PM Marković delivers speech at reception on occasion of Independence Day

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    Prime Minister Duško Marković:

    “Montenegro’s independence is our first and foremost obligation! I believe that every 21st May is a date when we have to recall that greatest, sacred duty of every Montenegrin and every citizen of Montenegro. There are countries and nations that do not have to do that. Because of their size, because of their strength and power, due to centuries of existence – they were bestowed with that right, once and for all. Montenegro and Montenegrins are not in this group of countries and nations. Ever since they exist, in order to exercise their natural right – to act on their own, to decide on how to live on their own, they have been paying the most expensive price…” –>

    ADDRESS BY THE PRIME MINISTER DUŠKO MARKOVIĆ

    AT THE RECEPTION ON THE OCCASION OF
    THE 11TH ANNIVERSARY OF INDEPENDENCE OF MONTENEGRO


    (Podgorica, Villa Gorica, Friday 19th May 2017)

    Mr. President, Mr. Speaker of the Parliament,
    Dear guests,
    Excellencies,
    Ladies and gentlemen,
    Dear citizens of Montenegro:

    Happy anniversary, happy Independence Day to all of us!
    At the outset, let me remind you of the words of the leader of the movement for restoration of independence and the then Prime Minister, Milo Đukanović, uttered a year ago, when we marked the tenth anniversary of the new Montenegro:

    Montenegro’s independence is our first and foremost obligation!
    I believe that every 21st May is a date when we have to recall that greatest, sacred duty of every Montenegrin and every citizen of Montenegro.
    There are countries and nations that do not have to do that. Because of their size, because of their strength and power, due to centuries of existence – they were bestowed with that right, once and for all.
    Montenegro and Montenegrins are not in this group of countries and nations. Ever since they exist, in order to exercise their natural right – to act on their own, to decide on how to live on their own, they have been paying the most expensive price.
    It was like that for centuries: a straw tossed into whirlwinds.
    We must not forget that!
    History teaches us that Law and Justice sometimes faltered before the pragmatism of politics and the logic of the interests of the great and the powerful.
    We must not forget what a terrible price we paid a century ago.
    At the Paris Peace Conference table, although both Law and Justice were on our side, despite the victims and afflictions – both our country and its name were wiped out.
    We were not at that table.

    It took almost an entire century so that 21st May would see the light of the day; so that the international community would recognize the right of Montenegro to sovereignly act on its own as an independent state.
    This was made possible in 2006 because “honor and freedom are two goods that the Montenegrin people managed to preserve for centuries at the cost of the gravest victims”. At the end of the World War I, when King Nikola sent this message to the Prime Minister of France – it was not possible.
    Decades passed before the emergence of a generation which learnt a historic lesson – that independence cannot be restored without wisdom and patience!
    The generation that understood that the independence of a small country and a frail people, was not given once and for all. That an equal place of the country in the company of and at the table with the great and powerful decision makers is the long-term guarantee of independence.
    May the Paris of 1919 never happen to us again!
    In the next few days, on 5th June, we will get that place, as 29th member of the most powerful alliance today: the North Atlantic Alliance.
    In the next few years, four or five at most – Montenegro will also get its seat at the table among the Member States of the European Union.
    The fate of our country will never again be decided behind our back. We will close this unfortunate page in our history once and for all.
    We will thus fulfill our greatest and sacred obligation.

    However, there is a lot of work ahead of us:
    tailoring our safe, shared house to the highest democratic and economic standards of developed Europe, fostering the traditional values of Montenegrin society.
    building a system that will provide everyone with an equal chance to succeed;
    having laws that apply equally to all;
    having an economic environment that provides opportunity to every citizen and every family to raise their standard of living to a higher level;
    enabling young people to see a clear perspective for their future in Montenegro;
    overcoming the inherited and new divisions that erode the strength of the Montenegrin society …
    For the first time in the history, Montenegro has the opportunity to fully devote itself to these goals. To unite all the potentials. To fully focus on development. To be a leader in the Western Balkans in every respect!
    Let us seize this historic opportunity; let us be worthy of this moment and this window of opportunity.
    The way we did it on 21st May 2006.
    May Montenegro be eternal!

    Source: Government of Montenegro