Montenegro Publishes Blacklist of Largest Debtors


By Milena Milosevic | BIRN | Podgorica

July 2, 2013

Montenegro’s tax administration on Monday published a list of well-known companies and people who have failed to pay all they owe in VAT, capital gains taxes and taxes on the profit from real estate sales and concessions.

At the top of the list was Pantomarketa company that runs supermarkets in the coastal town of Herceg Novi,with a debt of over seven million euro.

Other well-known companies, including the coal mine operator Pljevlja and the construction company Bemax, which local media often allege is connected with high-profile politicians, were also among the blacklisted debtors.

The tax administration also published the names of 50 debtors who failed to pay taxes and contributions on the personal income of their employees over a continuous period longer than six months.

Montenegro’s Power Industry topped this list, while the country’s oldest daily newspaper, Pobjeda, also found its name in the document.

Last month, the tax administration published a ‘white list’ of the most responsible taxpayers.

Several other countries in the region that have been troubled by the economic crisis have also revealed the names of their largest tax debtors.

The Greek list, published in January 2012, was the longest, containing the names of 4,000 debtors.

Estimates suggest that the Greek government managed to claw back significant budget revenue by naming and shaming the debtors.

Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia and Serbia also published blacklists last year.

Montenegro’s Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic has often stated that controlling public spending is a priority for the government.

As part of that drive, an extra tax of six per cent on all salaries higher than the national average of 720 euro a month came into effect in February.

Starting from July 1, Montenegrins have also been paying 19 per cent VAT on most of the goods and services they buy or use.

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