Montenegro Country Report Q1 2017 - Q1, 2017

May 2, 2017

The EC lowered its 2017 economic growth estimation for Montenegro to 3.7%, and said that increasing domestic demand should make a stronger contribution to GDP growth this year, but will be offset by the negative impact of net exports.
The commission warned that Montenegro’s fiscal deficit will most likely rise this year despite fiscal consolidation plans, mainly because of the increased spending on social payments.
The EBRD said that the country needs to tighten its fiscal policy in order to keep the public debt growth under control.
The bank has forecast that Montenegro’s public debt will reach around 80% of GDP by next year.
The GDP expanded by a real 2.4% y/y in 2016, significantly below expectations.
Nominal GDP growth accelerated to 4.1% last year from 4% in 2015. Measured at current prices, Montenegro's total economic output stood at €3.773bn in 2016, up from €3.595bn a year earlier.
The US Senate ratified the protocol for Montenegro’s membership in Nato late on March 28, ending months of tension and speculation over Washington’s policies towards the alliance and Russia, and giving the Adriatic country a much desired green light to advance further in its Euro-Atlantic path.
Montenegro’s Nato accession has become a test case for the new geopolitics following the election of the US President Donald Trump.
97 Senators supported the protocol, while two – the Republicans Rand Paul and Mike Lee - voted against it, broadcaster RTCG reported. The same two Senators have opposed limitation of the debate on the resolution earlier this week.
A key witness in Montenegro’s investigation of the attempted coup plot on October 15 has testified that members of the pro-Russian Democratic Front party had travelled to Moscow and requested weapons to use in the coup.
In his testimony, Aleksander Sinjelic said that members of the DF party had travelled to Moscow several times to meet with organisers of the coup and that they had insisted that armed clashes were the only way to seize power in Podgorica, according to news outlet CDM on March 22. It cited from a 30-page testimony written by Sinjelic in which he claimed that his information came direct from one of the main organisers of the coup ­– the Russian Eduard Sirokov (the other main organiser being Vladimir Popov).

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