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PM Marković hosts New Year's reception: We made great strides in 2017, we will keep up same pace in 2018

PM Marković hosts New Year
Published date 26.12.2017 14:27 | Author PR Service

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Prime Minister Duško Marković said that NATO membership is the most important achievement of our country in 2017, that Montenegro has made great strides in the past year, that it has earned the strong trust of international financial institutions, which is the basis for achieving the main task of this Government – creating the conditions for providing a better life for the citizens, to which the Government will be uncompromisingly committed in the next year.

I have repeatedly emphasised that in 2017 we made great strides in the field of international affirmation of our country. Montenegro until June this year and Montenegro after gaining full membership in the NATO alliance – is not nor will ever be the same story anymore. Historically, membership in the North Atlantic Alliance guarantees long-term peace, stability and sovereignty of the Montenegrin state, for the first time in such a reliable way, guaranteed by the most powerful forces of today. In terms of further economic and democratic development of our society, membership in the NATO provides the best preconditions for accelerated overall progress and achievement of the highest standards that citizens of the most developed countries of today's world enjoy. It is logical, therefore, that I assessed this event as the most important achievement of our country in 2017, Prime Minister Marković said on Tuesday, at a traditional New Year's reception for high-ranking representatives of the legislative, executive and judicial powers, political, economic, cultural and public life and the diplomatic corps.

The Prime Minister assessed that Montenegro achieved significant results in our second integration process – joining the European Union by opening eight negotiating chapters in just over a year, and temporary closing the two chapters, adding that our goal is to open the three remaining chapters in the first half of the following year in order to complete this part of our negotiation process and to strongly start the phase of closing chapters.

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I am convinced that by the end of the term of this Government we will complete our negotiations with the European Union and prepare Montenegro for full membership. Our strategic foreign policy goals, therefore, are accomplished with good dynamics and in a way that undoubtedly strengthened the position and reputation of our country on the international scene, PM Marković noted.

In this context, the Prime Minister also mentioned the official visit of the Vice President of the United States of America, Mike Pence, which strongly confirmed the strategic partnership of the two countries.

It was the first top-level visit from Washington and also an unequivocal sign of support to everything that Montenegro has done in the field of Euro-Atlantic integration, PM Marković said.

The Prime Minister assessed the strong confidence that Montenegro has earned in the past years in international financial institutions, primarily the World Bank and the IMF, as important, adding that fiscal consolidation, the increase in our credit rating and the progress on the competitiveness lists and the final annual growth of the economy of 4.5 percent.

This result sorts us in the fifth place in Europe according to the economic growth rate, and I do not emphasise it in order to raise the rating either of the Government or the Prime Minister. I point this out as a result which creates the basis for a better life of citizens, which is the main task that this Government adopted and accepted in November last year, Prime Minister Marković said.

The Prime Minister stressed out that the Government would be uncompromisingly committed to achieving this promise in the following year.
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So, maintaining strong economic growth, for which we need an attractive business environment, our country's attractiveness as an investment destination, further structural reforms in order to increase competitiveness, all with the ultimate goal: creating new jobs for young and educated people. I, really optimistic, look at our perspectives in achieving these goals. All that we have accomplished this year gives me the right to do so, Prime Minister Duško Marković emphasised.

This is an opportunity to thank the entire Montenegrin economy, as well as those companies, individuals and organisations who have understood and supported the Government's efforts. Especially in the growth of the economy, as well as in the term of suppressing the gray economy and strict respect and fulfillment of obligations from the domain of financial discipline. In this terms, there will be no compromise in the next year. On the contrary! We will step up our efforts so that the state collects every euro that belongs to it, confident that we are doing the biggest favour to those economic entities that base their business on the principle of proper fulfillment of their obligations towards the state, the Prime Minister said.
Speaking about the political situation, Prime Minister Marković noted that government policies were not supported and accepted by everyone.

An irrational and meaningless boycott of the Parliament, the undemocratic attitude towards own political commitments by the opposition parties, created a political environment that the Government did not rejoice in. We pointed to this nonsense from the beginning, offered dialogue as a way of reaching acceptable solutions, and after a year the most powerful opposition block returned to the Parliament. Where have you been - nowhere, what have you done - nothing, the Prime Minister said, adding that he expected, though he does not know how realistic is that, that in the following year everyone will be wiser and more willing to reach dialogue.

That our engagement on the public political scene will mark the culture of dialogue and exchange of arguments, rather than the offensive rhetoric, impassionedness, and disregard of personal and family values. Particularly, I am referring to the generation of younger politicians in the opposition who would have to distinguish a line that divides the sharp political dictionary from impoliteness and rudeness! Let us all understand the opportunities that will be shown to us, as a society, in 2018: both in terms of intensive European integration and in the context of accelerated economic growth and some perspectives for new, better-paid jobs; in order to raise the standard of our citizens, the Prime Minister emphasised.

At the end of his address, the Prime Minister said that the government would make its greatest effort and contribution in this regard.

I hope that this momentum of optimism, which we need and without which a society can hardly and painfully move forward, will be more evident in the following year. That it will come from more addresses than this year. Finally, that all actors of political and social life in Montenegro will be responsible and dedicated to the important election processes that are awaiting us in the first half of the following year, so that the democratic will of the citizens is clearly stated and generally accepted, PM Marković concluded.