Thursday, September 27, 2007


BANJA LUKA, Bosnia (27.September,2007) – The meeting of experts from Bosnia's eight leading political parties on police reform has started at the Office of the International Community's High Representative in Bosnia (OHR) in Banja Luka yesterday.

This is the fourth round of technical talks on the Proposal on Police Reform in Bosnia, which was presented to the political leaders in late August.

Participants said before the start of the meeting that five issues will be on the agenda, including two issues concerning police regions, as well as representation in the collegium of ministries, the national composition and the appointment of the police director.

All participants agree that there is not much time left and that an agreement has to be reached by Sunday.

However, PDP representative Slobodan Nagradic thinks that there is time for an agreement even after that deadline.

Alma Colo (SDA), Sejfudin Hodzic (SBiH), Mile Vukovic (SDS), Slobodan Nagradic(PDP), Ivica Gaspar (HDZ 1990), Barisa Colak (HDZBiH),Stanislav Cado (SNSD) and Tomislav Limov (SDP) are taking part in the meeting.


NEW YORK ,USA (27.September 2007) – Speaking at the annual high-level debate at UN Headquarters in New York yesterday,the Bosnian President Željko Komšić said all suspected war criminals from the various territories of the Southeastern Europe who have not been arrested should be brought before the courts.

The United Nations war crimes tribunal set up in the aftermath of the 1990s Balkan wars should not close until the most notorious suspects still at large, the former leaders of the Serbians living in Bosnia,Serbian war criminals Radovan Karadžić and Ratko Mladić, are brought to justice, the Bosnian President told the General Assembly.

The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), which is based in The Hague in the Netherlands, was set up by the Security Council in May 1993 to deal with the worst violations of international humanitarian law during the Balkan wars.

Serbian war criminals Karadžić and Mladić,who are wanted by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) for genocide and other war crimes,are still at large, but under the completion strategy established with the Council, the ICTY has said it will try to finish all trials at the first instance by the end of next year.

A former political leader of the Serbians living in Bosnia,Serbian war criminal Radovan Karadžić faces two counts of genocide, five counts of crimes against humanity, three counts of violating the laws or customs of war and one count of grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions.

Serbian war criminal Ratko Mladić, who led the genocidal paramilitary forces of the Serbians living in Bosnia (VRS), faces 15 charges, including two of genocide, seven of crimes against humanity and six of violating the rules or customs of war.

The Bosnian President Željko Komšić said authorities in Bosnia had been working closely with the ICTY on issues ranging from extradition and the processing of criminal charges to the provision of working conditions for court representatives and access to documents.

“We are creating a legal framework and have a special department of the War Crimes Court to start processing war crime cases.This is one of the conditions for establishing mutual trust and reconciliation in a post-conflict Bosnia," Komšić said.

During his address Komšić also stressed the need for urgent UN reform, saying the July 1995 massacre of more than 7,000 Bosnian men and boys at Srebrenica by the genocidal serbian aggressor – a Security Council-designated “safe area” – was a notorious example of how “my country paid a high price for the imperfect and inefficient UN system.”

Therefore, the Bosnian President said, it was essential that the UN and its various bodies and agencies be strengthened and revitalized, including the Security Council, the General Assembly and the Secretariat.


WASHINGTON, USA (27.September,2007) - Thanks to reforms of business regulation, more businesses are starting up, finds Doing Business 2008 - the fifth in an annual report series issued by the World Bank and IFC.Countries in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union reformed the most in 2006/07 — along with a large group of emerging markets, including China and India.

Doing Business 2008 ranks 178 economies on the ease of doing business and Bosnia has been given the 105th position.

The top 25, in order, are Singapore, New Zealand, the United States, Hong Kong (China), Denmark, the United Kingdom, Canada, Ireland, Australia, Iceland, Norway, Japan, Finland, Sweden, Thailand, Switzerland, Estonia, Georgia, Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, Latvia, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, and Austria.

Singapore once again topped the World Bank's ranks for the best place in the world to do business, and Egypt is the leader in reforms to invite more business, the World Bank said Tuesday. "For the second year running, Singapore tops the aggregate rankings on the ease of doing business" in 2006-2007, the World Bank said in releasing its "Doing Business 2008" report.

Starting a business is not easy in the Democratic Republic of Congo. It takes 13 procedures and 155 days—and it costs five times the annual income per capita. The situation is even worse for women: they need the consent of a husband. And if you are a single woman, a judge decides whether you can become a businesswoman.

