BBC Homepage World Service Education
BBC Homepagelow graphics version | feedback | help
BBC News Online
 You are in: World: Europe
Front Page 
World 
Africa 
Americas 
Asia-Pacific 
Europe 
Middle East 
South Asia 
-------------
From Our Own Correspondent 
-------------
Letter From America 
UK 
UK Politics 
Business 
Sci/Tech 
Health 
Education 
Entertainment 
Talking Point 
In Depth 
AudioVideo 

Friday, 20 April, 2001, 15:18 GMT 16:18 UK
Montenegro's tourism hopes
A Gipsy woman with child in arms, begs for money in the main street in Podgorica
Tough reforms are needed to improve the economy
By Paul Anderson In Podgorica

Montenegro's election campaign has been dominated by the question of the country's separation from the Yugoslav federation.

But most people here are equally concerned with the dismal condition of the economy and the prospects for improvement.

Man and boy fishing
People hope tourism is the key to success
Many Montenegrins see their country as the future Switzerland of the Balkans - a small but manageable land, with the strategic location on trade routes, and with a great potential for economic prosperity.

Montenegro's biggest resort is its scenic beauty - stunning inland lakes and mountains which sweep down to an un-spoilt coastline on the Adriatic Sea.

No wonder then that the country's leaders are resting their plans for economic revival on tourism and on maritime industry, which they argue they will not be able to exploit shackled to Serbia and its multi-billion dollar foreign debt.

Long road ahead

But reform will be painful. Montenegro's tourism and transport infrastructure is underdeveloped and, more than a decade after the collapse of Communism, economic restructuring has yet to get off the ground.

Pro-independence supporter
Many people see full independence as the way forward
Economists say Montenegro remains a country of unreformed state monopolies, controlled by a clique of the friends and associates of political leaders, from President Milo Djukanovic down.

Imports far outstrip exports, and in the word of one economist, the country is bankrupt, dependent entirely on foreign aid. Roots-up reform is needed, liberal economists say, to build new institutions and clear out the Communist old guard.

Some progress has been made though, which has yielded stability. Last year Montenegro pulled out of the Dinar zone and now uses only the Deutschmark as its official currency. In effect it handed currency control to stronger outside forces. Next year it will switch to the Euro.

Search BBC News Online

Advanced search options
Launch console
BBC RADIO NEWS
BBC ONE TV NEWS
WORLD NEWS SUMMARY
PROGRAMMES GUIDE
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Europe stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Europe stories