Wednesday, November 21, 2007


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (November 21,2007) – The Bosnian Association for the Protection of Foreign Currency Savers organised peaceful protests in Sarajevo outside the offices of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Bosnian Constitutional Court, the US Embassy and OHR.

Prior to these protests the Association held an emergency Assembly during which it adopted demands, which have been forwarded to these institutions.

Their basic demand is that the Bosnian Constitutional Court protects their rights by ordering a trial in accordance with their lawsuit.

Association President Amila Omersoftic said that the Bosnian Constitutional Court delayed their lawsuit for the past three years and so allowed the executive authorities, together with the parliament, to pass laws with the sole intention of preventing the prosecution of the lawsuit and to use the verification process of prevent hundreds of thousands of foreign currency savers in Bosnia to gain access to their savings.

“We have two violations here – the violation of the right to a trial and the violation of the right to property, accompanied by horrific discrimination created in the privatisation process as a result of which many are based on their ethnic background denied access to property”, Omersoftic said.

The Association levelled its heaviest criticism against the Bosnian Minister of Finance in resignation Dragan Vrankic, his former assistant Fuad Kasumovic and former Minister Ljerka Maric as the most responsible individuals for the violation of the FBiH Entity Constitutional Court’s verdict on the issues of foreign currency savings.

The Association requested the Bosnian Presidency and the Office of the International Community's High Representative in Bosnia (OHR) to prevent those officials from holding public office ever again.

The Association also requested the IMF, OHR and the US Administration to explain claims that the international community has also had a hand in the situation concerning foreign currency savings and help resolve this problem.

The Association has warned the EU that Serbia, which has recently signed the Stabilisation and Association Agreement, and Slovenia have not fulfilled their obligations.

The Association will also forward the letter with their demands to the UN Secretary General, who is the depositor of the succession agreement, with a warning that only savers from Bosnia have remained unprotected under this agreement.

Foreign currency savings are private property and cannot be a matter of trade, the savers stressed at the protest and again asked where did the 2,5 billion in savings of the Bosnian citizens end up.

They stressed that they wish to see their problems resolved in Bosnia, but also stressed that should this prove impossible their will seek the Court for Human Rights in Strasbourg to resolve this issue.

Members of the Bosnia Association of Unemployed Persons also joined the peaceful protest.

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