The result: Only 18 percent of small businesses are run by women in the DRC. Next door, in Rwanda, which has no such regulations, women run more than 41 percent of small businesses.

But many countries are making it easier to do business. The Doing Business 2008 report identifies 200 reforms in 98 countries between April 2006 and June 2007.

The top reformer was Egypt. Unhappy with its Doing Business ranking last year, the Egyptian government pulled out all stops. Its efforts cut deep—with reforms in five of the 10 areas studied by the report. It made the single fastest climb in the overall rankings on the ease of doing business.

Georgia, the top reformer last year, remains in the top 10 and continues to target better rankings each year. Its efforts are paying off: Georgia is now in the top 25 countries in overall rankings for the ease of doing business. Two African countries—Ghana and Kenya—also made this year's list of the top 10 reformers.

"Overall, Doing Business has had a powerful catalytic effect," says Simeon Djankov, the lead author of the report. "For example, in the past two years, we have recorded 413 reforms in the countries we study. We have been able to confirm at least 113 instances where Doing Business inspired or informed business regulatory reforms worldwide."

The Financial Times has noted that in publishing Doing Business, the World Bank Group is "producing a public good: measurements of regulatory performance that may become as indispensable to reformers and academics as national income accounts."

Doing Business 2008 finds that large emerging markets are reforming fast, with the potential to benefit hundreds of millions of people. Egypt, China, India, Indonesia, Turkey, and Vietnam all improved in the ease of doing business.

Doing Business is also analyzing the benefits of reform. "The report shows equity returns are highest in countries that are reforming the most," said Michael Klein, World Bank/IFC Vice President for Financial and Private Sector Development. "Investors are looking for upside potential, and they find it in economies that are reforming—regardless of their starting point," he added.

By far the fastest reforms are in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, which, as a region, surpassed East Asia this year in the ease of doing business. Estonia, the most business-friendly country of the former socialist bloc, ranks 17th on the ease of doing business. "The results show that as governments ease regulations for doing business, more entrepreneurs go into business," said Djankov.

"Eastern Europe has witnessed a boom in new business entry, and many of the new companies are becoming global leaders, such as the Estonian-born software company Skype and the Czech car maker Skoda," he added.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (27.September,2007) – The Bosnian Parliament’s House of Representatives did not appoint at the session yesterday the Serb and Bosniak ombudsmen.The delegates have supported the nomination of the Croat candidate Mariofil Ljubic for the position of the Ombudsman.

However, Bosniak and Serb candidates Emina Halilovic and Vitomir Popovic did not get the majority of votes needed for nomination. Votes of the Collegiums are now needed.

Although members of the Collegiums have agreed upon the issue earlier, the delegates did not support yesterday the nomination of the Emina Halilovic and Vitomir Popovic.

A new competition will be announced because the country needs the ombudsmen, Milorad Zivkovic, Speaker of the House said.

The delegates supported the nomination of Mensur Sehagic for the position of the Bosnian Commission for Concessions member, as well as the nomination of Ljerka Maric for the position of the Head of the Direction for Economic Planning.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (27.September,2007) – Austria wishes to intensify cooperation with the Bosnian Mine Action Centre (BHMAC) in the future.austria is, after Germany,the second most important supporter of the demining process in Bosnia.

Austria plans to support BHMAC with 150.000 Euros next year, which will be used for the purchase of all-terrain vehicles for four reconnaissance teams, the Austrian Development Agency (ADA) General Director Michael Linhart said yesterday during a visit to BHMAC.

“Bosnia and Austria have excellent cooperation in the demining sector and I think that Bosnia has expert and competent deminers. We support the return of people to their homes and demining significantly contributes to that process”, Linhart said.

BHMAC Director Dusan Gavran said that Austria has significantly supported demining operations in Bosnia with 850.000 Euros and added that Bosnia is in strong need of such assistance.

3,6 percent of Bosnia's territory or 1.820 square kilometres is contaminated with mines. Some 1 million mines and pieces of unexploded ordnance are still hiding at 11.000 locations.

36 accredited demining organisations are currently active in Bosnia. They have 3.000 trained deminer, 22 machines, 1.020 mine detectors and 85 specially trained dogs.

One person was killed and seven injured by mines in the first six months of this year.


