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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: 128 - (28/01/08)

The pivotal moment
Bosnia is a very significant country. It is right in the heart of the Balkans. It is attempting to achieve the near-impossible, to form a confederation of disparate peoples, divided by race and religion. 

This is after all the fundamental problems with Iraq, and indeed Afghanistan. There are surely lessons to be learnt here.

The three diverse communities fall into a most interesting pattern. Two are Christian, one Catholic, the other Orthodox and the third Muslim. It is a curiosity that the Catholics and the Muslims live in comparative harmony in the Croat-Muslim Republic, while the Orthodox Serbs are an eternal irritant to the body politic as a whole and to themselves in their own Serb Republic, the other constituent republic of the federal state.

The Serbs opt out?
The outcome of the elections in Serbia in February are going to have a huge impact in the Bosnian Serb Republic. If the Serbs defy the world by refusing autonomy to Kosovo, then there is something to be said for the Serb Republic defying the world by leaving Bosnia Herzegovina and joining up with Serbia. 

How that might be done is far from clear, but once the world and the region is impacted by one UDI, as this is anticipated as one possibility for Kosovo, then where can that stop? 

Assumption a Serb nationalist is elected on 3d Feb in Belgrade, opposed root and branch to Kosovo becoming independent, with a concomitant reaction in Kososvo by a declaration of UDI, we are told that this would be followed by recognition from the USA, and some if not all EU states.

In such an angry climate of opinion, consider a further assumption, that Republka Srbska also declares a UDI recognised by Serbia, supported by (let us say) Russia – what happens then? Will the government of Bosnia Herzegovina move troops into the Bosnian-Serb territories within B-H? Will it seek to arrest the politicians of a part of their state declaring UDI? What then will follow? 

It is to be hoped that the answers to these questions have been thought through by the powers that are seeking to resolve, or exploit, the problems of the FYRs of the Balkans. 

If moderation prevails, then so may the Serb Republic of Bosnia and Bosnia too. A lot depends on February 3.


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