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Government committed to resolving outstanding issues, adequately responds to all challenges

Government committed to resolving outstanding issues, adequately responds to all challenges
Published date: 01.12.2017 16:46 | Author: PR Service

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Podgorica, Montenegro (1December 2017) -- After presenting the results of the first year of work of the Government, the Prime Minister and the Cabinet members were taking questions from reporters.

When asked about the Government's plans when it comes to the making the best use of the Montenegrin airports, Prime Minister Duško Marković noted that the Government is thinking through the options of valorisation of the Montenegrin airports in order to achieve the overall development of the economy.

"What is absolutely certain is that we did not mention or discuss the sale of the airport, we discussed their valorisation instead," underscored the Prime Minister.

PM Marković said that in order to respond to very serious interests that have been showed in this matter, the Government is already preparing a serious analysis with the IFC, after which the it will be able to identify and inform the public about its decision. As the Prime Minister noted, there are serious interests of credible investors who are willing to invest around $ 110 million in a year to make the best use of the airports in Podgorica and Tivat.

Asked to indicate measures on the basis of which citizens could feel the improvement of the standard of living, with the previously mentioned measures, which, as the journalist stated, had a negative impact on the standard of living, the Prime Minister explained that the Government did not abolish the compensations for mothers with three or more children, but that was how the Constitutional Court ruled and the Goverment enforced the court's judgement.

"We are sorry that this situation has occurred, we are not responsible for it, but we are responsible for the country and its financial stability. I believe that,regardless of how painful and challenging it was, and the fact that the Government was not provuded support in enforcing the Constitutional Court’s judgement, we create preconditions for having a more just distribution of social funds, We will be encouraging development and employment, not the social needs of our population," Prime Minister Marković underlined.

Stating that the Government faced the key challenges in the first year of the mandate - the stabilisation of public finance, maintaining macroeconomic stability and the creation of conditions for growth, PM Marković emphasised that there can be no higher standard of living and better quality of life without providing the conditions for economic growth.

Recalling what has been achieved so far, the Prime Minister said:

"These are the actions that the Government had to take. We know that this improvement does not affect the a large number of citizens to the extent that it is necessary, but we are sure that a part of the citizens is able to see progress and a new chance, and we will work hard to make sure the citizens experience higher quality of life. "

Answering the question about his attitude towards the attempt of terrorism during the last year’s elections and the involvement of Russian officials in the event, and whether he expects that relations with Russia will soon improve, the Prime Minister pointed out that his position on this remains unchanged. He said that the ongoing court procedure confirms his former judgments, but since tt is a public process, he did not want to speak more about it.

"But I am absolutely certain whatsoever the outcome of this process is that from now on no one else in Montenegro, or outside of Montenegro, will be able to reach for those measures that endanger the territorial integrity, sovereignty and security of citizens. We have shown in this case that we are capable as a state to respond to such a challenge, now we are demonstrating that our legal system has this potential and I believe that this is the right message for those who could think in the future in the same or similar terms," said the Prime Minister .

Asked by journalists whether the Italian company A2A has informed the Government that it is in the final phase of negotiations with an American company about the sale of shares in the Electric Power Industry of Montenegro (EPCG) and whether the interests of the state were protected in case that another company purchaised the shares, Prime Minister Marković pointed out that the put option has been activated and the Government has obligations in the next year in this regard and that in the spirit of good cooperation with A2A, the issue of ownership in the EPCG will be resolved.

"The state has fully and safely secured its interests and they cannot be compromised in any way," Prime Minister Marković stated.
Economy Minister Dragica Sekulić said that the put option has been activated, adding that no information has been received from so far from the A2A, except for the media speculations.

Daily Dan’reporter asked the Prime Minister two questions: whether the already complicated political situation is becoming even more complex due to allegations of irregularities in local elections and non-signing of the minutes, and whether it is justified to speak of an improved security situation with respect to the clashes among criminal organisations.

The Prime Minister noted that the local elections showed the unjustifiability of the boycott of the opposition, and the results of the elections showed that the citizens do not respect and justify such an approach of the opposition. He pointed out that the minutes were not signed and that there were no objections to the results of the elections in most of the minutes, but that it was a political decision not to sign in order to create a space for obstruction.

With regard to the security situation, PM Marković pointed out that the security situation in the society is continually monitored. It worsened in certain periods, which was worrying for both the state and the whole society. He stated that Montenegro cannot respond to this challenge alone and that wider cooperation and joint action with all the countries of the region and Europe is needed. As the Prime Minister noted, the state will do everything to ensure security of eeach citizen, no matter how challenging and risky.

Commenting on whether the law on compensation for mothers with three or more children is causing minor damage to state finances compared to the previous government's actions, which led to a tax debt of 730 million euros, Prime Minister Marković pointed out that he is not going to talk about what was happening before, but that it is the duty of the prime minister and the obligation of the Government to keep every euro of state money in the state bureaus.

Asked about the the connecting of the motorway to the electricity network and an agreement with the Chinese partners on the Smokovac loop, Minister of Transport Osman Nurković reiterated that the project documentation for these projects is being prepared and that it is the obligation of the constractor. The amount of costs, according to Minister Nurković, will be made public after the development of the project documentation.

Commenting on the recommendations of the Central Bank on the reduction of individual taxes and whether in the next year there will be a change in that regard, the Prime Minister and the Minister of Finance pointed out that it is necessary to stabilise finance in order to a reduce taxes, highlighting that new measures, that is, tax increase, will certainly not be introduced.

Responding to the question about whether there will be a change in the remunerations for renewable energy sources, considering the projects that have begun, Economy Minister Dragica Sekulić said that she does not expect an increase in the fees in the next year.

PUBLIC RELATIONS SERVICE OF THE GOVERNMENT OF MONTENEGRO