NEW YORK, USA (27.September,2007) – The Bosnian President Zeljko Komsic has continued to hold intensive meetings with foreign officials in New York. Komsic met with US Assistant Secretary of State Daniel Fried to discuss the current situation in Bosnia.

The meeting with Italian Prime Minister Roman Prodi was used to discuss the state of bilateral relations between Bosnia and Italy.They highlighted improving economic cooperation between the two countries and intensive activities in the field of culture, however, they stressed the need for regulating certain issues from the previous period which would allow Italy to provide significant loans for small and medium projects in Bosnia.

Considering the growing presence of Italian banks at the Bosnian market they agreed that the two sides would with the support of Italian banks intensify meetings between businesspersons and stressed that this is the road that will encourage the arrival of Italian capital in Bosnia.

Komsic and Prodi supported the ARS AEVI project and agreed to intensify cooperation through UNESCO. Prodi strongly supported efforts of all countries from the region of former Yugoslavia, especially Bosnia, towards joining the EU and NATO.

Komsic also met with Chilean President Michelle Bachelet.He thanked for the service of Chilean troops as part of the international peacekeeping mission in Bosnia.Bechelet invited Komsic to visit Chile.

Komsic also met with newly appointed UN General Assembly President Srdan Kerim.

Komsic underlined the commitment of Bosnia to play a more active role in the UN system and expressed confidence that the UN has a clear position on the verdict of the International Court of Justice, which should allow the victims of genocide to receive satisfaction and to build a better future for Bosnia through reconciliation.

He also described as justified the initiative of our country for the documentation of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia to be given to Bosnia once this court ends its work. He expressed hope that the final resolution for the status of Kosovo will be reached within the framework of the UN and added such an outcome would be the best solution for all UN member states.

The Bosnian Foreign Affairs Minister Sven Alkalaj held separate meetings in New York with the Foreign Affairs Ministers of Slovakia, Algeria, Russia and Slovenia.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (27.September,2007) – The Bosnian citizens are burdened with many problems and contradictions. One of the most prominent is the contradiction in statements made about the personal life and situation in the country. A survey conducted by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), entitled “Voice of a Silent majority in Bosnia” showed this contradiction.

The survey, conducted by the Oxford research house on behalf of the UNDP, states that almost all of the interviewed Bosnian citizens are quite satisfied with the private life.

Some of the interesting points made in the study were presented in Sarajevo at a debate entitled “Changing Things in Bosnia: Social Research and Democratic Changes”. The goal of the study was to emphasize the basis of a possible consensus on Bosnia's future.

Prof. Anthony Heath, who is in a visit to the UNDP BOSNIA, analyzed some of the findings made in the study.

Professor Heath stated that the research emphasized some of the priorities that need to be solved,primarily the Bosnian economic development and solving the unemployment issues.

The study shows that 62 per cent of the Bosnian citizens under 30 want to leave the country because of unemployment.Corruption is also one of the biggest problems for the citizens. They see association to the EU a long-term solution for Bosnia.

Only seven per cent of people interviewed are of the opinion that others can be trusted.Almost 9 out of 10 citizens stated to be the citizens of Bosnia. 14 per cent of them have an exclusive identity.

Membership to the EU and the EU’s help to Bosnia is something the Bosnian citizens see as helpful in creating the future of the country.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (27.September,2007) - The defence teams of seven of the 11 Serbian war criminals charged with genocide committed by the Serbian aggressor in the eastern Bosnian village of Kravica,have jointly invited three more witnesses to appear before the Bosnian State Court.

Witness Zdravko Zivanovic has said that indictee Dragisa Zivanovic (his cousin) was in Skelani on 13 July 1995. The indictment alleges that Zivanovic and the ten other Serbian war criminals were in the village of Kravica on that day and took part in the murdering of about 1,000 Bosnian civilians by the genocidal Serbian aggressor.

"Dragisa's brother was due to start his military service on that day and there was a farewell party that he organised. He left in the morning hours on 14 July," Zdravko Zivanovic said, adding that his cousin Dragisa was in Skelani all the time.

Witness Stana Ostojic lived in the village of Resagici, near the eastern Bosnian town of Srebrenica, in July 1995.She claims that there was "some squad" next to her house. She has recalled that, on 13 July 1995, "the squad members returned to their headquarters…as one of their colleagues had been killed".

The three witnesses have said that they attended the funeral of Krsto Dragicevic on 15 July 1995 and that they saw the members of his squad.

