Politics in May 1999

*Bosnia and Herzegovina in the Council of Europe

Celebration in honor of 50 years of the European Council took place in Strasbourg at the end of April. Believe it or not, one day of the celebration was used for a discussion about the acceptance of BiH in this organization. This subject has been talked about for over a year now, but every time there's a small and accidental thing that comes in the way. For example, minimal human rights of the minorities, attacks on refugees, crime, corruption in the government...
But this time the story seems to be more serious since Carlos Westendorp himself is in favor of accepting this country in European institutions. Under certain conditions, of course. Are we to expect new cleanings in BiH government, judging from Westendorp's demands, because it is obvious that it will never be clean and functioning in a normal way on its own. If anyone does that, the name will be Westendorp.
But not everyone agrees with him. According to them, what's the future of the country if this kind Spanish man has to make decisions for the Presidents. And how could anyone trust Bosnian representatives which promise a life together and than show up in Strasbourg as following: Ante Jelavic from Zagreb (which is normal), Alija Izetbegovic from Sarajevo (which is normal) and Zivko Radisic from Sarajevo (which is not normal, but since there's nothing else flying from Belgrade but NATO planes, Sarajevo was the only option. But not on the same plane with Izetbegovic, of course. Hard, hard to believe.
*1 May Day in Dusk of Misery
For the 8th time since gaining independence, Bosnian Labor movement has greeted its labor holiday, May 1. In a worst situation ever, it seems.
What's this about. Nothing new. Nothing new if we point out miserable salaries, miserable working rights, predomination of foreign products in the domestic market, bad industry situation in general... Just, bad. And to make things even worse, there's a tradition of capitalistic system, which seems to be at home in Bosnia. And it feels cozy and not likely to leave us for a while.
A long expected process of privatization began at the end of April. Or, more precisely, the process of buying everything that is for sale. From factories to people. The beginning of the new slave system, at the door of the 21 century. Things that were once only suggested are actually happening now.
Waiting for the privatization, directors or the people in power managed to ruin those few successful organizations. For a simple reason. By destroying organizations and their industrial and market power, their price falls rapidly. And then they can buy the same factory for nothing. While no one cares for the workers that will end up in the streets. If I were wrong all this would probably never have happened if someone cared more about the people instead of the capital. The next move would be sell off the organizations to foreign investors. Somebody would make a great profit.
Then comes the worst part. Darwin's theory on survival in its worst form.
The rights ones survive, and the less capable ones go down, literally. Only now it seems that BIH could loose half of its population this way. And what about workers and their holiday. Nothing, they will suffer until the next May Day. And than all over again.
*Word or Two about Republika Srpska
Republika Srpska could become a phenomenon. It's been 8 months since the September election implementation, and the Serb entity still doesn't have its government. Three mandators were proposed but it turned out that the new ones were worse than the old ones. It seems that RS has fewer people in function every day.
Carlos Westendorp replaced Nikola Poplasen, RS president at the time, two months ago. Poplasen, of course, didn't mind that very much. On the contrary, his status among the people and the entity became stronger than before. Partially, thanks to the NATO actions and cries for the Serb unity against the Western enemies and domestic traitors. Current facts speak differently. Poplasen's untouchable rulenow seems like the snow in the Sun. "Quite suddenly and unintentionally" the former president went for a "rest" at the hospital. We could talk forever if Westendorp or health problems had put him there, but there's no need for that.
The fact remains that one not so brilliant political career seems to be at the end. Who's next? As much as the RS residents were dealing with the situation in Yugoslavia, they will now have to deal with the situation in their own entity. Together with the local authorities.
Usually bad economic situation in RS seems to be going to its definite ruin. The largest economic cooperation RS had with Yugoslavia. Now it's not possible so the economy and the worker's stomachs suffer. There's been a lot of talk about re-orientating RS economy to the Federal market, but nothing concrete has been said about the way of doing this.
The fact is, if anything makes Bosnian tribes communicate again it would be economy. They should learn from the thieves and smugglers who were the first to move on with brotherly cooperation after the war. And they learned from the government. Like government like country.
And what it is like, figure out for yourself.
*Leaving of Carlos Westendorp
Two years after taking over the power in BIH, this Spanish man seems to be leaving. Carlos Westendorp, the High Representative for this unfortunate country is leaving his current position. Is Westendorp finally tired of dealing with the local political and other no-goods? Maybe. Maybe not. But the reason is probably the fact that Westendorp, as one of the leaders of the Spanish Socialist Party, is to be elected in European Parliament.
From wild Bosnia to European safety. Two years were too much. Name of Westendorp's successor is still unknown. It is a big decision. It's not easy to find a man that would, like he did, confront Bosnian tribe-chiefs so successfully. After Westendorp, the High Representative could be only someone who's even more determent in implementing decisions than he was. Otherwise, the progress that was achieved in the last year goes down.
Well, we just have to wait.
*Bosnian Parliament's House of People Session

The session took place in Sarajevo. The major theme of the discussion was the national budget for this year. It is hard to believe how little it took them to make all the decisions, considering the tormenting and endless sessions in the past that had to do with human rights, media freedom, people returning to their homes - things that were supposed to be solved at those sessions but were not. Probably because they had to do with the funds that the government needs in order to spend enormous sums of money. There's nothing important to point out, since there was almost nothing important. Except for one action by Dzevad Mlaco. The man suggested that the matter of returning the refugees should get priority in the fund division in case of the budget rebalance. For the record, it's the same Mlaco that was replaced from the sheriff's function in Bugojno, because of the different ways and attempts to prevent people's return to that town. And as a reward, SDA moved him to the Parliament chair. Crazy!
*Sarajevo Wild West

Sarajevo is obviously willing to follow the trend of various small things that are popular in the degrading Western civilization. A part of that trend is, unfortunately, crime. Or more precisely, Mafia. Sarajevo people have probably forgotten the claims that Sarajevo was one of the safest European cities. Reality is different. Previous couple of weeks will be remembered for several confrontations in the so-called, Sarajevo underground. Several people were killed. It seems that the fight for the real power over the city is just beginning. While the police are aside with their hands crossed. A few years back, films about the criminal Belgrade reality entertained people in Sarajevo. Few years later, the films became the best schoolbook for the world of crime with advises from the criminals expelled from the West. Now we have Mafia reality in our front yard. And in our lives. No one has become to make films yet.