Mon, Feb 10, 2014 - Page 6 News List

Poverty, joblessness underpin Bosnia’s bloody riots

‘STUNNING AND PROBLEMATIC’:Unemployment and poverty are among the highest in Europe, with up to 44% jobless and one in five living below the poverty line

AFP, SARAJEVO

Construction on the road and rail project began several years ago, but of its estimated cost of 4 billion euros, about 600 million euros has been invested so far.

In the energy sector, Bevanda said Bosnia’s coal and lignite mines offered attractive investment opportunities.

The IMF, which in September 2012 awarded Bosnia a two-year standby arrangement worth 384 million euros, approved its fifth installment two weeks ago.

Yet it warned that despite progress “more remains to be done to improve the business environment and the functioning of the labor market.”

“In this regard, it will be particularly critical to put in place new labor market legislation that will contribute to a lasting reduction in unemployment,” the IMF said.

Economic analyst Svetlana Cenic said political consistency and discipline would be required to resolve the crisis.

She warned against expecting significant reforms ahead of general elections in October.

“The authorities will be occupied with electoral engineering and power-sharing issues and not with the economy,” Cenic said in a recent interview.

Bosnia started high-level accession talks with the EU in the middle of 2012, trailing behind other Balkan countries. Croatia became a full member last year, Slovenia in 2004.

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