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Montenegro

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MONTENEGRO


  
  

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Key Economic Data 
 
  2003 2002 2001 Ranking(2003)
GDP
Millions of US $
         
GNI per capita
 US $ 106
Ranking is given out of 208 nations - (data from the World Bank)


Update No: 113 - (26/10/06)

The world has a new country 
'Montenegro' means 'black mountain' in English. Montenegro is, indeed, a very rugged and mountainous country. But it is green, indeed verdant in its numerous valleys, while it has a resplendent coastline on the magnificent blue of the Adriatic Sea.
The whole country is green in another sense. It has just acquired independence and is not quite sure what to do with it, although the main drift is clear enough, join the West beyond that magnificent sea, leaving the murkily black history of its annexation to the now defunct Yugoslavia behind.
The Montenegrins voted on September 10th in the first parliamentary elections since their tiny Balkan state split from Serbia on May 21. It was predictably won by the pro-independence, pro-presidential bloc. Although the vote in May was on a knife edge, popular opinion has swung strongly in favour of independence now that it is an established reality. There is something exhilarating about being master of one's own fate, as they now are.
The vote for the 81-seat assembly was key to Montenegro's hopes for joining the European Union and NATO, as the new parliament will be charged with drafting and passing a new national constitution for the world's newest country. 
All of Montenegro's main political parties are united in their support for EU membership. Analysts said that Djukanovic, the longest-serving prime minister in the Balkans, owed his victory to the failure of the pro-Serbian opposition to recover from defeat in the referendum in May that saw Montenegro emerge as an independent state and break its ties with Serbia.
Djukanovic's new government is expected to push for a new constitution. The prime minister has also promised speedy entry into the Partnership for Peace, a first step toward NATO membership, and a deal on closer political and economic ties with the European Union. 
The new government also has to eradicate a reputation for corruption and weak institutions. The margin of Djukanovic's victory would help the pace of reforms, but some questioned whether his government would have the resolve to implement them.

A cloud on the horizon- dark and menacing 
What will the new fate of Montenegro be? Ironically, it will probably be decided from outside.
Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic long advocated integration with the West as the goal. But there is a problem. Montenegro still has a black aspect - it is rife with corruption, smuggling and crime, in the traditional Balkans mountain style.
It is most unlikely that the EU will want to permit its worst elements to enter unopposed. There is a need for clarification all around.

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The new country is attracting a great deal of interest from abroad, particularly from Russia, the implications of which could be significant. It is a fabulously beautiful place right on the Adriatic. In a sense it is the most traditionally Balkans state in the region never having been fully occupied by the Turks.

Montenegro Promised Slovenia's Assistance in EU Bid 
President Janez Drnovsek has promised Slovenia's assistance in Montenegro's efforts to join the EU as he held talks with his Montenegrin counterpart Filip Vujanovic in Ljubljana on 12th October. 
The two countries have a long record of cooperation, political and economic relations are good and they will remain so in the future as Slovenia supports Montenegro on its path towards the EU, Drnovsek told the press. Drnovsek believes that Montenegro should join the EU soon, however it is uncertain when the EU will admit new members. 
They almost certainly will have to wait. President of the European Commission Barroso made that clear at the end of September. Montenegro is a great place, but has the Balkan vices as well, as we have seen, corruption and crime, especially massive smuggling. Steps will be needed to combat them before EU entry can be put on the agenda, but the EU itself is in a state of uncertainty about enlargement generally.
Meanwhile, Vujanovic pointed out that Montenegro fulfils all the conditions for joining the Partnership for Peace and voiced his hope that Slovenia will support its efforts at the NATO summit in Riga in November. 
Discussing the economic cooperation between the countries, Vujanovic said that Slovenian companies have a good name in Montenegro and a good chance to participate in infrastructure projects that Montenegro is planning. Slovenian companies represent an important share of foreign direct investments (FDI) in Montenegro, which wants to build the reputation of a safe country, open for foreign investments. 
Vujanovic moreover thanked Slovenia for recognising Montenegro's independence and for establishing diplomatic relations quickly after the country declared its independence on 3rd June 2006. 
Slovenia recognised Montenegro's independence on 21st June, the two countries formally established diplomatic relations on 22nd June, and on 23rd June the Slovenian embassy was opened in Montenegro's capital Podgorica. However the embassy is still headed by a charge d'affaires Branko Rakovec, and Drnovsek expressed his hope that Slovenia's government will nominate an ambassador soon. 
Vujanovic's first official visit to Slovenia since Montenegro declared independence from Serbia was labelled by Drnovsek as "historical." Drnovsek, being the first foreign statesman to do so, visited Podgorica only one day after the 21st May referendum at which just over 55% of those that took part voted for Montenegro's independence. 
Montenegro's efforts to join the EU and NATO also topped Vujanovic's talks with Prime Minister Janez Jansa along with the situation in the Western Balkans and bilateral relations. Jansa also congratulated Vujanovic on a peaceful and democratic referendum on independence.

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BANKING

HPB purchases 35% of shares in CDA 


Croatian postal bank (HPB) purchased 35 per cent of shares of Montenegro's Central Depository Agency (CDA) for 1.23 million Euro, Montenegrin independent portal Vijesti said, Croatia Today reported on September 27th.
HPB was buying a stake in CDA as a broker for one of Croatia's investment funds, the reports said. The starting price in the race for 35 per cent of CDA was 90,000 Euro, and has hiked 14 times by the time the bidding was over, news website reporter.gr cited. 
CDA is the only database on shares in Montenegro. Montenegrin Central bank holds a 35 stake in CDA, 25 per cent is held by business banks, while the remaining portion is held by company Fin invest. The chief CDA sources of revenues are commissions from stock exchange transactions.

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TELECOMMUNICATIONS

Telekom Crne Gore now known as Crnogorski Telekom

Montenegro's biggest fixed-line phone, mobile and internet operator, Telekom Crne Gore, completed its re-branding and will now be known as Crnogorski Telekom, setimes.com reported.
Under an agreement with Germany's Deutsche Telekom, it will also adopt the internationally renowned T-Mobile brand on the local market. Deutsche Telekom is a majority owner of the Hungarian Magyar Telekom, which in turn controls a 76.53% stake in the Montenegrin telco. 

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