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PM Marković: Montenegro is being built and developed even in times of crisis

PM Marković: Montenegro is being built and developed even in times of crisis
Published date: 26.08.2020 08:00 | Author: PR Service

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Even in times of crisis, Montenegro is being built and developed, so today we have over 3,000 workers on construction sites across the country, said Prime Minister Duško Marković in an interview with TV Pljevlja.

"The Government does not want to stop any investment. Investing in development is the best remedy for the economic crisis. There may be savings on other issues, we have already saved EUR 6 million in the budget in six months on various bases, but we have not denied a single euro for development projects. Each is being realised, according to the dynamics that is possible in these conditions," said PM Marković.

He reminded of the Government's serious successes in the previous three and a half years in terms of raising the economy, starting development, increasing the number of employees by over 25,000, reducing the unemployment rate by more than 10 percent, increasing salaries in various sectors, ensuring security of all budget payments – pensions, public sector wages, social welfare payments.

"These were three and a half years of full stability, financial consolidation of the country, accelerated economic development in all sectors – tourism, energy, agriculture, transport, and even in the IT sector," said the Prime Minister, adding that Montenegro recorded the highest growth rates in Europe of 4.5 percent, on average.

Montenegro, he added, has been developing intensively from south to north, and the Government has spent hundreds of millions of euros on various capital infrastructure projects. In 2020, it started with the ambition to reap the fruits of such strategic thinking, but in March, the coronavirus pandemic closed the entire world economy in one day.

PM Marković said the Government had acted well and efficiently, giving a fantastic response to the coronavirus pandemic in the first months. He pointed out that, creating the preconditions for preserving health, the Government also worked on preserving the economic substance of our economy.

Through three packages of measures, the Government provided various types of incentives for both employees and employers, and there was no lack of support for the socially vulnerable people. The first package of measures was worth EUR 280 million, the second package, which included over 63,000 employees, was worth over EUR 42 million. Thus, jobs were saved, and by creating incentives for new employment, 1,000 new jobs were created. The third package of measures, worth EUR 1.2 billion in four years was created with a vision of diversifying the economy, stimulating production and reducing the country's import dependence.

PR Service

Over EUR 100 million investments in Pljevlja 

Speaking about the projects in Pljevlja, Prime Minister Marković pointed out that significant projects for improving the road infrastructure are being implemented. He reminded that in 2018, the road from Slijepač bridge to Pljevlja was reconstructed, which includes the completion of the 12km section of Crkvice Vrulja, worth EUR 5 million. The works on the modernisation of the road from Vrulja to Mijakovići will be completed in the middle of next year.

"We have agreed on the modernisation of the road from Pljevlja to Metaljka. The works are progressing very well," said the Prime Minister and added that the second phase of the project, up to the border, is being prepared. Works on the reconstruction of the road from Pljevlja to Ranča have also begun.

"At the moment, we have concluded contracts over EUR 30 million, which are spent in Pljevlja. The contractors are in the field, the machines are working and local workforce and local subcontractors are being hired," said PM Marković and pointed out that the Public Works Administration has concluded contracts worth over EUR 18 million for the improvement of utility and social infrastructure.

The Prime Minister pointed out that the decision on the purchase of Coal Mine by Montenegrin Electric Enterprise (EPCG) was excellent and that Coal Mine became one of the most profitable companies, which made over EUR 22 million in profit in three years and in which, over 830 well-paid people from Pljevlja work.

"The Coal Mine, together with the Government and EPCG, is implementing the most important projects on the ecological rehabilitation of the area, which caused damage to the people of Pljevlja due to industrialisation and uncontrolled behaviour," said Prime Minister Marković, noting that the tailings of the former Šuplja stijena mine and the Maljevac landfill will be rehabilitated.

He expressed his belief that the ecological reconstruction of the Pljevlja Thermal Power Plant will soon begin, which will solve the problem of environmental pollution, but also provide resources for the city's heating.

"At the same time, it will create preconditions for faster development of agriculture and tourism. With the ecological reconstruction of the thermal power plant, we are spending over EUR 100 million in Pljevlja today," said the Prime Minister.

He also praised the attitude of the current local leadership, assessing it as constructive.

There was no hidden agenda behind the Law on Freedom of Religion 

When asked by journalist about the Law on Freedom of Religion, Prime Minister Marković said that there was no hidden agenda behind behind the law, that it aims to regulate the issue of freedom of religion according to the most developed standards of today and ensure that all religious communities are in the legal system.

The Prime Minister said that the Serbian Orthodox Church, supported by political actors in the country and abroad, started a campaign and destruction against the Government. Pointing out that he talked with Metropolitan Amfilohije and the clergy at least ten times, the Prime Minister reminded of the proposal for changes to the Law, which was offered by the Government and rejected by the Church.

"They rejected the proposal. Because political and anti-Montenegrin interests are behind their rejection. Unfortunately, the Serbian Church in Montenegro not only does not need a law, but it does not need the state of Montenegro," said Prime Minister Marković, adding that the Serbian Orthodox Church is a political actor leading the campaign for political entities.