Thursday, May 23, 2024
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Montenegro: Can the alternative to Economic Citizenship be found?

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The country must abolish the Program of Economic Citizenship, announced Prime Minister Dritan Abazović and added that he is more than willing to hear ideas about an alternative to it or a concept that meets the requirements of the EU and the interests of Montenegro.

“We have to stop with this program and we have no solutions.” “Can we find an alternative or a concept that meets the requirements of the EU and the interests of Montenegro, I am more than willing to hear such ideas,” Abazović said.

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At a meeting with businessmen held at the Chamber of Commerce (PKCG), he stated that the Program of Economic Statehood, which should end on December 31, has had enormous financial effects on Montenegro.

“If I had designed it, it would have been different, I think that the price of our passport is low.” But it produced effects like few other projects. It gave the effects of 300 million cumulative and 70 million direct payments to the budget, which will go to the north of the country,” said Abazović.

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He added that this means 250,000 euros for each signature.

“The dilemma was for the international community about money laundering, but the only people who are controlled and for whom there is a clearance are people who apply for economic citizenship. Everything else is frivolous talk,” said Abazović.

He announced that If someone in Montenegro wants to invest dirty money, he can do it without any economic citizenship.

“Only those who apply for economic citizenship get into the heart of business arrangements,” said Abazović.

The Chairman of the Board of the Association of Tourism and Hospitality in PKCG, Ranko Jovović, said that they are happy with the results from tourism, which has the largest share in GDP.

“We have a very successful cooperation with the Ministry of Economic Development and Tourism, while we will wait for the next season with much greater promotion,” said Jovović.

He added that problems In the deficit of personnel with appropriate knowledge and skills are expressed in all segments.

“The current supply of professional staff is not satisfactory, and a new strategy for the development of human resources is needed,” Abazović announced.

He believes that the problem is a chronic lack of seasonal workers, but that it also exists in construction.

“Our people are asking for big compensations to work.” The daily wage for a hygienist is 30 euros. Similarly when it comes to people who work as waiters. The arrival of people from abroad in that sector is inevitable and I don’t see a solution for that,” Abazović said.

He stated that the only way is to extend the season, as a couple of serious hotels are expected to open in the next couple of years.

“We need to use some comparative practice and that people from the north who work have some kind of material satisfaction throughout the year,” Abazović believes.

President of the Board of the Association of Agricultural and Food Industry in PKCG, Milutin Đuranović, said that the participation of the agricultural sector in the GDP is 12.5 percent, and this year it will be higher due to rising prices.

“Agrobudget participates in Montenegro’s budget by about two percent. 52 million euros has been set aside for agriculture, and when we look at the structure of the budget of the Ministry of Agriculture, almost EUR eight million are old age compensations, we arrive at 1.3 percent of the expenditure for agriculture and production,” said Đuranović.

He stated that farmers demand that the budget follows the rate of inflation, that those who have pastures can use them, and with this budget they can hardly do that.

Abazović said that the problem is not the budget for agriculture, but the use of funds.

“We used 13 percent of funds from the funds, they do not reach the people.” “Probably, the problem is up to us, a mechanism has not been found, but we need to have a higher utilization of placements in order for them to use the funds more,” said Abazović.

The Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management, Vladimir Joković, announced that everyone has heard the data on economic developments, but that does not mean that they should be satisfied, especially not where agriculture and forestry are concerned.

“there’s excess of wine and certain seasonal products, and we import more than we export,” said Joković.

He stated that of course the budget, which in Serbia is five percent of GDP, is not enough.

“That would be 142 million euros with us, and we have 53 million euros.” Also, a big problem is the non-utilization of these funds. “The procedures are complicated, but they did everything from Europe where they were tricked so that it wouldn’t happen again,” added Joković.

The Minister of Economic Development and Tourism, Goran Đurović, assessed that Montenegrin businessmen showed tenacity and resilience, which is commendable.

“We had oil, electricity and I would like to thank all the merchants because there was everything on our shelves at all times, unlike all EU countries,” said Đurović.

Speaking about the law on business companies, he announced that it is the most modern law in the region, which is futuristically conceived.

“It provides opportunities that the economy does not need at the moment, but there is room for companies to be creative in their expression,” Đurović added.

Speaking about the situation in the railway, Abazović said that there are too many companies in that sector.

“After two years, Montecargo became profitable and recovered 90 percent of its fleet. We have maintenance, but with the prices we have now, they cannot be profitable. The proposal is that those two companies should merge,” said Abazović.

He stated that the Railway Infrastructure (ŽICG) has four million EUR of debt to the state, which creates their inability to be given credit, which they have to somehow compensate with assets.

“I also believe that there is no port without a railway,” added Abazović.

The executive director of Elektroprivreda (EPCG), Nikola Rovčanin, said that the year of the energy crisis is behind us, while our economic sector has shown resilience and stability.

“We had a very critical period in the summer, which cannot be allowed anymore.” It is very important that investments in solar energy start,” said Rovčanin.

He stated that they started exporting 1.5 to 2 million euros, while this is a bad hydrological year despite this rain wave.

Rovčanin said that the billing is over 100 percent, that’s why the price of electricity has been maintained for the next year, while we have one of the lowest prices in Europe, local media writes.

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