Saturday, April 19, 2008


ATHENS, Greece (April 19,2008) - The Bosnian Foreign Ministry strongly condemned yesterday an attack on the vehicle of the Bosnian Ambassador to Greece early yesterday morning.

"The Bosnian Foreign Affairs Ministry strongly condemns this act of terrorism," the Ministry said in a statement.

The Bosnian Foreign Affairs Ministry said it sent a diplomatic note to the Greek government requesting better protection for the building and personnel of the Bosnian embassy in Athens.

The personal car of Bosnian Ambassador to Greece, according to statement, was completely destroyed in the attack in front of the Ambassador's Athens residence.

Greek terrorists claimed responsibility for bombing two diplomatic cars belonging to the embassies of Turkey and Bosnia on Friday, causing extensive damage but no injuries, reports said.

An unknown person rang saying he was from the left-wing Greek terrorist group "Anti-Democratic Struggle" and claimed responsibility for yesterday's attack, the third this week.

Two cars belonging to the Saudi embassy were also set on fire using homemade gas canisters in separate incidents earlier this week.

The little known Greek left-wing terrorist group "Anti-Democratic Struggle" claimed responsibility for one of the attacks while another Greek terrorist group, "Subversive Cell", claimed responsibility for the second.


BRUSSELS, Belgium (April 19,2008) – The Bosnian Foreign Affairs Minister Sven Alkalaj has started consultations with the European Commission’s high officials, for the purpose of pressuring Slovenian Presidency over the EU to fulfil the previous promises that the Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) will be signed after adoption of packages on police reform.

After the first short meeting with European commissioner for Expansion Olli Rehn, positions of the two sides have not changed – Bosnia insists on fulfilment of the previous EU promises that SAA will be signed by the end of April if the reform laws, as the main condition, are adopted during this month. On the other hand, the EU still negates the possibility of a fast singing of SAA with Bosnia and does not want to make any precisions about the date of signing of the Agreement.

During his two-day visit to the EU, on Thursday and Friday Minister Alkalaj met with most of the chief operatives of the European Commission in charge of Bosnia and the Balkan region – Head of the Direction for Expansion Michael Leigh, Political Director for the West Balkan Michael Giffoni and others.

This meeting was aimed to clarify the alleged technical obstacles that have arisen on the way to Bosnia’s signing of SAA, after adoption of the police reform laws.

Although Bosnia has several times officially confirmed that texts of the SAA and of the Temporary Trade Agreement have been translated by experts to 22 EU official languages and have also been submitted in early April to the European Commission’s expert services and member countries, the EU still claims that Bosnia’s several months-long hesitation has jeopardized the regular technical procedure for signing of the Agreement.

For the reasons stated, the unofficial sources have confirmed that the main obstacles are legal experts, in charge of legal interpretations of the international agreements.

If that proves to be right, Alkalaj will, the sources close to his cabinet confirmed, insist at the European Commission and Javier Solana, that the agreement is signed in one of the “languages of the EU acceptable to all”. Legal and linguistic issues will further be discussed until the agreement is ratified.

Bosnia's Prime Minister Nikоlа Spiric had a phone conversation on Thursday with Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Jansa on Bosnia’s European perspectives. Spiric told Jansa via phone about ongoing reforms in Bosnia aimed to obtain the country’s progress in the European integration processes.

In that context, he emphasized that the Bosnian Parliament's House of Peoples adopted the police reform laws which means that the last condition for Bosnia’s signing of SAAwith the EU has been fulfilled.

Spiric asked for the Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Jansa’s support for signing the SAA between Bosnia and the EU, for Slovenia is currently presiding the EU.

Jansa congratulated for the progress Bosnia has made in the European integrations processes. He promised to do all in his power to make sure the SAA between Bosnia and the EU is signed as soon as possible.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (April 19,2008) – U.S. Embassy’s Head of Office in the northern Bosnian city of Banja Luka Heidi Jovanovic stated yesterday that the US strongly supports Bosnia on its road to NATO and will continue supporting the country in every way in the NATO association processes.

