- Governor LePage, thank you for spending time with us on your first trip to Montenegro. I understand Montenegro and Maine share many similarities. Can you tell us about your state?
Yeah, our state is, it’s quite a bit larger than Montenegro, but it’s got a very small population – only about a million people. The state is about the size of Ireland. So it’s a fairly sizeable state. It’s very mountainous and we have a coastline, not dissimilar to Montenegro. And fiercely independent people… I understand that Montenegrins are a little bit independent at times. And stubborn. Did I hear that – stubborn? Well, we are stubborn, too. So we are very very similar in that respect.
- The Maine – Montenegro State Partnership Program was signed 12 years ago in 2006. What is the goal of the Program?
Well, actually, it started out sort of a disaster relief, and emergency management, and border security and, you know, working with police officers to share technologies. But I think as it’s developing, now it’s heading into a new era. And I think that cooperation in education between the two countries, a cultural and education and economic. I really hope that our countries, and Maine and Montenegro, develop a good economic trade and we are gonna be bringing back Montenegro’s wine and we are going to be selling it in Maine, so we are starting.
- So is that how you would like the partnership between Maine and Montenegro to evolve?
I think it would be great if we could share our languages more. In fact, we were talking last evening, and probably when we get back, I’m going to work with University and see if we can get your language taught at our state and having English taught in this country and so maybe that will help develop the relationship much quicker.
- What have you heard about Montenegro? What would you like to see and do on your visit?
I want to see everything and anything that is possible in the short time that we are here. But what I’ve heard though, the thing that I’ve heard that is the most interesting is that while there has been difficulties in the Balkans for many many years, that everybody likes Montenegro. So that sounds good, because if Montenegro is friends to everybody then Maine wants to be partner of Montenegro.
- Thank you Governor.
Very good. It’s a pleasure to be here. And we are going to bring your wine, and we are going to send you some lobster.
- Thank you very much.