The trial is due to continue on 27 September, when two more defence witnesses shall be examined.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (27.September,2007) - A Protected Prosecution witness has spoken yesterday before the Bosnian State Court at the trial of Croatian war criminal Pasko Ljubicic about an attack on the Bosnian village of Ahmici committed by the Croatian agressor in April 1993.

"In the morning of 16 April 1993, while my mother and I were running to the basement in our house, we noticed we were surrounded. Five soldiers in camouflage uniforms with HVO marks, "Jokers" and "Knights", followed us to the basement. They were looking for men. They told us we should go to Zenica as it was in 'our country, Alija's country'," witness recalled.

The Bosnian Prosecution charges Croatian war criminal Pasko Ljubicic, in his capacity as member of the Croatian aggressor's formations, with having participated in the "planning and execution of the attacks on the Bosnian towns and the surrounding villages in the Lasva valley". The indictment alleges that members of the Croatian aggressor's military police and the "Jokers" attacked the Bosnian villages of Ahmici, Nadioke, Pirici and Santici on 16 April 1993. In the course of the attack on Ahmici most village residents were murdered or deported, while their property was demolished.

"The soldiers ordered us to get out of our house and we headed towards Vitez, together with other women and children. I saw smoke and houses on fire. On our way to Pirici village we saw soldiers in black and camouflage uniforms," witness told the Bosnian State Court. The convoy of the displaced persons stopped in that village. The people were detained in one house in that village,witness said.

Witness also said that all of them moved on towards "the school in Dubravica, as per an order issued by a person named Vidovic" on 18 April 1993. They stayed in the school until 1 May that year.

"I saw trenches surrounding the school. We were met by two soldiers who started separating us. Women with small children were sent to one room, while the others were sent to the sports hall. That is where I went, together with my mother. Soldiers used to come in the sports hall and take men with them to dig trenches. Later on, I found out that they also took women out of the second room. I guess they raped them," witness said.

During cross-examination, the witness did not confirm ever personally seeing anyone being maltreated, beaten or raped during the period of detention in the school that lasted until 1 May,1993.

The witness stated that Bosnian civilians, who were detained by the Croatian aggressor in the school, were later transported, with the help of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), by buses to Zenica, which was under the control of the Bosnian Army.

The trial of Croatian war criminal Pasko Ljubicic is due to continue on 8 October 2007.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (27.September,2007) - This year’s global Corruption Perception Index shows most Southeastern European countries have moved up in the international league table, but they remain among the more corrupt states.

The latest survey by the corruption watchdog, Transparency International (TI), shows Bosnia, Albania, Croatia, Macedonia, Romania, and Serbia climbing up in the rankings while Bulgaria has fallen back.

The Corruption Perception Index, CPI, published yesterday, shows Bosnia up from 93rd place to equal 84th, a position also occupied by Macedonia (up from 105th) and Montenegro.

In one of the first local reactions to the report, the Montenegrin Minister of the Interior Jusuf Kalamperovic stated that the results of the fight against corruption in Montenegro were limited, and there was a need to change legislation.

“We’ll do our best to make conditions for an efficient fight against corruption and organized crime”, Kalamperovic stated at a conference on key strategies for successful criminal persecution of corruption”, held in Milocer yesterday.

Although Bulgaria has moved down from 57th to 64th place out of 179, it remains the Balkan nation whose corruption perception is the best.

Croatia now shares that place, having improved its standing from 69th place in 2006.Romania is ranked 69th, up from 84th.

Albania, which comes last among the Balkan states in 105th place has climbed up from last year’s 111th.Serbia is ranked 79th (up from 90th).

Boris Divjak, the head of TI’s Bosnian chapter, stressed that despite the apparent improvements, in relative terms Bosnia continued to fall further behind the rest of the region, as several other countries had made bigger improvements.

Divjak blamed this on the “complete paralysis of government” in Bosnia.The CPI report measures perceptions of corruption of public servants and politicians worldwide, based on at least three separate surveys conducted in each country.

CPI marks are given out of 10, which stands for the least, while 1 stands for the most perceived corruption.

