Latest News from Montenegro

IMF, EU 3bn Loan Welcomed in Balkans Despite Unknowns

EU candidate states from the West Balkans have welcomed the offer of 3 billion euros in emergency loans, to be distributed among 10 states bordering or near the EU, although the borrowing conditions remain to be determined, the European Commission confirmed to BIRN.

Some Balkan States Waging ‘Crusade’ Against Media, Report Warns

Media freedom in Turkey, Bulgaria and Montenegro is the worst in the region, according to the 2020 World Press Freedom Index, published on Tuesday by Reporters Without Borders - but other Balkan countries have largely failed to improve.

"In southern Europe, a crusade by the authorities against the media is very active," the report warns.

After the Pandemic: Perils and Promise for Western Balkans

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How Democracies Can Beat the Pandemic

Pandemic Wreaks Havoc With Ancient Balkan Funeral Traditions

Once huge funerals these days are mostly attended only by a small circle of close family members and friends, who have to observe social distancing measures.

The funeral processions are now done in the shortest time possible, and in some countries, police monitor the burials to make sure everyone obeys the rules.

Clergy Celebrate Easter Ceremonies Alone in Pandemic

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic on Wednesday said there would be no relaxation of curfew rules in Serbia over Orthodox Easter this weekend - after the Church asked for the weekend curfew to be lifted on Sunday from 5am to 10am to let believers leave home and attend churches for the liturgy.

Balkan Economies Expected to Contract in Pandemic, IMF warns

The "World Economic Outlook", the latest report of the IMF about the global economic situation, predicts sharp contractions in most Balkan economies as a result of the pandemic in line with the severe downturn expected in the rest of the European and world economies.

NATO to Help North Macedonia Combat Fake News About Virus

The US ambassador to NATO, Kay Bailey Hutchison, on Tuesday in Washington said North Macedonia, which joined the alliance this year, will receive similar assistance to other member countries in dealing with fake news from Russia, North Macedonia's state-owned MIA news agency reported.

Montenegro Warned about Poor Conditions in Remand Prisons

Police patrol during the curfew in Podgorica, Montenegro. Photo: BIRN/Samir Kajosevic

"In the remand prison in Podgorica, there were not enough blankets and no soap in the men's toilet. The council also registered the fact that two detainees shared one bed in a detention room," said Zekovic.

Athens vigilant as Turkey exerts soft power in region

Despite the end of the migrant crisis at the Evros land border last month, Greece remains vigilant and wary of Turkey's moves in the wider region.

This state has been further reinforced by the diversion of the focus of many regional players due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Bosnia’s Southern Herzegovina Region Battles Wildfires

No victims have been reported and no houses have been destroyed.

In the area north of Mostar, a wildfire that spread from the Rujiste mountain pass was put under control on Sunday overnight before it reached holiday homes in the area, Petar Juric of Mostar's fire brigade told the klix.ba news site.

Erdoğan sends UK PM letter, medical supplies

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan sent a letter on April 10 to U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson regarding medical supplies sent to help Britain cope with the coronavirus, according to Ankara's communication directorate.

Montenegro Detains Opposition Activist Over Fake News About President

Police patrol in Podgorica. Photo: BIRN/Samir Kajosevic

On Thursday, authorities put Radovan Rakocevic from the town of Bijelo Polje in custody for 72 hours for the offence of spreading panic. Rakocevic had shared an article on Facebook from a Belgrade tabloid, Alo, which claimed that Montenegrin President Milo Djukanovic had been infected with the coronavirus.

NATO acknowledges Turkish aid to Bosnia

NATO's strategic military command on April 9 acknowledged Turkey for sending aid to Bosnia and Herzegovina among other Balkan countries, saying "we are stronger together."
"Turkey provided aid to Bosnia and Herzegovina to assist in the fight against #COVID19," the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) said on Twitter.

Montenegro Urged to Delay Law Change Debate in Pandemic

Montenegrin government session due to COVID-19. Photo: Government of Montenegro

More than 50 civic organizations, journalists and media organizations warned that the lockdown had made participatory debate almost impossible.

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