Political news in June 1998

*Division within Bosnian HDZ

The final outcome of ideal and political disagreements that have been disturbing BH HDZ for months, which were obvious on their fifth congress in Mostar, few weeks back, culminated this month. Fraction lead by Kresimir Zubak, Presidency member, left the party. Unsatisfied with HDZ's political orientation and their electing of Ante Jelavic for the new president of HDZ, Zubak and his supporters decided to form a new party called Bosnian - Herzegovian HDZ. Is it because BiH comes first for them, or for any other reason, it is only for them to know. Zubak, beside the support of HDZ leaders, catholic church (who remembers the statements about church and politics - two separate institutions that can not be connected???) and Croats from Posavina, has a support of holy Zagreb. Obviously, it suits Zagreb to have a political party depending on their interest, so they can use Herzegovian radicals or Zubak's followers. Interesting part of the story is that OSCE and Temporary Election Comity will ignore the fact that the aplication deadline is over so Zubak's HDZ will still have a chance to participate September elections.
Does this have anything to do with last year's "rebellion" in RS, when Plavsic and Dodik took over the power, and will Zubak become a sort of Croatian Dodik - we will see after the elections.

*New replacements in Republika Srpska government

In their sixth session, the parliament of RS replaced the president and vice president - Kalinic and Poplasen, supporters of Serb Democratic and Serb Radical party. Unsatisfaction with their work was in the air for months and it was only matter of time when they would be replaced. The new president comes from Biljana Plavsic's party, and the vice president represents the Coalition for United and Democratic BiH.
Godfather of this cleansing in RS Parliament was Carlos Westendorp, who was tired of Kalinic's obstructions of parliament work. And who resents Carlos, he can not have future here. Carlos replaced everyone he could in RS. It is expected that parliament will continue to realize the Dayton agreement in normal and more tolerant way.
The funny thing is that Kalinic refused to give his legendary hammer to his successor, it is the hammer he used to make peace and order during sessions. He would not give it away because it is his personal hammer but he is willing to make plans for his successors in order to get them new hammer. He would also lead them to carpenters who can make it. This is true.

*Izetbegovic - again

Alija Izetbegovic, current president of BH Presidency, will candidate again in the elections. That is the final epilogue and the news which stopped the rumors which invaded the media. He is, once again on the top of SDA candidate list .It seems that it is not what he trully wanted. It is a simple fact that SDA does not have any individual so strong and with that much authority that could bring enough number of votes that wuold keep them in power.

SDA also does not have any individual that could,after Izetbegovic retires, bring peace among fractions within the party. That is the fact. And behind that fact remains public resentment - political and civil. Some did not want him to candidate because of his politacal beliefs, some of his health or age and some because they have seen enough of him during the last eight years. Unfotunately for these last group, Izetbegovic is a candidate again and there is no point in discussing the results.

*BH Federal Army under sanctions

The US Government has decided to temporarily suspend the program "Equip and Train" , the program of material and technical help for Federal Army, after the Federal Ministry refused to go along with the State Department conditions. Basically the Ministry has refused to give an order that the current federal flag is the only one valid, and also an order to remove all national symbols of Federal military objects. Concidering that there was no progress by June 1, deadline determined for these conditions, there is a suspension of program activities on all levels. Still, it is naive to believe that this is the only cause for Americans. For a long time , the US/International Community were not satisfied with work of Federal Army, mostly because of its nationalism and politics.
Of course, this is not the first time Americans express their unsatisfaction, so it is possible in the future we can expect apologies of Ministry of Defence, promising that it will never happen again, that it was only the product of irresponsible individuals.
P.S. Few days after writing this text, Federal soldiers with new "American" symbols can be seen in Sarajevo... And some people say sanctions can not change a thing. Heh!

*New law on pension - invalid insurance

New law inurance is about to be passed. Out of the bunch of tiresome and sombre legal proposals , a new interesting clause stands out. It is about Bosnian citizens working with international NGO in this country. According to the law, from now on they would all have to pay for the insurance while the salaries would have to be equal to average salaries in Bosnian public economy. It is nothing unusual at glance, but if you read it carefully, you will see that this clause makes all kinds of half - legal/part - time/volunteer jobs impossible for a great deal of Bosnian citizens who survive like that at the moment. Federal minister for refugees and social aid, Rasim Kadic, stated that he can not allow people on international organizations to get rich, while people working in BH organizations get their pays months later. But Kadic did not explain how the new law will help the workers he uses for his argument. Not at all, probably. As usual. Instead of bringing legal actions that would contribute to economy development, the laws are being made to bring the lucky ones, who had ensured their existance close to starvation. A lot of NGO working in BiH have too law budgets to pay taxes for their employees. Most of them will be forced to stop working or they will continue to work, but without local employees, although it is not clear to anyone how could that be possible. Kadic seems to be one of the few BH politicians who want equality. In misery.

