Dozens injured in clash between Bosnian war veterans and police

Dozens injured in clash between Bosnian war veterans and police
By bne IntelliNews September 5, 2018

Around 30 policemen and war veterans, former members of the armies of Bosnian Muslims and Bosnian Croats, were injured during a clash outside the parliament of Bosnia & Herzegovina’s Muslim-Croat Federation on September 5, an N1 live broadcast showed.

The veterans have been protesting for months to demand more benefits. Gathered once again on the road in front of the parliament, they gave a deadline to MPs to schedule a session and debate their demands for BAM326 (€167) per month in benefits for unemployed veterans and for every former soldier to get at least BAM2 for each month they served during wartime.

After waiting for some time to get a response, the war veterans started marching down the street, but clashed with the special police forces. The policemen eventually used tear gas, which ended the violence, and the protest march continued peacefully, N1 reported.

In early August, the war veterans blocked several roads, urging the parliament speaker to call a session. However, at the time the International Monetary Fund (IMF) once again warned Bosnia that the adoption of the law would jeopardise the financial stability of the Federation.

"We are talking about several hundred million [Bosnian] marks according to some estimates," Francisco Parodi, the IMF resident representative in Bosnia, said at the time.

He has added that the extra costs will not allow the Federation’s government to spend enough on education and healthcare, reiterating a warning made by the IMF in July that the law would put the Federation’s finances at risk.

A month earlier, the IMF postponed a meeting on the conclusion of a review of Bosnia's third loan tranche at the last minute after the governments of its two entities decided to increase spending above the agreed level.

Bosnia's IMF deal, which is supposed to secure the country cheap fresh cash, was put on hold in 2017 due to unfulfilled obligations, but it was unfrozen at the end of December, and in February Bosnia received the second loan tranche.

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