In the period of 2002-2009 the Fund for Pension and Disability of Montenegro generated  EUR 70,704,391.90 from privatization.  And that was a visible result of a wide privatization campaign started by the government.

 

Montenegro

 

This is stated in the information report of the Ministry of Finance of Montenegro sent in 2010 to European Commission along with a number of informative tables and other datafor preparation of opinion on the application of Montenegro for the membership of the EU.

 

Vlada Republike Crne Gore  (Government of Montenegro) in yearly plans of privatization officially signed by its head Milo Djukanovic not once stated the main principals of the privatization campaign being protection of the rights of the state, transparency, publicity and economic profit to the state.  Words as bright and encouraging are as the bright and shiny Adriatic sun can be in the best days of summer. But some public institutions in the country still argue that privatization process in Montenegro has been a fertile ground for corruption, with devastating effects on the national economy.

 

Let us ask some questions.  Did the government succeeded or failed to adhere to the stated principles which should lead the economy of the country to the family of EU members? Was privatization process transparent and public? Who profited from the privatization, people of the country, the state as a whole or a limited group of peopleclose to certain persons at the top?  Why it is so often earlier and now people at the streets and independent media of Crna Gora ask this particular question – why relatives and friends of premier Milo contrary to EU values and interests of the country unlawfully enjoyed large preferences and privileges?  Is it so that the whole privatization campaign was done on the corrupt principle of profiting by somehigh government officials and close to them group of “trusted” businessman and Milo’s priateli and kumovi?  Who at the end owns this country, we the people of the country or he – self-proclaimed Vlasnik?!

 

Maybe it was a strategic interest – to rely on the trusted people in big sensitive business deals with strategic goals like privatization of Željezara u Nikšiću, Prva Banka, KAP, Telecom Crna Gora,Rudnik uglja u Pljevljima?…  Everybody can remember the statement of primier Djukanovic while answering Telecom affair that he „does not know even one documented fact of corruption“ in case of Telecom privatization or in other privatisation deals. Means that in situation of no-ethical-limits like that all the well publicised and widely critisized in recent years cases of government officials and their relatives profiting from such deals are just normal business issues, based on contracts and agreements, loans, credits and payments according to the issued invoices for the „consultancy“ or „legal advices“ or other similar important jobs done.

 

And it seems that it is just one side of the problem. To get one or some big or small payments is not enough and is not the goal for the people in high government offices who wish to own and manage the whole country as its own back yard in a style of „kumovi business“ based on „kumovi trust“ and extended to trusted friends ownership, representation and responsibilities.

 

It is not the first time when braćeDuškoand Dejan Ban  are enlighted as close friends and trusted business assotiates of premier Milo Djukanovic.  He needs them. They need him. Otherwise nothing happens, no business, the system does not function at all.  They need each other, trust and rely on each other. And at the hot years of privatization, back in 2004-2005 they made a time-tested construction for profitable monopoly, making the fundament of it from undervalued state company, which according to the signed by the head of the government Milo Djukanovic directive (Odluka o Planu Privatizacije za 2004 Godinu, 18.03.2004) was deliberately included to privatization plans. In 2004 brothers Duškoand Dejan without any tender or any other necessary public procedures purchased the shares ofstate-owned AD „Pomorski Saobracaj“in Kamenari operating as a monopolist on the important sea line Kamenari-Lepetani. And one year later  AD „Pomorski Saobracaj“ became the owner of majority shares (more than 89%) of formerly state-owned hihgly profitable company AD „Vinopromet“.

 

And what is the interest of Milo in this case? Obvious question with not as simple answer which yet to be carefully researched. DoesDuško own his part of shares in AD „Pomorski Saobracaj“(66,58%) through his 100% owned company „Prohouse“ d.o.o. Podgorica (trading house of Italian  class furniture) as only owner or half of it or part of it may belong to other person who still in government shoes ca not show his interest in and is forced to own it through a trustee, a trusted person??  What is clear now is the fact that„Prohouse“ d.o.o. enjoys the freedom of exchange of funds through mutual loans and return (or sometime not return) of loans with its daughter company AD „Pomorski Saobracaj“and can easily take needed cash from the account which can be easily used by advise or order (depends on the level of relations or just from the weather?) of the close and trusted friend of  Duško for any purpose, including, for example, for financing without reporting or other burocratic formalities  of electionscampaign or other very needed  unforseen or sometime delicate or restricted expenses. May it be the reason that many such services done till now and strong wish to stay in the shadow forced Duško Ban to change in May of this year the company name „Prohouse“ d.o.o. to the name   “PROHOUSEMONTENEGRO” d.o.o.at the same address and also to place his trusted associate Željko Mihailovich as the new nominal owner and executive director of this company with unchanged paid-up capital of  EUR 969,919.51.

 

In the same manner Duško is capable to organise useful financing and financial management for his big friend through AD „Pomorski Saobracaj“, which still is under his control and from year to year shows good profits (at the level of EUR 1,4 – 1,5 mln. a year). And with the level of main capital of more than EUR 12 mln. the company used to keep big deposits of the level of EUR 2,2 mln. and more in bankHypo Alpe Adria AD (now Addiko Bank), with possibility to profit from high percentage or to take cash from deposit any time without restrictions „for urgent use“.

 

It maybe necessary to note that DuškoBan is widely known as the person whose name together with Stanko Subotic, owner of the company MIA,and Milo Djukanovic were popularly connected to Montenegro cigarette smuggling in the media („Duvanska afera“). Duško along with his friends (and Montenegro’s Prime MinisterMilo Djukanovic), was deeply involved in smuggling cigarettes to Italy through Italian organized crime groups. Djukanovic avoided prosecution that time due to immunity as head of state.

 

In the country where „there is no one documentary proof of corruption in privatization campaign“ such good possibilities to rely on good trusted friends at a particular time of election campaign which is to prove the firm adhearence of one of the leading Montenegro political parties and personally Milo Djukanovic as its leader, to the best European values and principals are no doubt of particular importance.

 

IOUCO team