Monday, November 19, 2007


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (November 19,2007) – The Office of the International Community's High Representative in Bosnia (OHR) now expects concrete steps on the implementation of the Mostar Declaration, OHR spokesperson Ljiljana Radetic said when asked to comment on the meeting of the leaders of six leading political parties in Bosnia that will be hosted by the SBIH Party in the Bosnian capital Sarajevo on November 22.

She reminded that OHR welcomed the Mostar Declaration.

“Even though it was not enough for initialling the Stabilisation and Association Agreement between Bosnia and the European Union, it still represents a positive basis from which is it possible to move forward. OHR thinks that there is no alternative to the path of Bosnia towards the EU membership”, Radetic said.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (November 19,2007) – The FBiH Entity Government has defined and forwarded into parliamentary procedure the Draft FBiH Entity Budget for 2008 and the Draft Law for the Implementation of the FBiH Entity Budget, the FBiH Entity Government stated.

The Draft Budget for 2008 totals 1,746,697,278 Bosnian Marks (1,308,377,674 US Dollars), which is 160,4 million Bosnian Marks or 10,1 percent more than the rebalanced budget for 2007.

The Draft Law for the Implementation of the FBiH Entity Budget defines priorities for the implementation of the Budget. It gives top priority to the repayment of interest rates and debt, following by transfers for benefits for disabled persons, veterans and civilian victims of war.

The third priority under this draft law is agriculture, and then refugees and displaced persons.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (November 19,2007) – Congress of Bosniak Intellectuals’ Council (VKBI), Croat People’s Council (HNV) and Serb Council of Citizens (SGV) supported yesterday Declaration for Peace and against the Violence initiated by the Association of Independent Intellectuals Circle 99.

The Declaration is aimed against any attempt of renewal of violence in Bosnia and calls the Bosnian citizens to distance themselves from the initiators and organizers of the possible conflicts, including the measures such as civic disobedience towards such persons.

The Declaration was presented yesterday at the Circle 99 session in the Bosnian capital Sarajevo on the topic “A Call for Peace and Tolerance”. Representatives of the NGOs talked about the current political crisis in the Bosnia.

Hidajet Repovac, President of the Circle 99, stated that the political situation in Bosnia is serious. In that sense he emphasized a bad situation in the sector of politics and economy.

According to him, it is not the International Community's High Representative’s measures that caused the crisis.

Repovac said that the crisis began in 1992, the year when the Serbian aggression against Bosnia started. It continued after the war,he said. He also commented the newest wave of price growth and added that the main goal of the situation is to place a rope around the poor peoples’ necks.

However,Repovac said one must not think for a second that chaotic situation will lead us to a disaster.

Sabira Hadzovic, President of the VKBI, welcomed the Declaration and stated that good upbringing and education are needed for tolerance.

Franciscan Theology Professor in Sarajevo Fra Luka Markesic, President of the HNV, stated that the situation in Bosnia should be openly analyzed in order to find methods for overcoming the crisis.

Markesic is of the opinion that some people exaggerate in their statements that the situation in Bosnia is disastrous. Others minimize it.

”The crisis is serious, but it should not lead us towards bringing the country down to the knees or towards the practice of concealing the problems”, he said.

Markesic sees the solution in implementation of the Dayton Agreement and its amendments for the purpose of building a modern and democratic Bosnia.

If the reforms, especially police and constitutional reforms, are not implemented, the crisis will deepen. Blockade should be lifted from the country and the people making it should be removed, Markesic said. He fully supported the International Community's High Representative in Bosnia Miroslav Lajcak and urged him to continue implementing his plan.

However, he emphasized that Lajcak should not work alone. He should cooperate with all Bosnian citizens.

SGV has never given up the sovereign and united Bosnia, a country of equal and constitutive peoples, Veljo Dreca said.

He added that the SGV is fighting every day to preserve equal rights to all Bosnian citizens. He added that social processes take a long time to be implemented and that in that sense we should be patient.

His experience from the field has shown that the situation among the citizens is far better than is among Bosnia's politicians.

