Wednesday, November 26, 2008


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (November 26,2008) - Bosnian authorities organised a series of events to mark Statehood Day yesterday.

A member of the Bosnian State Presidency Haris Silajdzic sent his greetings to all Bosnian citizens on the occasion of November 25, the Bosnian Statehood Day.

”I want us to mark this national holiday in dignity, remembering all those who gave their lives for foundation of the Bosnian state. The duty of us all who love this country is to remember the victims who fell for its freedom, independence and sovereignty, to build a modern, multiethnic and multicultural state for all its citizens without discrimination on any basis”, stated Silajdzic in his greetings.

On the occasion of November 25th,the Bosnian Statehood Day, flowers were laid and tribute was paid to the Bosnian soldiers killed during the World War II on Tuesday in front of the Eternal Flame in the Bosnian capital Sarajevo.

A member of the Bosnian State Presidency Zeljko Komsic, representatives of the City and Canton Sarajevo, SABNOR members, members of the Democratic Youth Movement, SDA Party and citizens of Sarajevo laid the flowers.

Bosnian State Presidency member Zeljko Komsic delivered the following speech on the occasion of the Bosnian Statehood Day:

"Councilors of ZAVNOBIH, dear comrades, ladies and gentlemen, Your Excellencies, dear friends, respected officials…

On today’s day, exactly 65 yaers ago, at the first session of ZAVNOBIH held in Mrkonjic Grad, 173 councilors from Bosnia took part in the session.

Out of 173 afore mentioned councilors, 8 are still alive. Unfortunately, for health reasons following councilors are not attending this ceremony: Boro Popovic, Ibro Sator, Rade Hamovic and Enver Redzic. However, we have the honour to host other councilors, including: Krstan Bijeljac, Oskar Danon, Ljubo Babic and Mile Perkovic. I would kindly ask you to greet them.

I extend my sincere greetings to you all and congratulate you the National Day.

Celebrating this national holiday, when 65 years ago in Mrkonjic Grad, in Europe besieged by fascism, in the middle of seized territory, a landmark occurred in the history of our country, let us recall this important historic date, as a foundation stone, upon which modern, democratic Bosnia rests.

I will not repeat this time the legendary ‘3 and’ or ‘nor 3’ from the ZAVNOBIH session, but I will remind you that it was the session of the Council of Bosnia's antifascists from all the peoples living in Bosnia. It is true that antifascist movement was led by communists, but the fact is that most antifascist and patriots were not members of Communist party of Yugoslavia.

I would like to point out that we are talking about the event which not only confirms the continuity of the Bosnian statehood, in the only right way. And that is- every citizen of Bosnia is equal in his rights and way of life, regardless of the part of Bosnia he lives in, and regardless of the fact whether or not he belongs to ‘majority or minority’ in that part of our homeland. Or, to put it simplier-Bosnia, every part of it, even the smallest one, belongs to every Bosnian citizen.

In its history which is thousands of years old, its peoples have demonstrated, although they suffered and lived through numerous blows dealt by various enemies and policies, that peace, tolerance, and co-existence become something of a genetic code, to put it that way.

I would like to send out the message to our friends from international community, to those, who, as opposed to us from Bosnia, all this might not strike them as something close and familiar.

I am aware of the fact that, those who do not wish well to our country, tell stories to you who are not from here, trying to convince you of something, present you with the so-called historical facts, that almost ‘the natural condition’ of this country is conflict, lack of tolerance, and the only way to peace and stability is division, separation, ethnic disintegration, to the stories that Bosnia should be wiped off the face of political world map.

However, if that is the way things are, don’t you think that this country would have disintegrated before, and that history would have waited for its present enemies to complete their task?

Bosnia has neither disintegrated nor separated before the forces of that time, including Ottoman Empire, Austro-Hungarian Empire, Hitler’s Germany, Mussolini’s Italy, Ustasas’ NDH, cetnik military movement, before neighbouring fascists at the end of the 20th century. Those were forces too strong for such a small country, but small Bosnia still exists. I think that all things said lead to a irrefutable conclusion!

Conflicts and wars in Bosnia have always been bloody and fierce, but according to historical parameters, they lasted shortly, and most importantly, they were always imported, started beyond the boundaries of Bosnia.

Dear friends…

There is no doubt that ZAVNOBIH is a foundation stone of modern Bosnian statehood, but also that it is a model which points to the way we cannot only live together, but equitably and happily, something that no country can live without.

If we live in the same country, if we are the citizens of the same country, than the minimum of civilized behaviour, historical recollection and civic culture implies to celebrate today’s date as the common national holiday of all its citizens and peoples.

As for the appropriate mode of celebrating the National Day, that is, the reason for not celebrating it in certain parts of Bosnia, I would like to repeat the following:

The date of signing the Dayton Peace Agreement I consider as an important date in the recent history of Bosnia, which should be celebrated in a dignified manner, but 25th November, the date of celebration of ZAVNOBIH, and reaching decisions, I personally find of utmost importance, as a crucial landmark, and the sole National Day of Bosnia.

It is the task of this generation to path the way towards the common future, and that is free, democratic and prosperous Bosnia.

Our only future is Bosnia as the unity of equal and egalitarian peoples, a society composed of equal and egalitarian citizens where there would not be those with fewer or no rights, and those with more rights.

Finally, what we must remember on today’s path to European Union is that we must learn from the rest of Europe, take advice, learn from its experience, of course, not haphazardly, and never fail to remember that we can and must do for ourselves mostly by our own forces.

With the wish to remain adamant in building and strengthening of our country, as a country of well-being, security, and common well-being, I would like once again to extend my sincere congratulations on the occasion of the Bosnian National Day!

