Wednesday 12 February 2014

Revolution in Bosnia?

It's all kicking off. This from Euronews.
Thousands of Bosnians have been demonstrating for a sixth day, calling for the resignation of the government.

There have been mass protests in more than 30 cities and the heads of four regional cantons have already resigned.

The protests started in the former industrial heartland town of Tuzla after four state-owned companies were privatised and sold off leaving workers unpaid and without jobs.

In Tuzla on Monday, locals were clearing up after government buildings were destroyed in riots.

In Sarajevo, demonstrators gathered outside the presidency building which was set on fire on Friday.

Protesters say overpaid politicians have left the country with more than 40 percent unemployment and rampant corruption. The are calling for non-partisan technocrat regional governments to take over.

Political analysts say it is hard to tell how the demonstrations will develop.

“How the situation will proceed from now is really hard to predict because we are pretty much in uncharted waters. This is the first time that Bosnia and Herzegovina has such a social uprising. I think it will depend pretty much on the way local politicians act upon it but also on the future engagement of the international community,” said Sarajevo political analyst, Srecko Latal.

British Foreign Minister William Hague said in Brussels on Monday that the economic unrest is a “wake-up call for the European Union.”
Two points. How is this a "wake-up call" for the EU? Is Hague suggesting that austerity might not be a good idea?

The second is, more significantly, the protests are throwing together communities that were formerly torn apart by ethnic hatred and violence. 20 years on, Bosnia is becoming the poster boy for unity against corruption, austerity and neoliberalism. Small wonder it's attracted scant media interest.


Phil said...

the protests are throwing together communities that were formerly torn apart by ethnic hatred and violence

Do you know that? Muslims and Croats - or for that matter Bosnians and Herzegovinians - may not like each other much, but the big divide is between the two self-governing entities disgracefully created at Dayton. If it's kicking off across the RS as well as in 'Bosniak' Bosnia, that would be something to cheer.

Phil said...

Yes. I see it's been kicking off in Montenegro too, and further escalation in Ukraine tonight. Privatisation, out-of-touch elites and shallow liberal democratic roots is the common thread ...