Montenegrin President Milo Djukanovic has told the part of the opposition claiming that its members would rather set themselves on fire in the parliament than allow the adoption of a Religious Freedom Act not to get ahead of itself.
Djukanovic said that he did not like to respond with the logic of power and the logic of force, adding that all issues, including important ones on which they had drastically different views, could be discussed in a tolerant way.
"But when they put you in a position where you have to respond to their arguments, then I want to say that anyone individually or any institution that thinks it can beat any state, including the state of Montenegro, is wrong," Djukanovic said in an interview with national television RTCG, scheduled to be broadcast in its entirety in the evening on Dec. 20.
There have been many such attempts, says Djukanovic.
"The freshest such memories are from 2015 and 2016. You saw how that ended and you saw that those who thought to topple the state broke their teeth. Whoever is threatening us now with their readiness to set themselves on fire, to sacrifice themselves... will get a clear answer that there are many more of us on this side, who have given everything in life so far to right a historic wrong and to restore the Montenegrin state," the RTCG website quoted Djukanovic as saying.
There will always be fewer supporters and fewer motives for destruction than for the defense of something that was gained and renewed painstakingly and in a just way, Djukanovic added.
"So, don't get ahead of yourselves, we ask you kindly," he said.
The Montenegrin government has adopted a bill on religious freedom which envisages that all religious communities must prove that they owned church property prior to 1918, otherwise it will be confiscated. The Serbian Orthodox Church has strongly opposed the law.