Balkans

The revolt rumbles in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Europe remains silent

One of the leaders of the revolt (credit: RTV Slon Tuzla)
One of the leaders of the revolt (credit: RTV Slon Tuzla)

(BRUSSELS2) Around a hundred injured during demonstrations. And we cannot say that Europe was really troubled. A simple, very short message from the EU ambassador there, Peter Sorensen, where he calls for a “ immediate end to violence ", deplores the number of injured and thanks the emergency and law enforcement services for their effort in " extremely difficult circumstances ». “Citizens have the right to express their dissatisfaction and their opinions in peaceful gatherings”. And that's all ! Point of press release from the High Representative, etc. A little short in the face of what looks like a certain bankruptcy of the Dayton agreements, with political authorities incapable of governing.

A certain despair

However, the situation on the spot suggests a certain despair, in several cities of the country, in Tuzla as in the capital. " In Sarajevo, the rage is palpable, as well as the indignation at an economic situation that has become unsustainable and at the laziness of a political class assimilated to "parasites". write our colleagues from Balkan Mail.

Movement "Udar i Revolt” claimed in a manifest “For a new Bosnia-Herzegovina”, the release of arrested demonstrators and the resignation of the Prime Minister, Hamdije Lipovace. He emphasizes how the situation in the country is catastrophic. The existence and organization of the State established by the Dayton Agreement is untenable. » He also calls for fundamental reforms such as the establishment of anti-corruption police, free health insurance for all citizens or the review of the privatization of private companies (which has led to certain abuses). Among these: an original proposal: reducing the salaries of political leaders to the absolute minimum, as long as unemployment does not reach 10%!

An explosive and predictable social and economic situation

These troubles will not surprise Bosnia specialists. The various reports from the High Representative for Bosnia or the EUFOR Althea operation have all underlined, for several months, even several years, that although at the strictly security level, the situation remained " calm ”, it was not the same in economic and social matters. Thus it was mentioned in a 2011 report “ The economic situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina remains unfavorable leading to social tensions. (…) Political impasse, economic and financial problems, if not resolved appropriately could become a growing concern. » In 2013, same observation, even more alarmist on the economic and social level. " The current economic situation (increase in energy and food prices), the high rate of unemployment and the weakness of administrative structures remains worrying” (*)

(Nicolas Gros-Verheyde)

(*)  The current economic situation (rising food and energy prices), the high rate of unemployment and the weak administrative structures remained of concern. »

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Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).