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Country Reports

Montenegro Country Report

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Risk Level

Low
Moderate
Elevated
High
Very High
Severe
Extreme

Overview

Executive Summary

Montenegro will be one of the hardest hit countries in Europe by the COVID-19 crisis. Social distancing measures and travel restrictions are triggering extreme losses in Montenegro’s tourism sector, which accounted for approximately 21% of 2019 GDP. Even as restrictions are eased, the number of arrivals will shrink dramatically over 2019 levels. In April, IHS Markit slashed the 2020 GDP forecast to -6.0%, after 3.6% growth in 2019. The Bar-Boljare highway project drove up public debt in recent years, leaving Montenegro with little room for a fiscal stimulus amid the COVID-19 shock. Opposition and civil society groups have staged anti-government protests since February 2019, demanding the resignation of top government and judicial officials, who they accuse of corruption. There is a heightened risk of a wave of protests ahead of the general election on 30 August due to growing discontent in particular with President Milo Djukanović, who has been in power in one form or another almost uninterruptedly since 1989. Shootouts and improvised explosive device (IED) attacks by rival criminal groups in coastal towns pose elevated risks of property damage and injury to bystanders. The risk is particularly high in the touristic town of Kotor, where two of the most notorious organised crime groups, the Kavači and Škaljari, originate.
Last update: July 18, 2020

Operational Outlook

Corruption constitutes a major problem for businesses operating in Montenegro and anti-corruption progress remains inconsistent. Other impediments to business include an inefficient bureaucracy and labour shortages in various sectors. Instances of industrial action are relatively rare; however, economic fallout from the COVID-19 virus is likely to increase labour strike risks in the coming months, specifically in tourism, transport, mining, and heavy industry. The quality of the general infrastructure is adequate, but extensive upgrades are needed for Montenegro to compete with more developed European countries.

Last update: July 21, 2020

Terrorism

Elevated

A small Salafist minority is present in Montenegro, with a number of them having travelled to Syria and Iraq to fight for various Islamist military groups active there. However, these individuals have not indicated intent to carry out terrorist attacks on Montenegrin soil. An alleged coup attempt that was foiled by Montenegrin authorities in October 2016 highlights the growing risk posed by far-right terrorist groups sponsored by foreign intelligence services.

Last update: December 13, 2019

Crime

The main crime risk affecting foreign businesses and travellers is petty crime, specifically in coastal areas, with the vast majority of it being non-violent. Similar to other Western Balkan countries, organised crime is flourishing in Montenegro. The number of violent incidents in public areas between different crime networks has intensified in the past few years, thus increasing the risk of collateral damage and injuries to passersby. Montenegro lies on the Western Balkan trafficking route, along which large quantities of drugs, contraband, arms, and humans pass. The issue is exacerbated by poorly policed borders and corruption among border and custom officers.

Last update: July 21, 2020

War Risks

Montenegro's NATO membership and aspiration to join the EU, as well as improved bilateral relations and security co-operation with neighbouring countries, have significantly reduced the risk of interstate war. Although there is a level of discontent and sense of exclusion from power by ethnic minorities, this is unlikely to escalate into armed violence.

Last update: July 17, 2020

Social Stability

High

High levels of corruption and economic stagnation increase the risk of economically and socially motivated protests across the country. These issues are likely to be used by the opposition to galvanise supporters and organise anti-government protests.

Last update: December 13, 2019

Health Risk

Very high

Vaccinations required to enter the country

No vaccinations are required to enter the country.

Routine Vaccinations

Hepatitis A: A vaccine is available for anyone over one year of age. The vaccine may not be effective for certain people, e.g. those born before 1945 and who lived as a child in a developing country and/or have a past history of jaundice (icterus). These people can instead get a shot of immune globulin (IG) to boost their immunity against the disease.

Hepatitis B: A vaccine is available for children at least two months old.

Diphtheria-Tetanus-Polio: A booster shot should be administered if necessary (once every ten years).

Other Vaccinations

Typhoid Fever: If your travels take you to regions with poor sanitary conditions (for children two years old and up).

Rabies: For prolonged stays in an isolated region (for children from when they can walk).

For Children: All standard childhood immunizations should be up-to-date. In the case of a long stay, the BCG vaccine is recommended for children over one month and the MMR (measles-mumps-rubella) vaccine for children over nine months.

Last update: April 5, 2019

Natural Risks

Very high

Montenegro is located in an active seismic zone.

Flooding is not rare in winter months during periods of melting snow.

Numerous wildfires have been reported in recent years during the summer.

Last update: April 5, 2019

Transportation

Moderate

The bus network is dense and covers the whole country. The railway network is usually crowded, especially in the intercity trains, and includes a cross-country route from the Adriatic Sea to Serbia via the capital: Bar - Podgorica - Kolasi - Bijelo Polje - Belgrade. It should nonetheless be noted that public transportation is generally uncomfortable, outdated, and overcrowded.

Despite the absence of highways the road network is relatively well developed with major arterials, although traffic jams are not rare, especially during the summer. The secondary and semi-urban roads can be in poor condition (with livestock present, lack of road construction signals, etc.). Mountain roads can be twisting and dangerous (damaged guard railing, collapsed shoulders, etc.). It is advised to be vigilant while driving following intense rain or snow. The canyon roads in Moraca, linking Niksic to Zabljak, and mountain roads are to be avoided in case of bad weather. Winter tires are mandatory from November 15 to March 23. It is worth noting that Montenegrin drivers can be aggressive.

An Eco tax is mandatory for all foreign vehicles entering in the country, with price varying depending on the vehicle model. The payment of this tax is validated by stickers which must be placed in the corner of the windshield.

Taxis are numerous and inexpensive. Ask for a fare estimate before departure and confirm the price prior to payment, especially if the fare differs from the meter. Travelers should refuse taxi services proposed by random individuals.

Ferries are available, linking Bar to Bari in Italy.

Traveler should note that there are two international airports in Montenegro: Podgorica (TGD) and Tivat (TIV).

Last update: April 5, 2019

Practical Information

Climate

The climate is continental in the interior of the country, mountainous along the reliefs, and Mediterranean along the coast. In the center of the country, summers and autumns are hot and dry and winters are cold, even harsh, with frequent snow. Summers in coastal regions are hot and dry while winters are mild and humid. In the summer temperatures are cooler in mountainous regions.

Useful Numbers

Country Code: +382
Police: 122
Fire Dept.: 123
Ambulance: 124

Electricity

Voltage: 220 V ~ 50 Hz

Outlets:

Last update: April 5, 2019