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Key Economic Data 
  2003 2002 2001 Ranking(2003)
Millions of US $ 6,963 5,249 4,800 104
GNI per capita
 US $ 1,540 1,270 1,240 123
Ranking is given out of 208 nations - (data from the World Bank)

Books on Bosnia & Herzegovina

Update No: 163 - (26/02/11)

Bosnia-Herzegovina is no closer to gaining full control of its own affairs and the tide of unrest spreading throughout the Balkans may surge into Sarajevo.

The country is currently in a political mess that it seems incapable of resolving. On December 29, the Serbian government of Prime Minister Aleksandar Dzombic was sworn in, but Bosnia-Herzegovina still doesn’t have a central government or Croat Federation government after general elections last October produced no clear winners.

Since the 1992-1995 war, Bosnia has been divided into two semi-independent entities – Republika Srpska and the Muslim-Croat Federation. Each region has its own parliament and government, and the two are linked into a country by a central government and parliament.

The Bosnian political scene is split into two sides with seemingly irreconcilable positions. On the Muslim-Croat Federation side, the multiethnic non-nationalistic Social Democrats enjoy the most support. The other parties in the Federation are the country's largest Muslim party and two smaller Bosnian-Croat parties. The biggest party is a larger Bosnian Croat party, which wants to create a separate region within Bosnia for its Croats.

The nationalistic bent of the majority of parties in Bosnia-Herzegovina bar the Social Democrats has created an impasse. On January 22, a group of Bosnian parliament deputies called for the salaries of politicians taking part in talks to form a government to be suspended in an effort to squeeze them into action. To an extent, it seems to have worked, but where there’s a will, there isn’t always a way.

On February 18, the president of Bosnia's Social Democratic Party Zlatko Lagumdzija, said his party will begin to form a government in the Croat-Bosniak Federation on March 3 with cooperation from the Party of Democratic Action, the Croatian Party of Rights, and the Prosperity Through Work Party.

But before the federation government can be formed, the delegates of the upper house of Parliament, which include a certain number of representatives from each ethnic group, must be in place. In a stubborn move, the Croat HDZ and HDZ 1990 parties have refused to allow their members to be appointed. In an effort to push forward with its plans without the support of these two parties, the SDP has sent a request to the Central Election Commission (CEC) asking for permission to establish the upper house before all of the delegates are in place.

The international community, which has supervised Bosnia's peace process and is still deeply involved in the running of the country, has said Bosnian politicians need to show a more responsibility if they are to be given the full reins to run the country, which aspires to join the European Union.

As the current deadlock grows more desperate, Bosnia’s future – and stability in the Balkans as a whole – looks increasingly shaky. There were deadly protests in Albania on January 21 over corruption and alleged election fraud, and tens of thousands of people in Serbia – raging against the country’s woeful economic situation – gathered in Belgrade on February 5 to demand early elections. Top-ranking officials in all of the Balkan states are currently being investigated for corruption and the mood of desperation and frustration is spreading. Bosnia cannot afford to keep digging its political heels in and risk exacerbating its already divided population any further.

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