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PM Marković: We prepare serious package to support tourism industry, EUR 5 million is intended for salaries for two months

PM Marković: We prepare serious package to support tourism industry, EUR 5 million is intended for salaries for two months
Published date: 28.04.2020 11:58 | Author: PR Service

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Podgorica, Montenegro (28 April 2020) -- Prime Minister Duško Marković expressed his belief that our country will successfully respond to the challenge of the economic crisis caused by the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic, just as it has effectively responded to this great health threat. While appearing at the "Respond to people" show on the Television of the Federation of BiH last night, the Prime Minister pointed out that a serious package is being prepared for the tourism industry.

"The announcement of a figure of EUR five million in support of the tourism industry, was misunderstood. It is just an intervention for the salaries of tourism employees for two months, which the state will borne up to the level of minimum wage and 100 % of paid taxes and contributions. We are just preparing a serious package for the tourism industry, together with banks and the Investment and Development Fund, to sustain the investment in tourism, while ensuring the liquidity of the tourism economy to be ready for the start of the season," said the Prime Minister.

The Prime Minister added that tourism depends on how other countries will behave and whether they will open their borders. He recalled that Montenegro has already opened its border at sea for nautical tourism and that he believes that our marinas will be full of yachts coming from different areas in the upcoming period.

"We understand that, within the EU, especially in Croatia, a campaign was running for openness of borders among Croatia, Austria, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Hungary. If that happens, Montenegro will seize that opportunity. Especially, since we are a truly safe country from the point of view of the epidemic," said Prime Minister Marković, noting the final phase in stopping the epidemic was already entered.

The Prime Minister said that from the very beginning of the implementation of the measures, we allowed the citizens the greatest possible degree of movement and freedom: "We had the minimum restrictions on the movement of citizens, while allowing numerous economic activities in construction and implementation of capital projects financed primarily in the field of infrastructure and tourism."

He also emphasised that Montenegro has taken measures to rehabilitate the social and economic position of citizens. He also reminded that the value of postponed liabilities of citizens and the economy for three months towards banks amounts to EUR 1.3 billion, and to the state about EUR 100 million, which is only a part of measures of the first package on urgent measures. The value of the second package of economic measures amounts to EUR 75 million.

He specified that the key measures of relief will start on 4 May, when all entrepreneurs, small and medium-sized enterprises begin to work in full scale. "The next phase of economic acceleration and the beginning of new activities is 18 May, when we will put into operation hotels, restaurants, cafes, clubs and we believe that in this way we begin to bring back to life the whole country, to put our creative, economic, civic and personal potentials into service for rapid and urgent recovery," Prime Minister Marković noted. 

Responding to a journalist's questions about EU assistance, Prime Minister Marković said that Montenegro had already received non – refundable assistance of EUR 53 million and that a new loan package of EUR 60 million was defined in talks with our country.

"That is the amount we have agreed with the EU, which will help us to deal better with the consequences. I would like to say that the EU has shown solidarity, when it comes to Montenegro, but also the other countries in the region. The EU has not closed itself within its framework, but included other countries in this assistance package. We greatly appreciate it and it will be of great importance for the recovery of economic and social opportunities in Montenegro," Prime Minister Marković underlined.

He said on the show, attended by the prime ministers, the deputy prime ministers and the ministers of the governments in the region, that it was necessary for the countries of the region to work together, both in the fight against coronavirus and in economic recovery. He highlighted that solidarity is essential.

"Montenegro is chairing the Central European Initiative (CEI) and in discussions with Prime Minister of Italy Mr. Conte and some of my other colleagues, we have launched an initiative for a joint meeting that should be held on 15 May, when we will discuss all these aspects on how to we better oppose and preserve the health of our population, and of course, on how to jointly respond to economic challenges. I believe that this conference will give a good answer. We are also working in cooperation with the World Health Organization and I believe that the EU-Western Balkans Summit in Zagreb will also be a new opportunity to find the best solutions for all, even for the Western Balkan countries," said Prime Minister Marković. 

He also spoke about the successful battle of Montenegro and its institutions against the coronavirus, noting that they were all together committed to tackling this great danger. He particularly highlighted the responsible attitude of the citizens of Montenegro, who followed the recommendations of the health authorities and the Government.