic said.

The Secretary-General of the Democrats Boris Bogdanovic points out that the unity of the opposition is a broad term, but that the opposition has managed to reach agreement on specific issues. "We do not accept the conditions under which all the previous electoral processes in Montenegro have been realized. If there are no presidential and parliamentary elections without fair and fair electoral conditions, a veto on mutual and inter-party attacks to victory over the DPS, it is necessary to persevere in maintaining and organizing all forms of peaceful, democratic and civic non-institutional pressure on the government, "said Bogdanovic. From this, he adds, it is to note that all opposition political subjects, regardless of ideological and program differences, have finally directed their blade of political action to the primary source of all social anomalies and problems - the DPS. "That the opposition energy should not be gasped on sloping opposition strikes, but that every subject in the opposition in the case of need stands in defense of opposition colleagues to whom the government attacks every day," says Bogdanovic.

The Civil Movement URA stated that going out into the streets, peaceful and civil protests was the only correct answer to this state of affairs in the country, and that until now it turned out to be good when citizens are leading protests and that it gives much greater synergy. "We must forget about all the differences that exist, political, program, national, religious, social, and we all need to be united at this historic moment. We started on a good road, and so it's good to continue. The ultimate goal must be to free Montenegro from the criminals who kidnapped her. We can only do this together, "said URA Secretary General Mile Radovanic.

He adds that even those subjects who hesitated realized that there was no other way. "Opposition parties must support the protests with their logistics, and it is vital that we leave our party interests aside. Current events and this struggle is something that goes beyond parties and everyday politics. The topics that citizens are not currently focusing on should not be actualized, "said Radovanic.

Radovanic said that the current protests are a unique opportunity for everyone to be in opposition and act together for the sake of liberty. Taking into account all the political and program differences that exist, he adds, the future of Montenegro is the point of merging around which there is the consensus of all socio-political actors.

"We have to deal with the criminal octopus who kidnapped the state. The protests aimed precisely at the goal have been to restore the state's abduction by peaceful, civic means. We do not want to demolish the state but build it on European values. The RTCG was abducted from its citizens, the judiciary was kidnapped, the prosecutor's office, the Agency for the Prevention of Corruption was deposed, Montenegro has no Assembly, but only has a building, "said Radovanovic.

He points out that the opposition must not, in any way, make the energy that is rampant. "A recent meeting with Commissioner Hahn has shown that the opposition can be unique around certain points. The meeting was excellent because, in addition to all program and political differences, the opposition was unique in the view that no institutional struggle in such conditions makes sense. Therefore, the elections organized by DPS do not make sense, "Radovanovic said.

Text by Darvin Muric, Vijesti

26 Feb 2019, 18:41 PM

26 February 2019 - Minister of Defense of Austria, Mario Kunasek, said that the Austrian Ministry of Defense still focuses its attention on the Western Balkans, with possible reinforcement of the engagement in missions and operations that the EU is conducting in Africa to reduce the pressures on illegal migrations in Europe.

He pointed out that, in case his state or other states refrained from their participation in international missions, development trends in the troubled regions could have adverse consequences for Europe.

“We must export security,” said the Minister whose state is taking an active part in EUFOR mission Althea in Bosnia and Herzegovina as well as in the KFOR mission in Kosovo, which actively contributes to preserving peace and stability in the region.

When it comes to the relations with Montenegro regarding defense matters, Kunasek points out the importance of intensifying bilateral cooperation, especially in the domain of training for mountain warfare.

“As Minister of Defense, I strive to deepen bilateral contacts and defense cooperation with Montenegro, in the light of Joint Statement from Graz. I believe it is imperative that we intensify our bilateral cooperation in the domain of mountain warfare training and talk about the future initiatives related to safe munition and armament storage,” said the Minister Kunasek.

Talking about the perspective of Montenegro in the European Union, in the context of its NATO membership, Kunasek that it is terrific. He agrees with the European Union's attitude that Montenegro remains constructively committed to bilateral relations with other candidates and neighboring European Union Member States and that it is an active participant in the regional cooperation.

“Montenegro has got the capabilities and political will for the preparation of the implementation of the acquis communautaire of the EU,” concluded Kunasek.

