First 100 Days of New Montenegrin Government: Promises Kept
• Progress made on meeting all seven EU requirements for launch of accession talks
• Tight fiscal discipline keeps Montenegro in line with Maastricht requirements
• Net FDI inflow for first two months up 21.5% (preliminary data)
Podgorica, Montenegro (12 April 2011) – Prime Minister Igor Lukšić held a press conference marking the first 100 days of his government, where he presented the progress in delivering on the promises made in his policy speech.
In the first 100 days, the Government focused on delivering on the EU accession agenda, repairing the damage caused by unprecedented floods in late 2010 and devising instruments to cushion against the social impact of the global price rise.
Pursuing its European integration agenda, the Government has made manifest progress in meeting all of the EU’s seven requirements for the launch of EU accession talks.
“The Police Authority and the National Security Agency are taking decisive and firm action to curb organised crime,” said PM Lukšić, adding that “in the past 100 days we have shown determination to cooperate with the countries of the region and other partners and implement agreements on fight against corruption and organised crime.”
Referring to fiscal policy plans, the PM stressed that the Government seeks to save another EUR 50 million this year, on top of EUR 250 million worth of public expenditure cuts since 2009.
The Government’s fiscal policy was commended in the IMF’s latest report. For the first time in two years the IMF and the Montenegrin Government agreed over national growth forecasts. In addition, Moody’s has upgraded Montenegro’s credit outlook from negative to stable.
The PM also underlined the high demand for Montenegro’s second Eurobond issues worth EUR 180 million, which attracted 67 investors from 21 countries in Europe, Asia and United States, at a 0.5 percentage point lower interest rate than last year. This was this year’s first transaction on the European market for a country with a credit rating below A, which speaks of credibility and trustworthiness of Montenegro’s public finances.
Although increased by Eurobond issue, Montenegro’s public debt, in the first quarter of 2011, reached around 40% and remains below the EU threshold. In this year’s first quarter, the industrial production volume rose 5% on the corresponding period last year.
According to preliminary data for the first two months of 2011, net FDI inflow to Montenegro reached EUR 76 million, which is 21.5% up on the corresponding period in 2010.
With a view to cutting red tape for business, the Government introduced amendments to a set of laws, setting up one-stop-shops for issuing building permits and reducing the number of procedures in the application process from 14 to only two.