World leaders with the least corruption perception are Denmark, Finland and New Zealand with 9.4 points each.At the bottom of the list are Myanmar and Somalia with 1.4 points.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (27.September,2007) - The Bosnian Minister of Security Tarik Sadovic,the Director of the Bosnian Border Police Vinko Dumancic,the Ambassador Dimitris Kourkoulas, Head of the EC Delegation to Bosnia and other officials of the ‘EU family’ in Bosnia, amongst whom Brigadier General Vincenzo Coppola, Head of the EU Police Mission in Bosnia, officially inaugurated the Bosnian Border Police Headquarters yesterday.

The construction of the brand-new headquarters was financed by the EU with over 2.8 million Euros and co-financed by the Ministry of Security and the Bosnian Border Police with 850,000 Euros.

“The EU is ready to invest more funds if an agreement is reached regarding police reform and its implementation,” said Ambassador Kourkoulas. “A quick fulfillment of the conditions to sign the Stability and Association Agreement (SAA) would send apositive message to the EU tax-payers and ensure them that their money is well invested.”

This project is part of the wider assistance of the European Union in support to the strengthening of the Bosnian Border Police and all the judicial and other policing structures in the country.

“By moving into this new building we are going to strengthen the Border Police’s capacities even more,” said Dumancic. “This is no doubt going to reflect positively upon all our efforts to fight cross- border crime.”

The Bosnian Minister of Security Tarik Sadovic also welcomed the inauguration of the new headquarters, stressing that strong institutions make for a strong state.


INVERNESS, Great Britain (27.September,2007) - Scotland based Mackay Consultants has won a £150,000 contract to produce an energy strategy for Bosnia.It will build an energy model and database and train local staff.

Tony Mackay is moving to the Bosnian capital Sarajevo to head a team of 15 international experts who will cover the electricity, coal, oil, gas and renewables sectors. The company is carrying out the work with Exergia of Greece and Human Dynamics of Austria.

In June, Mackay Consultants was commissioned to carry out an feasibility study of a gas pipeline from Kazakhstan to European markets.


BRUSSELS, Belgium (27.September,2007) - The EU High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) Javier Solana called on Bosnia's political leaders to reach an agreement on police reform and other reforms without further delay.

In an interview published in the Wednesday issue of Bosnian daily Dnevni Avaz, Solana warned Bosnia's political leaders of the upshots of the prolonged blockade of reforms in that country, and of postponing the necessary changes.

“The political situation in Bosnia has been deteriorating and the EU is very concerned with it,” Solana said, adding that Bosnia could be doomed to self-isolation should it fail to reach an agreement over police reforms.

He stressed that the gap between political representatives in Bosnia was growing wider, and that it would be a bad sign if Bosnia remained behind neighbouring countries in EU integration processes this autumn.

DNEVNI AVAZ: The situation in Bosnia is worsening. It seems that the country is heading inevitably towards dissolution. Do you share this view?

SOLANA: Yes, it is true that the political situation is worsening, and we are again concerned about the situation in Bosnia at the highest level. The views of the main leaders continue to diverge and it seems increasingly difficult to reach agreement on the key issues. It would be a very bad signal if Bosnia falls behind Serbia this autumn in the EU integration process. But I do not share the view that Bosnia is heading for dissolution. Bosnia is an internationally recognised sovereign state whose territorial integrity is guaranteed under international law. The EU has made a firm commitment to the country. So instead of questioning the existence of the state or its entities, the country’s political leaders should focus on the pressing issues that the country faces, such as meeting the requirements for signing a Stabilisation and Association Agreement with the European Union.

DNEVNI AVAZ: Croat and Serb political leaders have spoken out in favour of the creation of a third entity in Bosnia. What is you view on this issue? It seems that the EU does not have a clearly defined position in this respect?

SOLANA: Each EU member state has its own constitutional structure, and there is no single model that can be applied to every country. I understand that there are various proposals being put forward for the future constitutional organisation of Bosnia, both at the political and expert level. For the EU the goal of constitutional change in Bosnia is to make the country more functional and efficient, and its administration less expensive. In the end, Bosnia needs to find a model that reflects its nature, but that at the same time prepares the country for the process of European integration.

DNEVNI AVAZ: Some Bosniak political circles are of the opinion that the international community is ready to compensate Serbia for the loss of Kosovo by recognizing the independence of (the genocidal Serbian creature in Bosnia) "the RS". Is this true?

SOLANA: I do not expect that the outcome of talks on the future status of Kosovo will have any effect on Bosnia. Any statements drawing parallels between decisions on Kosovo’s future status and the position of "the RS" in Bosnia are irresponsible and serve only to raise political tensions.

