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PM Marković in interview with TV Nova M: Montenegro successfully completes first phase of coronavirus fight

PM Marković in interview with TV Nova M: Montenegro successfully completes first phase of coronavirus fight
Published date: 04.05.2020 00:42 | Author: PR Service

Ispis Print


Prime Minister Duško Marković said that the coronavirus epidemic in Montenegro was practically suppressed and that the victory in protecting the health and lives of citizens had been assured.

"I would say that we have successfully completed the most important stage in countering the coronavirus, which is to protect and defend the health of our people and the nation as a whole. For the tenth day in Montenegro we have a very small number of infected citizens, four days we have not had a single case, in the last ten days we had only three cases. We politicians would say that the epidemic is practically suppressed, but we leave that conclusion to epidemiologists," the Prime Minister said in an interview with TV Nova M on Sunday night. 

The Prime Minister cited the timeliness of the measures as key parameters of our successful response to the pandemic, recalling that the Public Health Institute launched activities before the virus was discovered in Europe, the responsibility of the institutions, the great expertise of their employees and the good coordination of all parts of the system.

The Prime Minister expressed satisfaction with the fact that, according to all surveys, 95 percent of citizens positively assess the work of the Government, state institutions and the National Coordination Body. He said that he sees this situation as proof that Montenegro has high-quality institutions.

"This is proof that we have not lost time since independence, that we have built institutions, their potential and their level of expertise," the Prime Minister said, adding that he was surprised by the potential shown.

"There was a new strong unprecedented social energy and solidarity. The individuals and their abilities have come to the fore," the Prime Minister said, adding that Montenegro should be proud of its collective energy.

PM Marković urged citizens to continue disciplined and responsible compliance with the measures from tomorrow, when the implementation of milder measures begins.

"We are returning to a normal life tomorrow. Read all recommendations of the National Coordination Body. It is important that we follow the rules and procedures in the workplace and take care of hygiene so that we do not introduce new measures and return to old ones," the Prime Minister said.

When asked about the salaries of health care workers, the Prime Minister said that their salaries were increased by 12 percent this year, and that they would increase by another 3 percent in the next year and that in March and April health care employees received 15 percent of bonuses. He added that in order to further increase earnings, it is necessary to create a realistic source.

Donations will be spent on building an Infectious Disease Clinic 

Prime Minister Duško Marković expressed his gratitude to all donors who paid around EUR eight million to the National Coordination Body. He said that 1.7 million had been spent and that the rest of the money will be spent on building an Infectious Disease Clinic as evidence of the strength and solidarity of the Montenegrin people.

The Prime Minister said that the total investment in the health system will be EUR 21 million, noting ongoing negotiations with the European Commission that out of 53 million grants to Montenegro, three million were immediately used for procurement of medical equipment, that 40 million will be allocated for budget support and 10 million in additional healthcare investments. The Prime Minister said the goal was to improve and modernize the Public Health Institute, build a mental health hospital and reconstruct the building of the Oncology Clinic. He added that the funds for the project have already been approved in order to start construction of a new Emergency Centre in 2021, which will be financed by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development loan.

"The EU has shown not only solidarity but a determination to help Montenegro," the Prime Minister said.

The third package of economic measures by the end of May

The Prime Minister has announced that the Government will adopt the third package of economic measures or economic programme by the end of May.

The aim, PM Marković said, is to start production based on its own potentials and resources in the energy, agriculture, construction and IT sectors. With this package of measures we will ensure that we preserve our companies, continue our economic activity, and provide continuation of investments and conditions for starting new ones. A special set of measures will be created for tourism – he said.

I believe in Serbian Orthodox Church's understanding 

Speaking about adherence to the measures, the Prime Minister said that the Islamic Community and the Catholic Church did not at any moment question the measures taken.

"However, all the time we have had problems with the Metropolitanate of Montenegro and the Littoral – from the misunderstanding of the clergy to, in some cases, believers. In some situations, this has led us into some kind of conflict that the police had to intervene," said the Prime Minister, adding that the Metropolitanate of Montenegro and the Littoral and other dioceses of the Serbian Orthodox Church, on the eve of Easter holidays, accepted the recommendations and in many cases obeyed the orders of the Ministry of Health and measures of the National Coordination Body.

"At this point, I want to address the Metropolitanate and other dioceses tonight that we should continue to understand each other. I tasked the National Coordination Body and the Ministry of Health to see when we can discuss with the dioceses of the Serbian Orthodox Church the beginning of religious activities in churches and monasteries," the Prime Minister said, adding that this does not imply large gatherings.

Congratulations to the police, the Special State Prosecution Office and the media

The Prime Minister praised the engagement of the Armed Forces of Montenegro in the coronavirus epidemic and congratulated the Police Directorate and the Special State Prosecution Office on serious actions against organised crime, including the seizure of 500 kg of cocaine on a Montenegrin ship "Budva" that had been leased to a foreign company since the first day of its acquisition.

"The ship was never operated by a Montenegrin company. The drug seizure action was carried out with partner services and we received praise from EU Member State Ambassadors for this action," the Prime Minister said.

Prime Minister Duško Marković said that the media, during the epidemic, acted extremely professional and thanked them. Asked about assistance to the media facing the cancellation of advertisers and the decline in revenue, the Prime Minister said that he sees this moment as favourable for the media to act jointly despite the differences.

He said that the media needed support at the moment and that this support could not come just from the state and that he would therefore turn to advertisers in the coming days.

"There is a small market for such a large number of media, and it is threatened by media from region that are not subject to our laws. It's a weird regulation, I really don't understand it and I'll do anything to keep it from happening. We need to put an end to this attack on the media market. National public broadcaster should not be a part of the marketing cake, it has enough funds from the budget," Prime Minister Duško Marković said in an interview with TV Nova M.

PUBLIC RELATIONS SERVICE OF THE GOVERNMENT OF MONTENEGRO