Even though the prime minister Duško Marković was sure that the first Bar-Boljare highway section was going to be finished within the set deadline, transport minister Osman Nurković yesterday told there was a possibility the first highway section from Smokovac to Mateševo not to be finished by 19 May 2019. Nurković was asked about the opinion by Aleksandar Damjanović and this answer triggered numerous questions and caused considerable concern.
When asked about the price of a possible delay, no precise answer was given. It’s evident it would cost a lot. Sources close to CdM say we can expect increase in VAT, excise as well as restrictions in budgetary costs.
And here’s what Aleksandar Damjanović thinks about it all: “Based on dynamics of payments to our Chinese partner and the information I obtained, it’s clear we will be late with construction of the highway section for a year, at least. Bearing in mind the previous activities, we should beware that delays will cause greater costs, and that’s the problem our government is neglecting all the time. This will certainly endanger Montenegrin public finances,” reckons MP Aleksandar Damjanović.
In case of delays, there will be new levies on the existing rates, according to Damjanović.
Vesko Pejak, a member of the Alternative Montenegro (Montenegrin: ‘Alternativa Crna Gora’) tells CdM the highway construction won’t be completed on time as the money is being spent on everyday needs. He says his party has been claiming that this whole project has been just an excuse for borrowing €1bn for paying salaries and pensions in the public sector. “No one would ever borrow us €1bn if only they had known we needed it for wages and pension,” believes Pejak.
Pejak seems to have no dilemma – the ruling party will try to apply desperate measures, i.e. the electricity costs will go up, VAT will increase, as well as excise and import rates…
“This is nothing new for us. People are wondering why the fuel prices constantly go up…and they shouldn’t wonder at all! Those are just the desperate movements of our government and they won’t manage to prevent bankruptcy. Not even the DPS can change the economic rules,” Pejak was adamant.