The joint statement, signed in Graz in September of 2018, is formally recognized by Ministers of Defense of Albania, Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Montenegro, and Serbia. It expresses committed political will to intensify cooperation with WB, with the aim of increasing the EU perspective of these states.

Source: Cafe del Montenegro

26 Feb 2019, 13:40 PM

Dejan Milovac from the MANS Research Center said that the amount of evidence that has been piling up for years against the longtime state official Branimir Gvozdenovic, is becoming worrisome, but not nearly as much as the lack of adequate response by the competent state authorities when it comes to this matter.

"Over the past years, MANS has filed hundreds of pages of written evidence that testifies to the brutal violation of the law by Gvozdenovic, whether it is a privatization process, an energy sector or spatial planning," said Milovac.

He adds that there is almost no area which Gvozdenovic dealt with, "without having resulted in serious doubts about corruption."

"The information that has come to the public from the beginning of this year again testifies to numerous suspicious transactions that Gvozdenovic has not yet been prosecuted for. One of them refers to the buildings that in one of the last speeches was mentioned by the President of Atlas Group, Dusko Knezevic, and which were built by Gvozdenovic's best-man, Radenko Radojicic. The survey conducted by MANS in 2012 showed that Gvozdenovic, as the Minister of Urbanism, allowed his best-man to build two residential buildings, with nearly 100 housing units in contravention of the law and the planning documents.

The criminal complaint filed at the time stated that Gvozdenovic abused the function of the Minister of Urbanism and the companies of his best-man ("RR Inženjering" and "Kapacity") in 2010 issued building permits that allowed the construction of several surplus floors than it was allowed by the plan at the time for the village Momisici in Podgorica. Although we warned then that Gvozdenovic should be abolished due to the violation of the law, the Assembly of the Capital in 2012 adopted the amendments of the plan and thus legalized this agreement among the best-men. Amendments to the plan were initiated, at the time, by the Mayor Miomir Mugosa, who was also included in the criminal charges as an accomplice," said Milovac.

He said that "unfortunately, the prosecution at the time headed by Prosecutor Ranka Carapic rejected this criminal complaint by failing to fully investigate the relations between Gvozdenovic and Radojicic but also their interest in violating the law in this way." This is just one of the many criminal reports that over the last decade MANS filed against a longtime state official.

Just to recall, MANS reported Gvozdenovic for participation in the legalization of villas on Zavala, the privatization of St. Stefan, the clip "Snimak", enabling the investors, such as Brano Micunovic and the company of Darko Saric, to build conflicting the law, as well as the legalization of numerous buildings in Podgorica and on the coast through modification of planning documents when he enabled the privileged investors not only the acquisition of extra profit but also the avoidance of criminal liability. While it is well known in whose favor Gvozdenovic has violated the law for years, the Montenegrin Prosecutor’s Office has still not done anything to examine what was the price of those "favors", Milovac concluded.

Gvozdenovic: What MANS calls evidence is only the fabrication of the truth

MANS speaks about numerous criminal charges that they have filed against me and about "hundreds of pages of evidence", but MANS does not mention the fact which is more than obvious - that the prosecution regularly rejected these applications. That, I suppose, sufficiently speaks about the merits of their "evidence", the Vice-president of the Assembly Branimir Gvozdenović announced. He reacted to the allegations of the Network for Affirmation of the Non-Governmental Sector from which it was announced that the amount of evidence that has been piling up over the years against Branimir Gvozdenovic is becoming worrisome, but not nearly as much as the absence of an adequate reaction by the competent state authorities when it comes to this matter. Gvozdenovic assessed that the logic that MANS addresses the public "within their continuous campaign of unsubstantial and unfounded accusations" is astounding.

"In fact, even before filing each of the applications, MANS was always aware that my guilt is not real, that what they call evidence is actually a fabrication of the 'truth', such that the evidence for it cannot exist. Each of these applications was submitted due to the media attention, i.e. the organization of sensationalist press conferences on which I would be further accused. In other words, instead of MANS, after each dismissal of their criminal charges, informed the public, they continued on their own," Gvozdenović said.

