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    Migrants walk in a refugee camp in Grande-Synthe, northern France. (File)

    Montenegro Unable to Host Refugee Centers Amid Deep Political, Economic Crisis

    © AFP 2019 / PHILIPPE HUGUEN
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    Montenegro is not able to build refugee centers and accept migrants from the European Union due to deep political and economic crisis in the country, Vice-President of the Movement for Changes (MfC) and parliamentarian Koca Pavlovic told Sputnik on Monday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — On Sunday, Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz called for the opening of refugee centers outside the European Union, suggesting Georgia and the Western Balkans as possible locations.

    "At this moment Montenegro is not able to [create migrant camps in the country]. We are in a deep political crisis, security situation is very fragile, and we are on the edge of economic collapse. Moreover, at the moment we have a kind of a social uprising of the huge portion of Montenegrin citizens who are living in, or close to poverty line … That’s why we have to refuse any EU-offer to establish migrant camps on our territory," Pavlovic said.

    The Movement for Changes is an opposition political party, which, along with the New Serb Democracy, the Democratic Party of Unity, the Democratic People's Party, the Workers' Party and the Party of United Pensioners and the Disabled, comprises the opposition political alliance in Montenegro — the Democratic Front.

    In January, the Montenegrin government adopted a list of fiscal consolidation measures to strengthen economic stability and improve the competitiveness of the country's economy. The government has forecast that a budget deficit will decrease from 6.1 percent of GDP in 2017 to 3.8 percent in 2019, while public debt is forecast to rise in 2019 before starting to decline.

    Europe has been facing a massive refugee crisis over the past couple of years, with hundreds of thousands of migrants fleeing crisis-torn countries in the Middle East and North Africa to escape violence and poverty and seeking asylum in the EU member states.

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