Dreca said that he heard the citizens of Gorazde, accuse only the politicians for the crisis, not other peoples. He has heard similar attitudes from police members. All of them would love to see the police reform implemented,he said.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (November 19,2007) – In what way does the Southeastern European countries’ association to NATO contribute the increase of the overall security and in what way can a more quality parliamentary supervision of the security sector be achieved are the main topics of the 7th session of the Cetinje Parliamentary Forum which will take place in Cetinje ,Montenegro, today and tomorrow, the Bosnian Parliament announced yesterday.

The highest representatives of the regional legislative institutions will attend, as well as parliamentary security board members. Representatives of Bosnian Parliament will also attend.


ZVORNIK, Bosnia (November 19,2007) – In less then a month since the “Kamenica 9” mass grave was opened, the Bosnian Commission’s Team for Search for the Missing Persons lead by the Tuzla Canton Prosecutor’s Office exhumed 490 remains of genocide victims from Srebrenica.

The genocidal Serbian aggressor led by Serbian war criminal Ratko Mladic overran the Srebrenica enclave in July 1995,during the Serbian aggression against Bosnia,and mass murdered some 10,000 Bosnian civilians.

Serbian war criminal Ratko Mladic is being sought by the U.N. war crimes tribunal in The Hague, Netherlands, on genocide charges

Emir Ibrahimovic, cantonal prosecutor, confirmed that 64 complete and 426 incomplete bodies of genocide victims were found in the biggest grave in Podrinje area. Most of the bodies of genocide victims were found hands and legs tied. A number of personal documents have also been found.

This grave is characteristic because a lot of saponific tissue has been found on the remains of genocide victims. That could accelerate the identification process,he said.

Apart from the bad weather conditions, the expert team will continue this week exhuming the bodies of genocide victims from the Kamenica mass grave,which is located near the eastern Bosnian town of Zvornik.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (November 19,2007) – On the occasion of the International Tolerance Day, the Bosnian Ministry of Human Rights and Refugees called on the Bosnian state institutions and the civil society to promote tolerance – both in words in deeds.

The Ministry also expects others to clearly and in accordance with the law condemn all attempts of national, religious or any other intolerance in Bosnia.

The Bosnian Human Rights and Refugees Minister Safet Halilovic said in his message issued on this occasion that nationalistic and violent incidents have been showing an increase lately and that this is worrying to every well-intentioned Bosnian citizen.

The Bosnian Ministry of Human Rights and Refugees called on all state institutions and citizens to all help Bosnia make another step towards overall progress and prosperity.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (November 19,2007) – The NATO HQ in Bosnia has organised a roundtable in the Bosnian capital Sarajevo for students and youth representatives of non-governmental organisations on the theme : Bosnia on the Road to Euro-Atlantic Integrations – Results and Obstacles.

This is the third such event to be organised following similar events organised by NATO in Zenica and Tuzla with the aim of holding discussion with young people. Further roundtables will be organised in Banja Luka, Bihac and Mostar, while the final one will be held at Vlasic.

NATO HQ Commander General Richard Wightman said in his opening remarks that young people represent the hope of Bosnia

Wightman said that he held many talks with Bosnia's politicians, but that he is amazed by the fact that young people in Bosnia wish to move forward, to be a part of Europe, and that want this to happen now.

He repeated that one of the tasks of the NATO HQ in Bosnia is to help in the arrest of war criminals, four of which are still at large. He said that this is now a political issue and expects politicians in Bosnia, as well as in the neighbouring countries to resolve it, while NATO will also continue to work on it.

NATO spokesperson Derek Chapell said that NATO representatives did not come to the roundtable to promote the Alliance, but to allow young people in Bosnia a chance for dialogue and to give them a voice in the political process.

He stressed that NATO is an alliance of democratic countries which share same values and which functions on the principle of consensus.

NATO membership is not connected to military issues only. Chapell reminded of experiences of countries that have joined NATO during the previous years. International investors now think that those countries are safe for investment and new members have seen great economic benefit.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (November 19,2007) – Members of the Collegium of the Bosnian Parliament met with British Parliament’s Commission for Public Finances Head Edward Leigh in the Bosnian capital Sarajevo.They discussed budget adoption processes, audit report and parliamentary control of public finances.

