Borrowing, shutting companies down, dismissing and threatening while talking about reconciliation

Vlada Crne Gore

Borrowing, shutting companies down, dismissing and threatening while talking about reconciliation

Vesna Šofranac

Exactly one month ago, on 4th December last year, the majority in the Parliament of Montenegro elected a new Government headed by Mr Zdravko Krivokapić. Since then, there was almost not a single day that has passed without various decisions coming from the Prime Minister’s Office, some of which will have far-reaching consequences for Montenegrin citizens.


The government drew Montenegro into a €750M debt, and it did that in secrecy, as it feared obstruction, then the Government entered the new year without a budget, also in secrecy, then it announced that it was shutting down the national carrier Montenegro Airlines and establishing a new one (ToMontenegro), claiming that the new airline will not cost a single euro, which was denied by the Minister of Finance at the beginning of the year. Minister Spajić published on his Twitter account that four of the total €30M of initial capital had been paid to the new carrier.

And that’s not all. The government passed amendments to the Law on Freedom of Religion without asking for the opinion of the Venice Commission, without a public debate and without inviting the Montenegrin Orthodox Church to at least attend short-term one-day consultations by which Justice Minister Mr Vladimir Leposavić tried to sell a false story to the public, both domestic and foreign ones, that all religious communities had supported the new solutions.


And that’s not all either. In such a short time, Mr Krivokapić and his experts managed to recall seven ambassadors, then to put an asterisk (without a footnote) next to Kosovo in a document of the Ministry of Health as if it were a state that Montenegro had not recognized, while the new four-portfolios minister (of education, science, culture, and sport), Ms Vesna Bratić first visited Father Gojko Perović, suggesting that this Theological School should be state-financed as part of formal education…


The current government in 30 days removed everyone they could while preparing the ground by the new solutions to the Law on Civil Servants and State Employees (which caused the reaction by the EU) for the removals at deeper levels (directors of schools, hospitals, health-care centers… as well as ambassadors that were spared in the new wave). And when this is done, the next are everyone else, including from assistants and Secretaries to the cleaning and driving staff.


The first month of the Government’s work was marked by Krivokapić’s visit to Brussels and his meeting with the NATO’s Secretary General, Mr Jens Stoltenberg, where he promised that Montenegro would stay Alliance’s reliable partner, but appointed persons who had been burning NATO’s flags as his closest associates, and appointed a politically active person as the Head of ANB (National Security Agency), which is illegal.

Over the past month ministers have shown what democratic, moral and human capacity they have and that they do not mind anyone’s opinion, being confident that the support of the international partners is enough for them to do anything to “dismantle the system”, while dismantling Montenegro as a civic, secular and anti-fascism state.

Is it based on this support, if it really exists to such an extent, that the Vice President Mr Dritan Abazović, said to the State’s President Mr Milo Đukanović that he had earned a yellow card by returning the Law on the Freedom of Religion to re-examination? The Law was written by the legal team of Metropolitanate of Montenegro and the Littoral.


Mr Abazović is not an exception. Recall the messages of the new ministers causing public reactions and often ridicule:

The four-portfolio Minister, Ms Bratić calls herself a female chetnik, the renowned Croatian columnist Mr Dežulović “ustasha trash” and “jackass”, Montenegrins “Milonegrins” and she shocked the public by her comment about the greatest SFRY historian, Ms Latinka Perović, that people who are more alive than her get buried.

The Foreign Minister Đorđe Radulović practically mocked the recalled Ambassador to China, Mr Darko Pajović, by liking someone’s tweet calling Mr Pajović “a bat”. Scandalous is the statement by the Justice Minister, Mr Leposavić, who said that the Law on Amnesty will be passed should the Court of Appeals confirm the first-instance verdict sentencing Democratic Front leaders Mr Andrija Mandić and Mr Milan Knežević to a five-year imprisonment each in the attempted terrorism during parliamentary election on 16th October, 2016.

The Minister of Economic Development, Mr Jakov Milatović, launched an initiative for a Sunday-off, but soon withdrew it. Then he recently signed a document that caused laughter – Mr Milatović proposed the termination of the office of Ms Branka Žižić the Director General in the Directorate for Innovation and Technological Development in the Ministry of Science, and he did that due to the “abolition of the Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare”. Such fouls further undermine the credibility of the executive power, which has so far shown a lot of superficiality, inconsistency, non-transparency, as well as revenge.


Aware that even the citizens who voted for them could soon become bored by their constant accusations against the previous government, the new government is in a hurry to enter “deeply” into all pores of Montenegrin society, in order to prevent any possibility that the DPS and its coalition partners again become the decisive political entity in the country in the next election.

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