Thursday, September 18, 2008


BRUSSELS, Belgium (September 18,2008) - The EU Foreign Policy Chief, Javier Solana said yesterday that he is not happy with the speed at which Bosnia is meeting its conditions for EU integration.

He said that three months had passed since Bosnia signed the Stabilization and Association Agreement (SAA), but that there was no visible progress, only stagnation.

“The promised action plan has stopped and there is no progress. The signed agreement has not been ratified by Bosnia, and the monthly meetings of the Bosnian Council of Ministers on European integration issues have yet to prove their good intentions by being held on a regular basis,” Solana told Bosnian daily Dnevni Avaz.

He called on Bosnia’s political leaders to join forces for EU integration projects and not to allow Bosnia to fall behind.

“A lot more could have been done, and the European Commission report on Bosnia’s progress will give an objective evaluation on November 5,” Solana said.

He said that the forthcoming local elections in October would be a good chance to let voters have their say on what direction they wanted the country to take in future.

Solana said that he hoped that the majority of voters in Bosnia would take the opportunity to choose candidates in favor of a EU future.

He said that progress in Bosnia's European integration depended solely on meeting the necessary conditions, adding that the Bosnian constitutional reform must also be addressed.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (September 18,2008) - The Sarajevo Stock Exchange (SASE) will organize its third international conference on October 22 and 23. This year’s conference will be dedicated to the privatization of telecom operators, as a turning point in the development of the Bosnian capital market.

All aspects of this process will be discussed, from the point of view of the state, investors, consultants and market institutions. More than 300 participants are expected.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (September 18,2008) - It seems that an initial attempt to protect Bosnian tobacco production is about to be made, with preparations for tobacco regulations that are expected to start soon.A tobacco act will enable higher excise rate on cigarettes with no domestically-grown tobacco, the Bosnian Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Relations has confirmed.

The Ministry has submitted an initiative for drafting a tobacco bill to the relevant ministries in two entities and the Brcko District. They are expected to appoint the tobacco bill task force. The task force should be appointed soon, and a bill is expected by the Bosnian government in three months after that.

Interestingly, the Ministry announced that the basic text for this bill is a three-year-old proposal by Bosnian tobacco growers and cigarette producers. According to the proposal, cigarettes would be classified in three categories.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (September 18,2008) - The Moody’s credit rating agency announced today that Bosnia’s current credit rating – B2 with a stable outlook – is to remain in the following period.In their 2008 report for Bosnia, Moody’s Investor Service explains that the rating reflects stable political and economic challenges for the country. The Bosnian economy continues to grow, but at a slower pace, and the government debt is moderate.

In the opinion of analysts, institutions of the Bosnian state are still weak, by both global and regional standards. The process of their strengthening is slow due to the country’s complex structure and insufficient amount of cooperation between different levels of government.

According to Moody’s, Bosnia’s financial strength is medium-grade, economic and institutional strength levels are low, and the country’s sensitivity to risks is high. 2007 was the fourth consecutive year of a fiscal surplus, and the Bosnian banking system is such that serious financial crises do not seem likely.

Moody's Corporation is the holding company for Moody's Investors Service which performs financial research and analysis on commercial and government entities. The company also ranks the credit-worthiness of borrowers using a standardized ratings scale. The company has a 40% share in the world credit rating market.

Moody's was founded in 1909 by John Moody (1868 - 1958),who was a U.S. financial analyst and investor. He pioneered the rating of bonds and founded Moody's Investment Services. Moody's Manuals are still issued, carrying on the tradition begun by the seminal Moody's Manual of Railroads and Corporation Securities and continued by the annual Moody's Analyses of Investments.


