20 November 2019
  • 14:45 HOW TO PREPARE FOR GROWTH SLOWDOWN
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  • 13:46 HOT TOPICS: EU fails to set accession talks date for North Macedonia and Albania; “Mini Schengen” between Balkan countries; Serbia to sign free trade agreement with EAEU; Erdogan in Serbia; Montenegro publishes call for concession of its airports
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Slovenian and Croatian Prime Ministers Marjan Šarec and Andrej Plenković met for the first time on Wednesday at a summit of EU leaders in Salzburg. Both told reporters it was not a bilateral meeting as such, but that they only met on the sidelines of the summit. “We introduced ourselves to each other, as good neighbours should, but it wasn’t the right time for heavy discussions”, said Šarec before today’s talks between EU presidents and governments. Plenković expressed his belief the two will have productive dialogues, strive for good relations and resolve the open border issue between the two countries. Regarding the arbitration, Plenković said the European Commission did not even give an opinion on the Slovenian lawsuit against Croatia for not recognising the arbitration ruling. “Croatia’s position is very clear: we want to come up with a solution that will satisfy both Slovenia and Croatia,” he said.

Slovenia President’s nomination of Dr Primož Dolenc as the next governor for Bank of Slovenia has caused a lot of debate across the country’s media. Dolenc has been deputy governor and member of the board of the Bank of Slovenia since April 6, 2016. However, the media is doubtful he enjoys the support of the majority in the parliament to become the next governor. “It is unclear whether Dolenc will indeed be appointed by the National Assembly, as neither he nor any of the remaining four candidates enjoy the necessary support of 46 MPs in the 90-member legislature”, STA reports. Daily Dnevnik questions Borut Pahor’s decision because it came after the parliamentary groups made clear to the President the candidate does not enjoy their full support. But , according to STA, “the President believes… that Dolenc ‘might be able to get the needed support in the National Assembly’ after his (public) presentation.” Dnevnik reports that the National Assembly might decide on the new governor as early as September 26.

Montenegro’s official data shows there are 188,000 employed persons, while 191,000 are registered as pensioners, beneficiaries of social assistance and unemployed. The figures are worrying and a challenge that the state has to solve and not close its eyes to the problem, reports CdM. Professor at the Faculty of Management in Herceg Novi and economic analyst Vasilije Kostić told CdM the data should not just be a temporary worry but a lasting concern until the ratio of those figures is overturned in favour of the number of employees, and relations in the structure of these categories does not significantly improve. He emphasizes the unemployment rate is high and the number of employees is too small to carry all the burden of other categories.”If we only take the number of employees and pensioners, we get the ratio of about 1: 1.6, which is absolutely insufficient. In addition, Montenegro is socially generous in terms of the number of beneficiaries of some form of social benefits (regardless of the benefit’s amount), which in turn creates a significant additional burden for those who generate new value.” Kostić also adds that the number of people working in the government sector exceeds 50,000, which means that only over 120,000 private sector employees support the entire country of 625,000 inhabitants. Hence, Kostić concludes, it is unequivocal that one of the main directions of the Montenegrin economy should be to create jobs and to do so dynamically.

Adriatic Journal

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