He said that the truth cannot be created, nor the evidences can be found for the lies.

"They can with enough motive, and MANS, obviously, has them, create an apparition of truth, especially in the part of the public opinion that follows the political divisions in Montenegro," the vice-president of the Assembly concluded.

Source: Vijesti

26 Feb 2019, 13:42 PM

February 26, 2019 - The opposition should seek early elections, as entering the technical government would mean losing time and failing to deliver the desired results, claims Executive Director of the Center for Civic Education (CGO-CCE) Daliborka Uljarevic. She thinks the opposition should use public dissatisfaction and intensified attention by the international community to achieve better election results.

"Exit from this situation is in early elections to be monitored under full floodlights of all actors. The faults in the formation of the transitional governments can now cause damage to the opposition because the state apparatus has been strongly associated with the Democratic Party of Socialists (DPS), and the wrong patch the opposition can only cut off by a good election result. We already had the experience of a transitional or technical government that operated in a far more favourable environment, and this resulted in limited results. Today, the state administration is under the full control of the governing structure, and anyone who accepts it as a minister in front of the opposition would commit political suicide, " Uljarević claims.
Leaders of the opposition party, meeting with European Commissioner Johannes Han, said they would not participate in electoral reforms without the formation of a technical government. The opposition thinks that only the technical government can prepare the next elections, stressing that confidence in the election process is at its lowest level after the "Koverta" affair. The affair broke out after a video was released showing that a fugitive businessman Duško Knežević handed over to the then mayor of Podgorica, Slavoljub Stijepovic, an envelope in which, as claimed, 100,000 euros. Montenegrin President Milo Djukanovic and Prime Minister Duško Markovic rejected the request for forming a technical government, stating that it was "a type of racket". They claim they are prepared to promote electoral legislation and have monitoring, but that "they do not agree to withdraw and invade the opposition".
Uljarevic believes that the opposition can not expect the repetition of the Macedonian scenario, where a transitional government that organised the elections was formed under the pressure of the European Union.
"It is clear that going to the polls with such institutions is a huge risk. But in the current context of awakened civic energy and DPS that shows many weaknesses, with the new attention of the international community, chances of a good opposition result are opened. The time that is planned to be spent through the technical government is the same time that DPS will use for its consolidation, " Daliborka Uljarevic says.
The demand for a technical government is the only concrete response of the opposition to the "Envelope" affair after a part of the opposition delegates led by the Social Democratic Party (SDP) demanded that the affairs be discussed at an extraordinary session of parliament. While the Democratic Front (DF) announced an initiative for the resignation of the president of the state, it began organising civil protests in which resignations of state officials were required. SDP presidency member Ivan Vujovic believes that the opposition should take advantage of the citizens' reaction to the "Envelope" affair. Protests and demands for resignations, he argues, have shown that there is still public awareness in Montenegro.
"The citizen's response is the damn of the normality, courage and determination that everyone needed, and I would say even that the opposition, driven by the eloquence and energy of the free society, is itself more mature. We also see that the international response is no exception and that this communication with partners will be continued. It feels that nobody can stop the Montenegrin spring. Citizens no longer fear, but the fear of corrupt and alienated elites is felt, "Vujović pointed out.
Uljarevic warns that the opposition has not yet adequately politically used the "Koverta" affair, pointing out that the opposition parties did not show enough co-ordination and co-operation.
"It is also a surprise that the opposition is expected more than Duško Knežević, a major donor of DPS, and now faces demanded by the investigative organs of Montenegro. It is what I mean by information and documentation suggesting abuse by institutions and violations of laws by DPS and its leaders, which Knezevic claims to have in his possession. When direct policymakers are waiting for someone else to do some of their work or else the wind in the back is not good because it carries the danger of marginalizing the same actors, "Uljarević claims, while Vujovic believes the opposition has done a lot by initiating parliamentary debate on "Covers" through boards and plenums. "We have seen that DPS has fled the debate in the committees, and then pressed for the demands of the free public and the EU agreed to the assembly debate. That debate has finally severed the essence of government and through the demonstration of idolatrous and personality cake all the mere meaninglessness of a truly and alienated system," Vujović said.
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