5 years of independence: How the critics views situation in Montenegro…

We’re falling into a trap. After the eternal prime minister, Milo Djukanovic has been moved to the reserve, party position -  we began to forget the Democratic Party of Socialists. To lose it from sight. To accept it by being – uncritical, intellectual passive, silent. Political guilt of such omission is – disastrous.

It is important to note – DPS is not a party. It is the institutional cover and alibi for Milo Djukanovic. Refuge for all his suspicious dealings and of those close to him.   Montenegro’s Leviathan, which for two decades looms over us, our institutions and our society.

It is the counter for obtaining immunity at which may apply – yes-persons, loyal and servile aparatchiks of the government and its coryphaeus. It is a shell without content in which  squeeze themselves to a point of rupture: ministers,  vice-presidents, deputies, directors, secretaries, spies, businessmen…DPS is a political invertebrate, a creation without soul, a conglomerate of interests, not of values. An Anti-Party.

The owner of that shop is a man whom the Italian judiciary characterized as a “dangerous international criminal” against whom an arrest warrant was issued  (final verdict of the Italian High Court; Djukanovic case of immunity, upon suit filed in late 2004 by Public Prosecutor from Naples), whose name was placed first among 15 suspected of mafia association for cigarette smuggling and money laundering, and whose case is now archived (by when – the former Prosecutor of the Hague Tribunal for war crimes in former Yugoslavia,  Jeffrey Nays said these days that the process for cigarette smuggling case against former Prime Minister of Montenegro is still open), for which the Italian Minister of Finance and  longtime head of the Agency for fight against mafia Otaviano del Turco said: “Without Djukanovic there would be no Prudentino, the most powerful, richest and most dangerous smuggler in the Mediterranean. On the other hand, without Prudentino, there would be no Djukanovic”

Unfortunately, it seems that many needed to wait twenty years for a classical political slaughter – the showdown between that and such Milo Djukanovic and Svetozar Marovic, in order to understand what Democratic  Democratic Party of Socialists is all about.

The way it is structured, designed, on what moral grounds it is built. The last Marovic’s poetic silence is a guideline for DPS’s future. Did we have to wait for the dirty political showdown of the two key political strategists of our desperation to realize that, for example – Zavala affair – is a fraud?

The way Zavala is unfolding, will also unfold Avala,  Aluminium Combine, Ironworks, Electricity Utility and Valdanos…..and – the Democratic Party of Socialists. It is an issue of time and speed of awakening of the sleeping “citizens” when the DPS  will disappear in their internal battle for the large prey.

DPS is a warmed up political corpse. It is a structure that should be deconstructed as soon as possible, as it has thrust so deeply, strongly and comprehensively into the social being that it simply – decimates and destroys the same. It erodes institutions, kills the individual, through nepotism creates a wall that is too high for the educated and badly needed young staff.

That hybrid of suspicious big business, shady characters, shady strategic partners of dubious legitimacy does not have real membership. It does not have true supporters, because that political creature does not even have a genuine idea – save the one on preserving the boss and the prey.

That para-political malformation gets voters and voters not by the quality of ideas, but the power of machinery. Not by the quality of the program, but the quantity of money. Not by the power of idea, but the idea of power.

To look for a healthy core of the DPS is a political crime. It is a germ  of complicity. Quasi-democratic attitude, which is very dangerous. Quasi-transparency, which can be fatal. Because – did anyone ever see that healthy core?

Where is it located? Did someone from DPS assert himself as its promoter? Where is that  statement that represents a seed of normal and  different DPS? Which politician from the ranks of the Democratic Party  Socialists opposed the official view? When? In what way?

If such healthy core really existed, wouldn’t it have already imposed itself on us, as did the representatives of the healthy core of the society – Slavko Perovic, Milan Popovic, Filip Kovacevic  Vanja Calovic and others?

Would we have to search for him? To guess? To conduct debates? Wouldn’t someone from such healthy core already notified us by means of a statement, article, appearance in public?

Doesn’t that search for such famous sound core show and prove in the best possible manner that the story about it – is actually made up, imposed and controlled.That and such idea is essentially a pontoon bridge, by which a passage for escape will be created to hyenas with prey in their teeth. It is a cliché created so that certain individuals from the regime can attach themselves to it  at the momemt of the final party showdown, which is certain and inevitable. This idea is the straw of salvation for those who in the last two decades have been actively and passively destroying Montenegro.

The idea of a healthy nucleus is – politically sick idea. Didn’t Zoran Djindjic, in whom swear politicians and analysts of liberal worldview, say that on key issues – there is no compromise.

The myth of the healthy core thickens the already dull edge of the critical knife in Montenegro. This perfidious political idea promotes the phenomenon of counter-lustration, and not lustration – which is the only cure for our social ills.Healthycore is the idea of prolonging the agony, the collective amnesia and controlled blindness.

