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Prime Minister Marković: Montenegro is expecting financial support for priority infrastructure projects

Prime Minister Marković: Montenegro is expecting financial support for priority infrastructure projects
Published date 21.03.2018 15:20 | Author PR Service

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PR ServicePodgorica, Montenegro (21 March 2018) -- Prime Minister Duško Marković said during the Questions to the Prime Minister session in the Parliament earlier today that he is expecting financial support from the European Union for the country's priority infrastructure projects, as they are of common interest both for the region and a broader perspective of joining the EU.

Answering a question by an MP from the Democratic Party of Socialists whether the country expects financial support for its major infrastructure projects, the Prime Minister said that Montenegro is at the stage of accelerated infrastructure development, particularly referring to the two key projects worth more than one billion euros: the priority section of the Bar - Boljare motorway and the undersea energy cable towards Italy and Western Europe.

"Significance of these projects for Montenegro is just one segment of the overall development and infrastructure aspect through which our country should be observed. Development of major infrastructure projects implies their harmonious integration into a wider regional image. Therefore, it is equally important to see the priority section of the motorway as a link between Podgorica and Kolašin, but also as part of the South East Europe Transport Observatory (SEETO), that is of the route 4 – the Orient/East-Med Corridor. Analogously, the 400 kV transmission line Lastva – Pljevlja is a connection between the two significant energy points in Montenegro, but at the same time it is an important segment of the Trans-Balkan energy corridor. So, we manage to harmonise our national priorities in the field of infrastructure with European projections and plans related to the region within the initiatives such as the Berlin Process and Investment Framework for the Western Balkans. The EU clearly places its focus on our region and its long-term prosperity, and this focus has been confirmed by the recently published European Commission's Strategy for the Western Balkans," said the Prime Minister.

Prime Minister Duško Marković stressed that it is necessary to highlight these projects that have not yet been initiated, namely the regional project of the Adriatic-Ionian Corridor, a fast road and gas pipeline, and the modernisation and expansion of railway infrastructure.

"In the context of stronger regional integration and its faster economic growth, we expect this initiative to be recognised as one of the significant developmental prerequisites, and be part of the plans for the next EU-Western Balkans summit under the Bulgarian presidency. I discussed this topic with Bulgarian Prime Minister Borisov during the recent visit of the European Commission's President to Sofia," the Prime Minister noted.

The Prime Minister added that Montenegro is expecting support from the EU because, in addition to support related to the feasibility studies and technical documentation, the country succeeded in providing significant investment grants from the European Union in the previous period.

"Railway projects, for instance, received support from the European Union through grants up to 50% of the investment value, and at this moment we have at our disposal EUR 45 million for concrete investments in railway and electricity infrastructure. It is up to us to efficiently use the funds, but also to apply for new projects," said the Prime Minister. He stated that, when it comes to the Adriatic-Ionian motorway, Montenegro already uses a part of the allocated funds of EUR 3.5 million for drafting the Feasibility Study.

"On the Montenegrin side, a prioritisation has been made among the by-passes around Herceg Novi, Budva and Bar, and the technical documentation for the priority bypass around Budva has been updated. Given that the activity is financed through the Investment Framework for the Western Balkan amounting to EUR 500,000, we are awaiting the decision on the application for an investment grant for these purposes. Namely, a sub-section of the bypass around Budva with access roads and two loops (13 km long) is the project we applied for support totaling EUR 40 million. The decision should be made at the Summit of the Western Balkan Six in London in July this year. Furthermore, through the invitation of the Investment Framework for the Western Balkans, we also applied for a further investment in the railway sector. The programme includes a general overhaul of the upper bar of the Bar - Vrbnica railway, repair of steel bridges, procurement of three electric motors for local passenger traffic, general overhaul and equipment of workshops and depots for maintenance of rolling stock in Podgorica, Bar and Nikšić," the Prime Minister concluded.

Government is steadfastly oriented towards development of Northern Region

Answering a question by Caucus of the Bosniak Party, the coalition “Shqiptaret te vendosur – Albanci odlučno (Albanians Decisively)” – Forca, DUA and AA and the Croatian Civil Initiative on development plans for Plav and Gusinje, Prime Minister Duško Marković said that our Northern Region is rich in resources and the unique cultural heritage, noting that the municipalities of Plav and Gusinje have additional importance as border municipalities.

In this respect, geographical position of these two municipalities is strategically important for further affirmation of relations with our neighbors. As the Prime Minister stressed, the Government pays special attention to this aspect through close regional cooperation in which Montenegro has the reputation of a country that safeguards peace, stability and the driving force behind the European perspective of the entire region.

Therefore, I agree that additional investment is needed in terms of affirmation and valorisation of resources of Plav and Gusinje, and equally aware that Plav and Gusinje, apart from the already mentioned potentials, must also have the necessary state support through the development of infrastructure, in order to enable these potentials to be used,” the Prime Minster highlighted, adding that “for this reason, the Government is steadfastly oriented towards the development of the Northern region.”

We have to settle with grey economy

When asked by Caucus of the Social Democrats of Montenegro and the Liberal Party about the Government’s fight against the grey economy, Prime Minister Duško Marković said that as a responsible Government, it does everything to introduce the informal economy into legal flows, and the data on the continuous growth of the original budget revenues from year to year testify that we have results. He stated that the total budget revenues in the past year increased by EUR 79 million or 5.3% compared to 2016, and this trend continues during the first quarter of 2018.

PUBLIC RELATIONS SERVICE OF THE GOVERNMENT OF MONTENEGRO