Bosnia: Protesters demand new non-partisan government
Overpaid politicians are obsessed with ethnic bickering are accused of presiding over a corrupt and inefficient system
Monday 10 February 2014
Thousands of people protested in a dozen cities and towns across Bosnia on Monday to demand that politicians be replaced by non-partisan experts who can better address corruption and nearly 40 per cent unemployment.
It was the sixth day of the worst unrest since the 1991-95 war.
"My father, mother and brother are unemployed," said Meliha, a 34-year-old former art professor who earns 7 euros (£5.80) a day waiting tables. She refused to give her last name, fearing she would lose that job as well. "I've had enough!"
Protesters say overpaid politicians are obsessed with ethnic bickering.
"They are living in a different world, completely disconnected from the people," said Anes Podic, a computer engineer without a steady job.
Protesters have gathered daily by the presidency in Sarajevo, the capital, and in a dozen other cities. They set the presidency and other government buildings ablaze on Friday, with graffiti on one reading: "He who sows hunger, reaps anger."
Local governments in five cities, including Sarajevo, have resigned long before October general elections.
The peace deal that ended the war created a complex political system in which more than 150 ministries govern Bosnia's 4 million people. Corruption is widespread and high taxes eat away at paychecks. One in five Bosnian lives below the poverty line.
Svjetlana Nedimovic, an unemployed political scientist, accused the European Union — whose 28 foreign ministers were discussing Bosnia on Monday — of turning its back on her country even as it supports protesters in Ukraine.
"We tried elections, peaceful protests — nothing worked," said Nedimovic, 40. "All those who were teaching us democracy are now bailing out."
Additional reporting by AP
- 1 Belgium fan Axelle Despiegelaere lands L'Oreal campaign after World Cup viral photo
- 2 Why I'm on the brink of burning my Israeli passport
- 4 Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
- 5 Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country
Scottish independence: Scots of Corby take matters into their own hands in mock referendum - and deliver overwhelming verdict
Protesters fight to save Arturo, the polar bear sweltering in baking hot zoo
Fry ‘criticises Operation Yewtree in dinner party rant’ calling for tougher laws to deter false sex abuse allegations
Supermoon 2014 in pictures: Moon appeared bigger and brighter at the weekend
Saharan remains may be evidence of first race war, 13,000 years ago
Sustained immigration has not harmed Britons' employment, say government advisers
War is war: Why I stand with Israel
Even when it brutalises one of its own teenage citizens, America is helpless against Israel
Socialist Worker called to apologise over ‘vile’ article saying Eton schoolboy Horatio Chapple's death is ‘reason to save the polar bears’
Emergency data law: David Cameron plots to bring back snoopers’ charter
NUT strike: David Cameron announces crackdown on strike action ahead of mass industrial action
£35000 - £45000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: Software En...
£40000 - £45000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: Software Tea...
£20000 - £40000 per annum: Deerfoot IT Resources Limited: Sales Executive - Ce...
£40000 - £50000 per annum: Deerfoot IT Resources Limited: Graduate Java / C++ ...