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Montenegrin PM's 'Family-Owned' Bank Asks For State Bailout

Milo Djukanovic
PODGORICA -- The First Bank of Montenegro, which is partly owned by the Montenegrin prime minister and his two siblings, is asking for a 40 million-euro ($50 million) bailout from the government.

Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic owns about 3 percent of the bank, while his brother, Aco, owns about 30 percent. Their sister, Ana Kolarevic, owns a 1 percent share.

Opposition leaders and NGOs have been critical of the request, saying it's a blatant example of conflict of interest.

But Montenegrin Central Bank spokeswoman Radica Zekovic told RFE/RL's South Slavic and Albanian Languages Service that the First Bank of Montenegro is not foreign-owned and has a legitimate claim to receive money from the government during the difficult situation caused by the global financial crisis.

Most other banks in Montenegro, Zekovic said, are owned by foreign banks and have received aid from those larger foreign banks.

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