She emphasized that the decision made by NATO at the Bucharest Summit to ask Bosnia to enter the Intensive dialogue Phase followed fast after the Association to Partnership for Peace, which is a clear sign that NATO is highly appreciative of Bosnia.

She emphasized that members of the alliance want to deepen cooperation and partnership with Bosnia and that the decision on Bosnia’s Intensive Dialogue phase is mostly a result of successful implementation of the Bosnian defence reform.

”Although the reform has not ended, results achieved so far are nothing less than extraordinary”, she emphasized and added that defence reform success is a proof that leaders at the entity and state level can make real changes by passing such decisions and by finding compromise, which will make Bosnia move forward.

Those changes will strengthen Bosnia’s position in the Euro-Atlantic processes, for the benefit of all Bosnian citizens, she emphasized at last night’s reception for representatives of BiH political life organized by the US Embassy’s Office in Banja Luka, on the occasion of NATO’s decision to ask Bosnia to start the Intensive Dialogue phase.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (April 19,2008) - In 2007, the Bosnian Central Bank has achieved record results.According to the financial results, the Bosnian Central Bank ended 2007 with foreign reserves amounting to 6,7 billion Bosnian Marks, representing the increase of more than 1,2 billion Bosnian Marks, or of 22,9% in comparison with 2006. Net free reserves as of December 31, 2007, amounted to 393,7 million Bosnian Marks,the Bosnian Central Bank said yesterday.

In the last year, the Bosnian Central Bank also achieved the largest profit recorded so far in the amount of 142,6 million Bosnian Marks, of which 59,9 million Bosnian Marks was transferred to the Bosnian state budget at the beginning of April 2008.

In accordance with international standards, analyses were performed within the Bosnian Central Bank Financial Reports, which show exposure and sensibility to market risks.

The analyses have shown that the Bosnian Central Bank has satisfying liquidity, which means that Bank’s liabilities are adequately covered with liquid assets.

Analyses also show that the bank was not exposed to larger market risks during the process of investment of foreign reserves, such as exchange rate related risks, interest fluctuations risks or credit risk, the Bosnian Central Bank said.

Positive operations of the CBBH were also confirmed by the external auditing company Deloitte, stressing that the Bosnian Central Bank Financial Statements for 2007 were reliable and accurate.

As the fiscal agent to the state, the Bosnian Central Bank has regularly serviced foreign obligations which amounted to 3,9 billion Bosnian Marks at the end of 2007. The total amount of foreign debt has reduced by 167,2 million Bosnian Marks, or by 4,1% compared to 2006.

The year ended with the Decision of the CBBH Governing Board on increase of reserve requirement rate for commercial banks from 15% to 18%, in order to slow credit growth. This Decision is implemented from the beginning of this year.

During 2007, a rapid increase of FDI inflow in Bosnia was recorded. In accordance with the Bosnian Central bank estimates, FDI in 2007 amounted to close to 2,9 billion Bosnian Marks. The reason for such significant inflow of FDIs was realization of the large privatization agreements during 2007.

The year was also marked by several negative economic indicators – 4,9% inflation at the annual level, measured in December 2007 in comparison with December 2006, followed by stopping of downward trend of interest rates in Bosnia, as well as, worsened Balance of Payments position.

Foreign trade imbalance still represents one of weaknesses of the Bosnian economy, considering the level of the current account deficit, which is present for several years already. This is the consequence of transition which Bosnia is passing through, but also of the external factors, on which Bosnia cannot influence.

General increase of the current account deficit in Bosnia is the consequence of the large increase of foreign trade deficit in 2007 and, in essence, 8 billion Bosnian Marks foreign trade deficit can be easily identified as the main cause of the current account imbalance. Reasons for worsening of the foreign trade deficit are large increase of imports in some branches, as well as, in the general increase of goods prices.