Wednesday, June 18, 2008


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (June 18,2008) - Thousands of Bosnian war veterans blocked the FBIH entity government building yesterday, protesting delays in their payments.

The protest, one of the biggest in recent months, reflects the worsening economic and budgetary situation in the FBIH entity , caused uncontrolled social and public spending.

Over the past two years, the FBIH entity has adopted legislation granting excessive social benefits for war veterans and invalids – considered to be one of the most influential lobbying groups, especially ahead of the October local elections.

This legislation has brought the FBIH entity on the verge of financial collapse and delayed payment of most benefits and salaries from the budget.

Another part of this legislation has tried to pass responsibility for increased social payments onto the ten regions, or cantons, which make up the FBIH entity , yet most of them, were unable or unwilling to meet this requirement.

This problem gained an additional dimension when the political representatives of the Croatians living in Bosnia, blocked the legislation which provides even greater payments for Bosnian war veterans and invalids.

Frustrated by delayed social payments, Bosnian war veterans from across the Federation staged protests in front of the the FBIH entity government building yesterday demanding their benefits and new jobs.

They also requested the resignation of key political representatives of the Croatians living in Bosnia.

The problem was temporarily resolved and the crowd eventually dispersed without incidents when war veterans’ representatives received pledges from the government that cantons will pay their due contributions.

Unless this promise is met – experts say it seems highly unlikely – then Bosnian war veterans will stage new protests in the Bosnian capital Sarajevo on July 2.

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