Montenegro does not need the non-existent “healthy core” of the Democratic Party Socialists. Healthy tissue should be sought everywhere, but in the DPS and its political tail – SDP. These two parties, not only lack healthy material, but, as rotten apple in a bowl, cause the whole society to be – an ailing core.   (Marko Petrovic, Daily Vijesti, 22 February 2011)

Prominent univeristy professor Filip Kovacevic also noted “Even though the authoritarian prime minister of Montenegro Milo Djukanovic recently resigned his post, it is an illusion to think that he relaxed his tight grip on Montenegrin political system. (interview to MINA, January 4, 2011)

Article “Old Guard” by Milka Tadic Mijovic, from independent weekly “Monitor”. (January 31, 2011)

Djukanovic’s closest old guard associates remained in the key government positions where they have been further promoted or strengthened (Secret police chief Markovic is now Deputy PM and Justice Minister, Foreign minister Rocen is now also in charge of EU accession, Minister of Defence Vucinic, maybe his closest supporter, is also stronger than ever). The new Prime minister and economic line ministers also are close Djukanovic’s followers and associates of his business partner, professor Veselin Vukotic with whom he founded the new private Donja Gorica University (PM Luksic, Minister of Finance Katnic and Minister of Economy Kavaric). His loyal DPS General Secretary Sekulic is now Minister of Urban Development Tourism and Environment. Former ministers have not been demoted, they are just moved to high party and parliamentary positions (Minister of Urban Development and Environment Gvozdenovic is now new DPS General Secretary and deputy, while Minister of Agriculture Simovic will be the new DPS party speaker and deputy in the Parliament) Former Justice Minister Radovic is a new member of the Constitutional Court. All this, despite widespread belief that some of them (particularly Branimir Gvozdenovic) have been involved in major corruption deals and scandals. In our view, Djukanovic did not have a motive to leave the government. However, he did it knowing that after ruling Montenegro for 20 years he had to leave rather soon, even though the outside pressure on him might have not been so direct and strong (no one really knows what happened there, some suspect that US has had a role, while others believe that EU also had a say in this regard). In any case, his strategy is most probably to please the international community, give the voters a break, and then run for new PM or President of state in 2013. In the meantime, he remains in full control. His legacy of war crimes, unresolved high profile muders and cigarette and drug smuggling is overwhelimg. He has made too many enemies in and outside the ruling party and thus cannot retire. After initiating the changes in the government and the judiciary action against his arch-rival Marovic’s clan in Budva – Djukanovic has actually consolidated his power. With his most loyal aparatchiks in all key positions, and after sending the message to doubtful souls that they can also be prosecuted at any moment, he has assumed an even stronger control over the developments in the country. The past experience with him as President of the state when he had symbolic decision making powers and later on as Chairman of the Party, proves that power always shifts where he moves regardless of his formal position. As he did the last time when he left the PM position, Djukanovic will most likely focus on big business. During his first “retiterement” (November 2006 – February 2008), he earned some dozen million euros according to his own admission. This time, we believe that he has an ‘eye’ on much bigger piece of cake. At stake are big concession projects that will cost the tax payers bilions – the Bar – Boljare Motorway (Montenegrin section of motorway leading to Belgrade), the hydropower project on the Moraca River and big real estate projects on the coast where the protected land will be turned into massive housing development, like happened in the case of Zavala housing development in Budva. PM Luksic is not abandoning any of these projects, although none of them is economicallly viable, proving that he is fiscal conservative only when big boss’s interests are not affected (or unable to challenge him). Djukanovic has just given an interview to TV Srpska in which he said that he will remain DPS Chairamn even after the Party congress in May. In our view, real reforms cannot be expected until he is in charge. They can be expected only after Djukanovic is sent to full retirement. That, in turn, will probably not happen before Italian, Serbian and Croatian courts complete the case against him and his organised crime cartel.

Other recent Montenegro-EU news (June 4th 2011):

Five years after independence, Montenegro marks only measured success. Montenegro’s stable government, solid economy, and lack of any serious ethnic conflicts can be counted as great successes since the country’s formation, according to an expert on the Balkans at Munich’s South Eastern European Society, Hansjörg Brey. Local journalist Zoran Radulovic, however, is unconvinced by the official tale of economic prosperity. “The economic problems stem from the fact that Montenegro has no real development strategy. More than 3.5 billion euros have been poured into this country since indepedendence,” Radulovic said. For a country with 600,000 people, that’s a tidy sum – but Radulovic says it’s not clear where it went, given the absence of tangible evidence like hotels, repaved roads or streets, and other infrastructure improvements. “It’s like sand in your hands, it’s run out and disappeared. Nobody knows where or how. I believe that a large chunk of the money has been laundered in Montenegro – and I mean a sizeable sum, laundered in the classic, criminal sense.” Read full article at Deutsche Welle.

Despite progress, Montenegro needs to further implement reforms. Montenegro has made progress in reforming implementation of the rule of law, but more improvement is needed in a number of areas, said Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) rapporteur for Montenegro Jean Charles Gardetto. During a press conference at parliament, Holovaty said that PACE expects much more progress in the areas of judicial reform, protection of human rights and minorities, and combating organised crime and corruption. Read full report at SETimes.com

Montenegro set to meet a major EU accession requirement. The Montenegrin Government has put forward a set of amendments to the Constitution aimed at limiting political influence over key judicial appointments, which is one of the EU’s key recommendations for the national judicial reform. Read more at Balkans.com

 

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