Montenegro Country Report - August, 2016

September 15, 2016

This report covers the main macroeconomic releases from August 1 to August 31, 2016 as well as the financial and political events that took place in Montenegro during this period.
Montenegro’s opposition Reform Action (URA) decided to cancel its power sharing agreement between the ruling Democratic Party of Socialists (DPS) and three opposition parties, and to exit the government. The two other opposition parties that have joined the government in May the Social Democratic Party (SDP) and Demos decided to stay in the government until the October 16 general election.
Montenegro’s special prosecution launched a new investigation against Svetozar Marovic, the former president of Serbia and Montenegro, on suspicion of giving a CHF450,000 (€413,000) bribe to ensure that evidence against him was hidden by HSBC bank. Marovic recently admitted he headed an organisation that was involved in the Budva affair. In return, he agreed to spend 4.4 years in jail. He is the first former politician at this level to be sentenced.
Serbian nationalist politician and president of the Serbian Radical Party (SRS) Vojislav Seselj will visit Montenegro ahead of the October parliamentary elections, aiming to boost the rating of Montenegro's nationalist Serb Radical Party.
Montenegro’s telecommunications agency (EKIP) failed to attract a fourth mobile phone operator with the sale of new radio frequencies at a tender called in May. According to EKIP’s statement, the frequencies were sold to the three operators that already are active in the country - Norway's Telenor, Montenegro's leading operator, Crnogorski Telekom and M:Tel, which is the newest player on the market.
Montenegro’s finance ministry has decided to reprogramme the outstanding tax debts of 10 local media outlets, including the publisher of daily Vijesti, TV Vijesti, TV Pink and Antena M.

Key points:
• Consumer prices fell by 0.6% y/y in July
• Industrial production plunged by 15.5% y/y in July
• The foreign trade gap widened by 12.9% y/y to over €1bn in the first seven months of 2016


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