*Liquidation of national bank has begun

The last step in making the money for BH financial politics real and available in Bosnian bank accounts, had to be made - liquidation of national bank is almost finished. This is the result of $ 81 million credit, given in order to support the mark - new BH currency and to make financial consolidation of domestic financies which will be realized after the bank closes. The credit has been approved by IMF. But as usual they are not naive so the money will not be available right away - it will be proportional to realization of tasks which have to be fulfilled by BH Government. But it seems that authorities have a too big appetite again. It is not clear why they get into such adventures with western capitalists and how long will they do it. Requests will not be complitely fullfilled, and this will cause even more negative relation toward state - sanctions. The ones who needed help most will still be hungry as they are now. And capitalist West will have one more country conquered.
Ended war (???) was of great use for USA and western Europe countries to get rid of their obsolete arms and military technology. And after people have been killing each other, they turned into divine peace makers who encumbered country with credits for rebuilding. Country which they will be delighted to conquer when there is nobody to give them their money. And after 100 years we will probably be equal enemies as those from Near East, who had courage to resist the capitalist politics of western world.

*New BH currency in use

After few months of announcements, preparations, printing, usual being late ... new BH currency - convertible mark (KM) finally appeared with function to replace good old BH dinar which had not been printed for the last two years and which looked so warn out that only few people who visited Bosnia could and wanted to believe that really was legal mean of payment. Convertible mark has a great cover in the other mark - Deutch, and this should cause KM become respected currency all over the world. It should also equalize and stabilize economical system in BiH and push out other two - three currencies which in use now. It is not sure if that announcements will become new Bosnian reality, as we heard from BH Central bank spokesman. To proove this there is a statement of a local old woman from Hercegovina, given for a local TV station " New money? But we have kuna (croatian currency)!" Central bank has the next move.

*Conflict of OSCE and local media

OSCE's decission to forbid commercial political advertising in approaching pre - election campaign through commercial media programs and to replace it with free advertising directed by International Community, caused tempestious reactions of local media who are against this decission. Realization of this decission will bring media, who practically live from marketing, in unpleasant situation - it is absurd to request free advertising in the most expensive terms. Beside this, OSCE decided that International Community has the right to take away frequency and work permit if any media refuses to broadcast free advertisments.
The worst thing is that there is nothing illegal in their work. BH politicians approved it with their signatures in Dayton and Sintra, but without knowledge and approval of media.
There is a question about International Community's aim for coming to BiH - to help in democratization of society and building peacefull process or to build their own dictator system in this area.
Still, there is a fact that if OSCE decides to forbid work of some media, BiH media will not accept that situation easily

*Miners' strike again

In one of the latest reports we wrote about Zenica miners' strike. And police action which crushed the strike. Miners were "forced" to believe promises about payment of their incomes. Few days ago promises failed and miners are in strike again. They want realization of promises they have been listening for years and will listen in the future. The reasons of their discontent have not changed for years. There is not sense in repeating them.
In one of the following news letters, you can read about new police action - crushing the strike again. As "KUD Idijoti" would say - order and nightsticks always go together.

*Explosion in Travnik

It has already become a custom in BiH - an explosion every night. This time it was in free Travnik, and what makes it ironic - the ones who should protect citizens from such things - policemen, were victims in the explosion of a car - bomb. And what makes it more ironic, the victims were a Croat and a Bosnian, the mixed patrol as International Community requests. Mixed police and mixed victims. And now, as usually, there are quarrels. Who is guilty, who and why obstructs police work... Everyone forgets two men are dead. It seems to be the least important. Human lives.
About culprits, as our police says investigation is underway.

*Interruption of the local crime boss in editorial office of magazine BH DANI

As it is said in the title, local boss who can be found in other texts here and whose name is not important, with few of his friends decided to visit the editorial office of "independent" magazine BH DANI, and with that "act" shows he does not like their writing. He also threatened the magazine editor with a gun. It was a plastic gun, but the editor did not know that. It is not necessary to write about reactions of local "independent" public about this event. Yes, it is reasonable. It is reasonable to expect such rections on such acts.
It is miserable that the editor of BH DANI makes a picture of an attack on all local independent media from all that. The same editor gave that boss space in the magazine to speak about his life and similar nonsenses to the most intimate details. Everything on count of their friendship. And nothing disturbed anyone. Now, when the friendship is over and old friends quarrel (and the stronger one wins), it is about an attack on independent media, freedom of speech... And even more reasonable is the end of that farse when the court decided to confiscate four plastic water guns and to charge the boss and his pals each 60 DM fine. Yes, deterrent. If BiH administration of justice continues to work that way you can expect hundreds of stories like this next time.