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Montenegro pulls region towards EU, PM Marković says in interview with Dnevne novine daily

Montenegro pulls region towards EU, PM Marković says in interview with Dnevne novine daily
Published date 06.01.2018 10:38 | Author PR Service

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Podgorica, Montenegro (6 January 2018) -- Prime Minister Duško Marković said in an interview with Podgorica-based Dnevne novine daily that Montenegro chose European integration in 2006 and that it made the most notable progress compared to the countries of the region. He added that Montenegro pulled the other countries of the region towards the European Union, stressing that, unlike some of the countries of the region, it has long had no dilemmas about choosing the strategic direction and that it does not allow anyone to place it within any packages.

"This year, by entering into an intensive process of closing negotiating chapters as the final phase of our EU accession, we will confirm the vision of the Montenegrin authorities from 2006 that membership in the European Union is the best answer to our challenges. We clearly outlined our vision in the referendum and confirmed it through the adoption of the Declaration of Independence. This is another victory of Montenegro and confirmation of the correctness of the vision that Montenegro belongs to the family of European peoples and countries," said Prime Minister Duško Marković.

He added that it seems strange to him to listen and read about those who now begin saying that the Western Balkans belongs to the European Union and that there is no stability of the European Union without the Western Balkans.

"We started our integration path 12 years ago. I remember how Montenegro suffered because it was the country to tie its destiny to the European Union. In parallel, we, as the bearers of European politics and European ideas in Montenegro, were said to be 'traitors', 'criminals', 'soldiers of fortune', and that Montenegro was a 'non-viable state'. They wanted to unhinge us and place us within some other federations and political projects. Some from outside of Montenegro did not want us in Europe as well. And we did not believe them. We forced Europe to give us a chance. Montenegro pulled the region towards Europe. We preserved the European perspective of the region. We were wrestling with the resistance of those who were slowing down the process out of personal interests trying to present both the integration and the Government in the wrong way in order to create space for new grants for them. Because of all this, today, when we are in the final stage of the process, we do not accept initiatives that would make us equal to the countries that expressed European commitment, but retained some unresolved dilemmas about it. Montenegro has long had no dilemmas! It is irreversibly on the path of European integration and the Western system of values. That is why we do not let anyone place us in any packages. Our position is firm and unchangeable: Montenegro, which has far advanced in the process, cannot be evaluated in the same way as the countries that are only in the beginning! I want to make it clear that the European perspective belongs to them, and Montenegro, as the first next member of the Union, will be standing in solidarity with them strongly advocating for the European perspective of all the countries in our region," the Prime Minister of Montenegro pointed out.

Citizens do not support opposition’s anti-state policy

When asked whether he sees the upcoming presidential and local elections in several municipalities as a chance for further strengthening of democracy in Montenegro or he believes that there will be more forces to see the elections as an opportunity for new attempts of destruction of the State and the system, Prime Minister Marković noted that the recent local elections in the four municipalities have once again confirmed the leading political position of the Democratic Party of Socialists and showed that most of the citizens recognise the politics of that party as a credible one.

"On the other hand, it has been shown that, despite the unprecedented pressure of a part of the opposition to voters and our activists on the ground, citizens do not support the anti-state policy. However, despite the fact that recent elections have showed that the opposition’s irresponsible and destructive attitude towards the Parliament and their duties made them only losers, it would be naive to expect that the opposition is going to abandon the current policy. In the absence of programmes and ideas, in the absence of results, and finally lacking credibility, and given the acknowledgement of Montenegro's successes both at international and national levels, the opposition continues with its autistic policy. Unfortunately, apart from the partial breakdown of the boycott of parliament, there is no sign of maturity in that regard. That is why I expect the continuation of activities whose most recognisable forms will be the issuing of false and populist statements, attempts to fabricate affair and incite incidents, denials, defamations and bringing into question what are undisputed successes of the Government," said Prime Minister Marković.

He added that he does not doubt that the citizens will, in such circumstances, respond maturely and responsibly as they did so in more difficult times.

"Elections will be a new confirmation of the strengthening of democracy in Montenegro. To clarify: We have a media scene where there is almost no room for good news and affirmation of results. Opposition does not realise that the elections are an opportunity for competition, not for destructiona and destabilisation of the State. Having all this in mind, If you have in the end a result that shows the maturity and responsibility of citizens, then it certainly represents a strong confirmation of democracy. Therefore, I am convinced that the content of the pre-election campaign will be the same as it was until now, but I am sure that this will not have serious consequences for the State and the system," Prime Minister Duško Marković underscored in an interview with Dnevne novine daily.

Optimism based on achievements

The Prime Minister said that the optimistic projections for 2018 are based on the Government’s excellent economic results in 2017, which are facts that cannot be disputed.

"In terms of economy, 2018 is the year in which we want to confirm these results. In that respect, we see the developmental chances primarily in numerous projects in infrastructure, energy, tourism and agriculture. By working on the implementation of these projects, we will create new jobs, especially for young and educated people, and make our economy grow, thus contributing the overall development of the country. Our optimism is also based on what I experience in daily meetings with citizens and the business community. The Government has earned trust of both relevant international partners and partners from the domestic business community and, of course, the trust of citizens. The new optimism that follows our successes, as well as the confidence showed by the citizens, resulted from our policies and our visions," Prime Minister Duško Marković underlined.