They concluded that extensive experience Great Britain has on these issues could be of great benefit for Bosnia.Cooperation will be established between commissions for finances and budget in both houses of the Bosnian Parliament with similar institutions in the British Parliament.

Contacts would serve to inform Bosnian parliamentarians about the method of work and ways for overcoming possible obstacles concerning audit reports and recommendations.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (November 19,2007) - The Bosnian Central Bank is the winner of the Regional Award “Golden Bridge”, which it has received for its contribution in the development of regional cooperation.

This award has been awarded for the fifth year by the chambers of economies of South East European countries (Bosnia, Slovenia,Montenegro, Serbia, Macedonia, Albania, Greece, Turkey, Bulgaria, Romania and Cyprus) during the traditional meetings of businesspeople, and other participants in public and cultural life of the region, the Bosnian Central Bank said.

The award has been given to the Bosnian Central Bank for the results achieved during its 10 years of work, as well as for the contribution in the development of regional cooperation, primarily, in the domain of central banking.

This year’s award ceremony, organized by the Chambers of Commerce of Belgrade and Timisoara and the Media Invent d.o.o. from Novi Sad, with the attendance of a large number of businesspeople from the region, took place in Timisoara,Romania.The Bosnian Central Bank Vice Governor Ljubiša Vladušić, who participated in the work of the Conference which was organized on that occasion, received this award on the behalf of the Bosnian Central Bank.

During his presentation entitled “Bosnia: Economic Results and Optimistic Outlook, Vice Governor Vladušić presented economic indicators of Bosnia, with the special emphasis on the results of the Bosnian Central Ban in the achieving of monetary and financial stability.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (November 19,2007) – Following the increase of prices of basic food products in Bosnia – oil, sugar, flour and milk, the FBiH Entity Government will activate for retail certain amounts from its product reserves.

Oil reserves will be released this week, FBiH Entity Minister of Finance Vjekoslav Bevanda told a press conference after the session of the FBiH Entity Government in Sarajevo.

The FBiH Entity Minister of Labour and Social Policy Perica Jelecevic said that the prices of that oil will be lower than the current ones. However, no one from the FBiH Entity Government was able to give their exact price.

More on this will be know following consultation with the Product Reserves Directorate, which is expected to provide this information today.

Head of the Inspection Administration Ibrahim Tarik said that controls conducted in Sarajevo, Tuzla, Bihac and Zenica have shown a clear increase in prices.

This hike in prices has been caused by higher cost of fuel, shortages at the market causes by poor yields, and there are also some manipulative moves by oil producers.

“There has been an evident increase in prices, I don’t know why this happened, an artificial panic has been created that the price of oil could reach 8 Bosnian Marks per liter. I think that this will never happen and we shall not allow it to happen.

There is no need for citizens to buy large amounts of products because there will be no shortages. There will always be oil, flour, sugar and milk. The only question is what will be happening at the market.

Statements in the Bosnian media by people who have no knowledge about the market, create panic and a negative atmosphere”, Tirak said.

Minister Perica Jelecevic informed journalists about conclusions and proposed measures from the today’s session of the FBiH Entity Government following the increase in prices of basic living products and the disturbance this has caused among the citizens.

“I think that the present tension resulting from the increase in the prices of living products will somewhat lessen”, Jelecevic said.

The FBiH Entity Government will also consider the application of the FBiH Entity Law on controlling prices in order to curb possible manipulations and the creation of artificial shortages.

Jelecevic links the present situation with the current political climate in Bosnia, which creates tension among citizens and at the market in general.

The FBiH Entity Government has concluded that relevant ministries, together with relevant cantonal ministers, will analyse the situation, because social policy in FBiH largely falls under the authority of cantons.The FBiH and cantonal governments will then put together a proposal for reacting to this price increase,the FBiH Entity Prime Minister Nedzad Brankovic said.