SARAJEVO, Nov 6 (Reuters) – The Western Balkans is facing a
double-dip recession this year led by a 2.5 percent contraction
in Serbia, and recovery in 2013 will be “very slow”, the World
Bank warned on Tuesday.
Its regional coordinator also said that debt in some
countries was too high.
“I would say that debt in Montenegro, Serbia and Albania is
at very dangerous levels, particularly in Albania at 60 percent
(of GDP) but it’s increasing very rapidly in Serbia and
Montenegro,” Jane Armitage, World Bank coordinator for the
Western Balkans, told Reuters in an interview.
SARAJEVO (Reuters) – Bosnian leader Bakir Izetbegovic hit out at Serbia’s nationalist president on Tuesday, comparing him to genocide suspect Radovan Karadzic after he told a television interviewer that Bosnia was “disappearing before our eyes.”
Izetbegovic, the Muslim chairman of Bosnia’s tripartite presidency, said he would pull out of a planned first meeting next month with Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic and warned of “irreparable damage” to regional relations.
SREBRENICA, Bosnia (Reuters) – To an outsider, there may be nothing strange in the love story between Almir Salihovic and Dusica Rendulic: boy meets girl, they fall in love, live together and have a child.
But he is Muslim and she is Serb and they are the first mixed couple in Srebrenica since Serb forces slaughtered around 8,000 Muslim men and boys in the overwhelmingly Muslim Bosnian town in 1995, Europe’s worst atrocity since World War Two.
SARAJEVO, Oct 1 (Reuters) – Bosnia midfielder Miralem Pjanic could miss the soccer World Cup qualifier away to Greece on Oct. 12 because of a groin injury, coach Safet Susic said on Monday.
Susic included uncapped central defender Ervin Zukanovic in his 22-man squad as Bosnia, who also face Lithuania on Oct. 16, set out to preserve their 100 percent Group G record after emphatic wins over Lichtenstein and Latvia.
SARAJEVO (Reuters) – Bosnian police arrested 25 people on Wednesday on suspicion of multiple murders, drug-trafficking and robbery in what it described as the largest crackdown on organized crime since the country’s 1992-95 war.
Organized crime in the western Balkans grew out of the wars that tore apart socialist Yugoslavia in the 1990s, leaving the region awash with weapons and a key transit route for drugs and other illicit goods trafficked from Asia to western Europe.
SREBRENICA, Bosnia (Reuters) – U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon warned world powers on Thursday not to repeat in Syria the mistakes they made in Bosnia, during a landmark visit to Srebrenica where U.N. peacekeepers failed to prevent the massacre of 8,000 Muslim men and boys.
The United Nations had designated the enclave in eastern Bosnia a “safe haven” for Muslim refugees, but peacekeepers stood by helplessly as Bosnian Serb forces carried out the slaughter in 1995.
SARAJEVO (Reuters) – U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called on world powers on Wednesday to urgently unite to end the bloodshed in Syria, recalling the inertia of the United Nations in 1995 as genocide occurred in the Bosnian town of Srebrenica.
Wrapping up a week-long tour of the countries carved from old federal Yugoslavia in the 1990s, Ban told the Bosnian parliament he was making a plea to the world.
SARAJEVO (Reuters) – Bosnia and the International Monetary Fund have reached agreement on a new two-year $500 million standby loan that would be used to plug budget holes and pay off debt maturing next year, an IMF official told Reuters in an interview on Friday.
The country’s two autonomous regions, the Serb Republic and the Federation dominated by Muslims and Croats, are running high budget deficits this year and urgently need cash to cover their respective gaps.
SARAJEVO (Reuters) – Three men accused of attacking the U.S. embassy in Bosnia were ordered out of court as their trial began on Friday after they refused to stand when judges entered, saying they obeyed only God’s law.
Mevlid Jasarevic, 23, fired on the U.S. embassy in downtown Sarajevo for 50 minutes with an automatic rifle last October, seriously wounding one police officer before a sniper injured him and he was arrested.
SARAJEVO (Reuters) – Four former Bosnian Serb soldiers were handed the longest jail terms yet by the Sarajevo war crimes court on Friday for their role in the mass execution of hundreds of Bosnian Muslims from Srebrenica during Europe’s worst atrocity since World War Two.
The men were jailed for up to 43 years each for crimes against humanity for their part in the 1995 killings of about 800 men and boys at a farm during the 1992-1995 Bosnian War.