Thank you!"



TUZLA, Bosnia (November 26,2008) - The President of Croatia Stjepan Mesic visited the northeastern Bosnian city of Tuzla yesterday due to marking the Bosnian Statehood Day.

Croatian President Mesic was welcomed by the initiators and organizers of his visit, University in Tuzla Rector Dzemo Tufekcic and Tuzla Canton Prime Minister Enes Mujic.


CHISINAU, Moldova (November 26,2008) - Moldova is to host the summit of heads of governments of the Central European Initiative (CEI) on 28 November due to its holding the chairmanship of this organization starting from 1 January 2008.

Delegations from about 20 countries and representatives of different international and regional organisations are to participate in the summit. The summit's agenda includes discussions related to cooperation for Europe's future, the coordination of the CEI's activities within regional political priorities, the development of the CEI-EU dialogue.

The main objectives of Moldova's chairmanship were to carry out the CEI reform, adopted by the CEI heads of governments within the Sofia summit in 2007, to ease the transfer of experience between the EU member and non member states, to implement joint projects, to foster CEI cooperation with other regional bodies.

According tot he meeting's agenda, Moldovan President Vladimir Voronin is to greet the participants in the opening of the summit.

The Central European Initiative was founded in 1989 as a forum of intergovernmental political, economic and cultural cooperation. At present, the CEI's main goal is to support the developing countries to join the EU.

Moldova became the 17th CEI member in 1996, during the summit in Graz, Austria. At present, the CEI has 18 member states: Albania, Austria, Belarus, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Italy, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Ukraine and Hungary.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (November 26,2008) - Bosnia's aluminium smelter Aluminij Mostar will cut production and jobs in 2009 because of low prices for the metal and high electricity prices, the company's general manager said.

Bosnia's largest exporter did not give details of the planned cuts but said government policy had forced it to buy electricity under commercial prices instead of more favourable local prices.

It said in a statement it had lost 24.5 million Euros (30.86 million US Dollars) in 2008 due to high electricity prices.

General Manager Mijo Brajkovic said the price of aluminium on the London Metal Exchange (LME) had fallen almost 50 percent in past months, "resulting in about 15 million US Dollars less in revenues per month".

"Because of all of this, Aluminij has found itself in a very difficult situation and will be forced to reduce production in 2009, fire workers and file a lawsuit against all relevant institutions which brought it into inferior position compared with other electricity consumers," he said in the statement.

Aluminij had previously said it expects 2008 output to rise to 140,000 tonnes of metal from 121,750 tonnes in 2007, after it completed the modernisation of its anode plant in September. It has a 970-strong workforce.

Brajkovic said the policy was also jeopardising the sale of Aluminij to a consortium led by Swiss-based commodities trader Glencore GLEN.UL.

The fall in metals prices due to the global financial crisis poses a threat to the Bosnian economy in 2009 as metals account for around 40 percent of its total exports.

Bosnia's largest steel maker Arcelor Mittal Zenica, a unit of ArcelorMittal, has said it has selectively cut deliveries to some markets to accommodate current demand. But it has not announced output or job cuts.

Ljubija iron ore mines in the northwest of the country, also part of ArcelorMittal, has said it expected a 20 percent fall in 2008 output to 1.2 million tonnes from a planned 1.5 million.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (November 26,2008) - Stefan Feller, Head of the EU Police Mission in Bosnia (EUPM), met yesterday with Mirko Lujic, Head of the Bosnian State Investigation and Protection Agency (SIPA), who informed him about the present situation and cooperation of SIPA with other law enforcement agencies in Bosnia.

The two top police officials discussed ways to improve the fight against organized crime in Bosnia, and stressed the importance of a smooth information and intelligence exchange amongst the Bosnian law enforcement agencies.

In order to improve the cooperation amongst Bosnia's police agencies the Heads of EUPM and SIPA suggested that the representatives of the various Bosnian law enforcement agencies, police agencies and prosecutor’s offices alike, should hold a series of meetings.

The Head of EUPM said that he would strongly support activities aiming to create the necessary pre-conditions for the further development of the Agency, especially as far as human and technical resources are concerned.

One of the ways to achieve this is to amend the existing law regulations in order to allow SIPA to recruit more new employees, particularly junior and senior inspectors and senior inspector. SIPA is still not at its full strength, currently reaching 68 percent of its full capacity.

The working meeting was also attended by the Deputy Director of SIPA Sead Lisak and EUPM's Chief Adviser to SIPA Brian Donley.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (November 26,2008) - In its 2008 Transition Report released yesterday, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has made an assessment that in the current year the Bosnian GDP growth rate would drop to six per cent (from 6.8 per cent in 2007), and further to 4.5 per cent in the following year.

The EBRD expects slower economic growth in all other transitional countries in the southeastern Europe, as a result of the global economic crisis and instability in the financial market.

The bank urges all the countries in which is has invested to make the stabilization of their banking systems a priority.

EBRD’s economist Peter Sanfey said they are still convinced in mid-term growth perspective for Bosnia, but reminded that there are numerous reform tasks before the Bosnian government, such as public administration reform, improving the business climate and maintaining macroeconomic stability.


SARAJEVO, Bosnia (November 26,2008) - The value of construction work completed by Bosnian companies abroad has increased in the third quarter of 2008 by impressive 72.1 percent, compared to the third quarter of 2007, while in the first nine months of this year it went up by 47.7 per cent.

However, data from the Bosnian National Statistics Agency also show that the value of new building contracts in the third quarter of 2008 dropped by 42.9 percent, while in the first nine months it was up by 15.3 percent. African countries accounted for the biggest share of completed construction work (59 percent).