THE HAGUE, The Netherlands (September 18,2008) - Former Yugoslav Army Chief-of-Staff is heading back to The Hague where his war crimes trial opens on October 1.Serbian war criminal,General Momcilo Perisic, an ally-turned-foe of former president of the genocidal Serbia,Serbian war criminal Slobodan Milosevic, faces charges of war crimes in Croatia and Bosnia,committed during the 1991-1995 Serbian aggressions against Bosnia and Croatia

Serbian war criminal Momcilo Perisic is suspected of involvement in the shelling of the Croatian capital Zagreb, the siege of the Bosnian capital Sarajevo and the mass murder of up to 10,000 Bosnian civilians in the eastern Bosnian town of Srebrenica in 1995.

The charges include his help to the genocidal paramilitary fascist formations of the Serbians living in Bosnia and Croatia during the 1991-1995 Serbian aggressions against Bosnia and Croatia.

He voluntarily surrender to the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia at The Hague, in March 2005.

He broke ties with Serbian war criminal Slobodan Milosevic in 1998 when he warned him about the seriousness of NATO threats to bomb genocidal Serbia over its aggression against Kosovo.

The Hague Prosecution asked him to testify against former Serbian fascist leader Slobodan Milosevic at his war crimes trial in 2004 but Perisic reportedly refused to link Serbian war criminal Slobodan Milosevic to the genocide in Bosnia and never took the witness stand.

In 2005, The Hague tribunal indicted Serbian war criminal Momcilo Perisic. He was released in June 2005 pending trial.

Serbian war criminal Slobodan Milosevic died in 2006 before his trial ended.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (September 18,2008) - Bosnia's largest power utility Elektroprivreda BiH (EPBiH) picked three firms, including Switzerland's Atel, as the best bidders to buy its 2009 power surplus of 1,600 gigawatt-hours worth 138 million Euros (195.8 million US Dollars).

The other two were Energy Financing Team (EFT) and Slovenia's GEN-I, EPBiH General Manager Amer Jerlagic said.

"Atel offered 80.6 Euros and 80 Euros per megawatt hour respectively for 1,051 gigawatt hours of electricity offered in the tender's two different lots," Jerlagic said.

GEN-I and EFT submitted bids at 86.1 Euros and 83.53 Euros per megawatt hour for the remainder of the power surplus on offer, he said.

Ten firms, including Czech company CEZ,Switzerland's EGL and Espada, Croatian utility HEP,Slovakia's Korlea, Montenegro's aluminium smelter KAP and Bosnia's utility EPHZHB had applied in the tender.

The Sarajevo-based company is selling off its largest power surplus in five years because a deal, by which it paid with electricity for an investment in a Bosnian power plant, expires this year.

Bosnia and Bulgaria are the only electricity exporters in southeastern Europe while other countries rely on imports, with power shortages ranging from 30 to 50 percent. About half of Bosnia's power is generated in hydro-power plants.

Jerlagic has said that EPBiH, which plans output of 6,700 GWh in 2008, also plans to sell another 300 GWh of electricity next year on a short-term basis through an international tender.This is expected to bring 27 million Euros in revenues.

Last year, state-owned EPBiH signed deals worth 54 million Euros to sell
725 GWh of surplus electricity in 2008 to Atel and EFT at 75 Euros per megawatt hour.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (September 18,2008) - The Turkish State Minister Mustafa Said Yazicioglu met today with leader Of the Bosnian Islamic Community Reisu-l-ulema Mustafa Ef. Ceric.

Speaking at the meeting Yazicioglu said negative thoughts against Islam in the Western world could be overcome with joints projects that would be run by countries like Turkey and Bosnia, adding that the project for the Alliance of Civilizations was an important step in this respect.

Yazicioglu said Turkey's Cooperation and Development Agency (TIKA) was running many projects in Bosnia, including the restoration of historical sites in the country.

After his meeting with Reisu-l-ulema Mustafa Ef. Ceric, the Turkish Minister inaugurated a linguistic center which was funded by TIKA at the International University of Sarajevo (IUS).

Founded by the Foundation for the Development of Education, IUS was inaugurated in the academic year of 2004-2005. The university comprises the Faculty of Engineering and Natural Sciences, the Faculty of Business and Public Administration, and the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.

IUS is open to students from all over the world, and the language of instruction and communication is English.