DNEVNI AVAZ: Some Bosniak politicians are also convinced that the EU does not sincerely want Bosnia, despite proclamations to the contrary by Brussels and European leaders. They say that new obstacles are being invented all the time so as to prevent Bosnia (like Turkey) from becoming members of the EU. What is your response to such claims?

SOLANA: I think such speculations are absurd. At every EU summit since 1999, the EU has sent a clear signal to Bosnia that it will support the country’s efforts to integrate with the EU and that the doors of the EU are open for Bosnia. Bosnia is a European country. I would also like to stress that Bosnia, as a multiethnic country is wholeheartedly welcome in a multiethnic and diverse European Union. In addition there is an extraordinarily high level of public support in Bosnia for its EU future, much more so than in some candidate countries. Bosnia, like all countries aspiring to join the European Union must meet the criteria and honour their commitments. As a clear example, in October 2005 Bosnia's Parliaments committed to a police reform process in line with the three EU principles. Unfortunately, this commitment remains to be fulfilled. Each country’s progress is assessed individually, and the speed at which Bosnia, or any other country, moves closer to the European Union depends entirely on its own merits.

DNEVNI AVAZ: On the other hand, some analysts believe that European Union – and the International Community in general – will focus their energy on addressing the situation in Bosnia as soon as the Kosovo issue is resolved. Is this prediction correct?

SOLANA: Discussions on the future status of Kosovo might be in the media spotlight at the moment, but that does not mean that the EU is not following the situation in Bosnia very closely. We are very concerned about the stalemate in the reform process. The High Representative and EU Special Representative, Miroslav Lajčák, is working hard to get the reform process back on track and ensure that Bosnia can still conclude an SAA with the EU as soon as possible.

DNEVNI AVAZ: How do you look upon the rejection by Bosniak and Serb political leaders of Lajčák’s police reform concept, which he presented to them recently?

SOLANA: The important thing is that the process is now continuing. I strongly encourage all political parties to continue to work constructively with my Special Representative Mr. Lajčák on the basis of his proposal and reach a comprehensive agreement without delay. The proposal that is now on the table is a fair and balanced compromise solution that enjoys the full backing of the European Union. It meets the three EU principles for police reform and builds on the work of the last three years on this issue. I sometimes have the feeling that political leaders in Bosnia do not see the wood for the trees. They are gambling the European future of the country over a technical reform for the sake of symbols and short term interests.

DNEVNI AVAZ: What is your message to Bosniak and Serb politicians in this regard?

SOLANA: I call on all political leaders in Bosnia, whether at the state or entity level, to think of the country as a whole and of all its citizens when negotiating key reforms. Only compromise in the interests of all can move the reform process forward and bring Bosnia closer to the European Union. A large majority of Bosnian citizens of all backgrounds believes that the key priority of their elected representatives should be European integration, and it is irresponsible from political leaders to deny them the European future to which they aspire.

DNEVNI AVAZ: There are increasing indications that the failure of police reform, and the overall blockade of the reform process, will not pass without consequences. What concrete consequences can we expect? Will Bosnia be isolated and put in quarantine?

SOLANA: The inevitable consequence of such a scenario is self-isolation as the rest of the region continues towards integration with the EU. The European Union will not change its requirements. Whether the country makes progress depends therefore solely on Bosnia and its political leaders.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (27.September,2007) - Bosnia's largest power company Elektroprivreda BiH signed deals worth 105,59 million Bosnian Marks (76.29 million US Dollars) to sell surplus electricity in 2008, despite calls from the regulator to postpone the process.

The Sarajevo-based power firm agreed to sell 725 GWh to Swiss-based power utility Atel at 75 euros per megawatt hour, the Bosnian state radio reported.

The quantity accounts for up to 60 percent of Elektroprivreda's expected surplus next year, officials said.Fourteen firms had applied in response to the company's public tender for the sale of the power surplus in 2008.

The FBIH entity government, the company's majority owner, objected to the sale saying it should await the government's final assessment of energy needs in 2008.On Tuesday, the region's power regulatory body FERK asked Elektroprivreda's management to halt activities on the sale.

But Elektroprivreda General Manager Enver Kreso dismissed the objections as unfounded, pledging to cover all domestic needs with the remaining surplus.

"I only know that this business deal will bring Elektroprivreda BiH to a more favourable financial position in 2008," Kreso told Bosnian state radio.