The Prime Minister of Montenegro, Dusko Markovic, said that they will not be editing who will and when they go to churches, but that they can not be denied that they belong to the people or the state of Montenegro.
Photo: EPA-EFE / ROBERT GHEMENT
At a municipal conference of the Democratic Party of Socialists in Kolasin, he said that Montenegro, through its opinion on the bill, received a "confirmation of freedom, independence and democratic potential from the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe".
"The Constitution is given the right to regulate all social issues – not to one's harm, but to the interests of every citizen and his rights and freedoms. That will be the case with this law! We will not edit who and when they go to churches and monasteries, but they belong to the people or the state of Montenegro, and nobody can deny that, "said Markovic.
Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said that Serbia and Montenegro should try to calm each other's tension.
Vucic told reporters in Minsk that "campaign against Serbia and the Serbs is being conducted" in Montenegro, and in Serbia a "reversed campaign" and that he would love when it was possible "to live both with one another".
He also said that the opinion on the position of the Venice Commission on the Montenegrin Draft Law on Freedom of Religion will be made when this position is announced.
The Venice Commission adopted a positive opinion on the Bill on Freedom of Religion or Beliefs and the Legal Status of Religious Communities on Friday in a plenary session in Venice, noting that the proposed legal text "brings significant positive changes to existing obsolete legislation".
On the other hand, the Montenegrin-Primorska SPC Metropolitanate has assessed that the Government's announcement is "plain spin" and that the key provision concerning the property did not receive a positive opinion from the Venice Commission.
The draft law on freedom of religion adopted by the Montenegrin government stipulates that all religious communities, including the Serbian Orthodox Church, must prove that before 1918 they were the owners of the church property, otherwise they would be seized.