The EU should help Montenegro repay a billion-euro loan to China’s Exim Bank, which it took to build the first section of a highway, to help reduce China’s influence in the country, Deputy Prime Minister Dritan Abazović has said, Hina reported.
“I think that this is a logical answer, to replace that bad loan with a new, more favourable one, which would be easier for Montenegro to deliver. But we also have to think about alternative models of financing the construction of the other two sections of the highway, without which the first section does not make full sense, and which would fully protect Montenegrin property,” the deputy PM added.
According to Abazović, the Montenegrin government led by Milo Đukanović had made a poor arrangement with China, making Montenegro depend on Beijing and “without a kilometre of highway, because the deadline for completion of works has already been breached several times.”
From 2007 to 2017, Beijing announced €12 billion in loans for construction projects in 16 countries, a third of which went to Serbia, followed by BiH (21%) and Montenegro (7%), according to a European Investment Bank study. (Željko Trkanjec | EURACTIV.hr)