Monitor Weekly, Friday, 28 January 2011
The youngish Prime Minister1 has introduced some fresh style. It is not just the English, the blog or the music he listens to. There is decent communication with opponents, an unusual sight for Montenegro after the twenty year stigma by Djukanovic2 There is also an announcement of a different relationship. The government is considering providing some support to media that are not in the propaganda machinery and including the civil society in the important integration projects. Luksic criticizes tycoons, speculation and unrealistic demands for increase in electricity prices. We will see whether he will endure or allow Italian masters and their local partners to reap enormous extra profits through new price rises and robbery of citizens.
However, between words and deeds one can notice a crack. The Prime Minister claims that he is not a neo-liberal, but left of center. But his program is not left of center. On the contrary, the disaffection by which Luksic and the new Finance Minister welcomed the proposal for establishment of a state bank and for other government measures to help small and medium businesses in the years of crisis, indicates that they are rather followers of Friedrich Hayek and Milton Friedman, theoreticians of the contemporary right. By the way, as associates of the Veselin Vukotic's Donja Gorica School3 they idolised and quoted these authors in the past to justify the Montenegrin vulgar capitalism that has created the largest differences between the handful of rich and the empoverished masses in the region.
Prime Minister and his ministers, on the one hand, advocate fiscal conservatism, and on the other, support Djukanovic's megalomaniac, economically unjustified models of motorway construction (without tender, promptly and at any cost) and hydroelectric power plants on the Moraca River. These projects would swallow the state budget and lead Montenegro into debt slavery, while the concessionaires and selected builders would reap huge benefits.
As if the Prime Minister were torn, he still believes that the brutal market should regulate the small and ordinary businessmen (the former right-winger), and that the state should extend privileges to big players (newborn leftist). The former Prime Minister, alike, used to defer the small folk to the mercy of the market, while securing monopolies and subsidies to (his) big guys.
It sounds good when Luksic says that prosecutors should be allowed to do their job. But then, he quickly negates himself by stating that there is no need to prosecute ministers or senior DPS4 officials. He is sure that in Montenegro there will be no 'sanaderization'5 How come he knows that, if some secret hand is not controlling the judiciary?
The key recommendation of the European Commission is crackdown on corruption and organized crime at all levels, including the highest. How could one, without the big fish in the net, unravel corruptive deals from KAP to the First Bank6... How to find out who is behind the smuggling of narcotic drugs and other lucrative commodities, and who is responsible for the crime of deportation, Bukovica, unresolved murders7
Neither the State Prosecutor8 wants to strike at the top of the pyramid. At first, she said that for her there are no untouchables, and then that the list of suspects in the Zavala case9 is concluded. At the same time, her prosecutors are working with enthusiasm in: Podgorica, Ulcinj, Bar, Montenegro National Theatre, Public Television of Montenegro ... After Kuljača10 the next in line could be Mugoša11 on whose grim face there is no more trace of recklessness. But, isn't all that just a junior league stuff in comparison with the 'Family's' affairs12.
Major changes require deeds. A new economic policy, social justice, taxation of extra-profiteers, non-selective and independent investigation processes, lustration, dismantling of the secret police. A complete re-examination of the existing order. After Budva, it is necessary to combat the system that made possible all our 'Zavalas'. A conflict with the creator.
When the one who has been making all decisions here, except on the change of seasons, submits accounts for destroying the state and creating a kleptocratic order, it will be possible to talk about change. Luksic has two options: either to enter into the role of Jadranka Kosor13 or to be just an episode. Young and consumed between two Djukanovic's comebacks14. Deja vu window dressing.
Milka Tadic Mijovic
1 Igor Luksic, born in 1976, newly elected Montenegrin Prime Minister, following resignation of Milo Djukanovic
2 Milo Djukanovic, Prime Minister or President since 1991, except between November 1996 and February 2008
3 Univerzitet Donja Gorica, a private university, jointly established by professor and former Djukanovic's economic adviser Veselin Vukotic, law professor Dragan Vukcevic, busnissman Tomislav Celebic and Milo Djukanovic
4 Democratic Party of Socialists, ruling party since 1990, chaired by Milo Djukanovic since 1997
5 Expression for fight against high level corruption after Croatia convicted Ivo Sanader, its former Prime Minister
6 Aluminium industry and First Bank of Montenegro are major recipients of state aid
7 Criminal acts and war crimes in which the highest state officials are allegedly involved
8 Ranka Carapic, State Prosecutor has recently initiated several cases against mid level state officials
9 Zavala, a big tourism and housing development near Budva, initiated without the building license
10 Dragan Kuljaca, Mayor of Budva, convicted for corruption in the Zavala case and arrested in late December
11 Miomir Mugosa, Mayor of Podgorica, is believed to be a target of on-going corruption investigations
12 Local expression used for former Prime Minister's family and a small group of their closest friends
13 Jadranka Kosor, Croatian Prime Minister, is leading a comprehensive fight against high corruption in her country
14 Milo Djukanovic also resigned as Prime Minister in November of 2006, but reassumed this post in February 2008