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Opinion piece by PM Duško Marković on ocassion of Government's 100 days

Opinion piece by PM Duško Marković on ocassion of Government
Published date: 07.03.2017 09:51 | Author: PR Service

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PR ServiceOpinion piece by Duško Marković, Prime Minister of Montenegro, Pobjeda, 7 March 2017

Our 100 days

One hundred days of the Government is a small jubilee. To date, the 41st Government of Montenegro “has spent” only about 7% of the time of its four-year term of office! On the one hand, it is not enough to be able to evaluate the effects of the strategic policies, but on the other hand, each working day the Cabinet is going through a sort of test and evaluation by national and international public.

The Government has received the majority support of voters, then the confidence of the Parliament based on clear programme guidelines. They are sublimated in the inaugural speech, which I delivered as the Prime Minister-designate before the Parliament on 28 November 2016. The key question is: whether the Government in its first hundred days delivered on the promises it made to the public during the election campaign and on 28 November?

I am very confident that in this short period the Government has showed consistency, determination, and commitment to delivering on our promises made to the citizens: beginning with drastic staff renewal of the ministerial composition, and then “in depth” in the public administration and public companies; through persistent promotion of dialogue with all relevant social stakeholders in order to overcome the accumulated divisions in the Montenegrin society; through intensive international activities concerning the implementation of our strategic national interests towards full membership in NATO and the EU, that is, the full recognition of Montenegro by key international partners as a country that plays an important role in preserving the fragile peace and stability in the once-again boiling Western Balkans region; and all the way to the creation of conditions for the stability of public finance, as well as necessary preconditions for faster economic growth in the time to come, which will bring improvements in everyday life of each citizen and each family… I believe that over these one hundred days the public has recognised that the Government will follow its key commitments uncompromisingly.

On the other hand, parliamentary boycott by the opposition parties has burdened the work of the Government and affected the overall picture of political life in the country. We did as much as possible (having in mind that we must not jeopardise democratic and legal standards) to make the opposition return to the Parliament: I have repeatedly offered pro-European and pro-Atlantic parties to take positions in my Cabinet. We will continue to look for the points of understanding with such parties, with a clear message that their insistence on the autistic request for repetition of elections does not lead anywhere.

As the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, we believe that there are many issues on which we can work together with some opposition parties. After all, presidential elections will be held in a year, as well as local elections in more than half of the Montenegrin municipalities, and in that context we believe that it is in the interest of both the Government and the significant part of the opposition, for example, to work together towards the implementation of the recommendations of the OSCE/ODIHR Observation Mission in terms of further advancement of our electoral legislation... The work of the Government in the first one hundred days was also frequently followed by gatherings of groups of disgruntled citizens, who had, as a rule, certain financial requirements. Needless to emphasise that, as civil servants and citizens, we understand the complex financial situation of a significant number of our citizens. However, we must bear in mind the fact that the Government must take care of the overall stability of public finance and that there is no way to preserve the stability other than to be committed to rational public spending. That means that we cannot spend what we have not created, in other words — we need to save today so that we are able to create conditions for the improvement of the standard of living. There is no other formula than this: austerity measures and rationalisation, while preserving the development component! The Government will stick only to the principles. That is why my message to the mothers who spend their days and nights on the street, and those who expect to achieve their goals by making pressure on the Government (particularly those who are manipulated by political parties) is to refrain from such exhausting and futile forms of protest. We will look for solutions within the legal and possible framework, but everyone must be aware that there is no magic wand and that injustice, if any, cannot be corrected overnight, nor over a hundred days...

I consider it important that citizens are able to recognise that this Government will follow the commitments it has made, that it is determined to implement them, and that it can guarantee the stability of the country at both security and economic levels. With such a “credit” after the first one hundred days, with a lot of effort and commitment of the Government’s entire team on each day of our term of office, I believe that today we are closer to achieving the most important goals than we were on 28 November, namely increasing employment opportunities and reaching higher living standard for all our citizens.

Duško Marković
Prime Minister of Montenegro