Bosnia finally gets new government after 16 months

Feb 10, 2012, 7:42 PM

Associated Press

SARAJEVO, Bosnia-Herzegovina (AP) – It took 16 months of wrangling, but Bosnia finally has a new government _ a leadership that promised to immediately tackle the country’s economic problems, including its pressing lack of a budget.

In December, the parties that had won the top six places during a national election in October 2010 agreed on how to divide the prime minister’s position and the Cabinet posts. Parliament approved that Cabinet on Friday in a vote of 26-7, with one abstention.

Power in Bosnia is shared by Bosniaks, Serbs and Croats who rotate key government posts, and the delay to form a government and bickering over how to allocate funds have left this poor country without a budget. As a result, state officials have not received their January salaries.

Government officials have said the budget crisis will be the first thing they will deal with on Monday. Prime Minister Vjekoslav Bevanda, a Bosnian Croat and former regional finance minister, said more broadly that he will immediately tackle Bosnia’s economic challenges.

Sixteen years after Bosnia’s 1992-95 war, the unemployment rate is nearly 30 percent, political instability scares away much-needed foreign investment and a massive brain drain has hampered economic recovery.

Hundreds of thousands of Bosnians who live abroad have helped those still in the country by sending money back home. But job-killing financial crises in North America and Western Europe, where most Bosnian expatriates live and work, have forced some to return, jobless, to their homeland.

Bevanda further promised “this year will be the year of the European Union in Bosnia,” meaning his government will focus on fulfilling the conditions for the country to get candidate status for the bloc.

EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs Catherine Ashton as well as EU Commissioner for Enlargement Stefan Fuele congratulated Bosnia on the appointment of its government and encouraged it in a statement “to concentrate on the pressing European integration agenda.”

In reference to the lack of a state budget, however, the statement noted, “A sound economic and fiscal policy is an essential prerequisite for the country’s EU integration process.”

The embassy of the United States said the U.S. hopes the new government “will provide serious, productive leadership, putting aside personal differences to find common ground.”


Slobodan Lekic in Brussels contributed to this report.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

World News

Ukrainian servicemen carry the coffin with the remains of Army Col. Oleksander Makhachek during a f...
Associated Press

As Ukraine loses troops, how long can it keep up the fight?

ZHYTOMYR (AP) — As soon as they had finished burying a veteran colonel killed by Russian shelling, the cemetery workers readied the next hole. Inevitably, given how quickly death is felling Ukrainian troops on the front lines, the empty grave won’t stay that way for long. Col. Oleksandr Makhachek left behind a widow, Elena, and […]
21 days ago
(Instagram photo/@Clayton.Wolfe)...
Wills Rice

Arizona realtor announces new listing on ‘the top-floor’ of Mount Everest

Arizona realtor Clayton Wolfe scaled the treacherous 29,035-foot heights of Mount Everest in Nepal and announced a new listing at the summit.
22 days ago
(Photo by: Jonathan Wiggs/Boston Globe/Getty Images)...
Associated Press

‘Tiger King’ star ‘Doc’ Antle arrested for money laundering charges

“Tiger King” star “Doc” Antle was arrested by the FBI and expected to appear in court Monday to face federal money laundering charges.
22 days ago
(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)...
Associated Press

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey in Israel for talks with political and business leaders

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey is in Israel for five days of talks with political and business leaders of the Middle Eastern country.
28 days ago
A man rides a bicycle in front of a building ruined by shelling in Borodyanka, on the outskirts of ...
Associated Press

Russia takes steps to bolster army, tighten grip on Ukraine

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin issued an order Wednesday to fast track Russian citizenship for residents of parts of southern Ukraine largely held by his forces, while lawmakers in Moscow passed a bill to strengthen the stretched Russian army. Putin’s decree applying to the Kherson and Zaporizhzhia regions could allow Russia to […]
1 month ago
FILE - McDonald's restaurant is seen in the center of Dmitrov, a Russian town 75 km., (47 miles) no...
Associated Press

De-Arching: McDonald’s to sell Russia business, exit country

McDonald’s is closing its doors in Russia, ending an era of optimism and increasing the country’s isolation over its war in Ukraine. The Chicago burger giant confirmed Monday that it is selling its 850 restaurants in Russia. McDonald’s said it will seek a buyer who will employ its 62,000 workers in Russia, and will continue […]
1 month ago

Sponsored Articles

Carla Berg, MHS, Deputy Director, Public Health Services, Arizona Department of Health Services

Vaccines are safe if you are pregnant or breastfeeding

Are you pregnant? Do you have a friend or loved one who’s expecting?
Carla Berg, MHS, Deputy Director, Public Health Services, Arizona Department of Health Services

Update your child’s vaccines before kindergarten

So, your little one starts kindergarten soon. How exciting! You still have a few months before the school year starts, so now’s the time to make sure students-to-be have the vaccines needed to stay safe as they head into a new chapter of life.
Carla Berg, MHS, Deputy Director, Public Health Services, Arizona Department of Health Services

ADHS mobile program brings COVID-19 vaccines and boosters to Arizonans

The Arizona Department of Health Services and partner agencies are providing even more widespread availability by making COVID-19 vaccines available in neighborhoods through trusted community partners.
Bosnia finally gets new government after 16 months