Western envoys advise Bosnia to reform

Western envoys advise Bosnia to reform | pixnio

A report published by the New York Times said that Western envoys advised Bosnia on Tuesday to revive stuck economic reforms and pass legislation to unlock more than $587 million in international loans and IMF cash.

Last year, the European Union accepted Bosnia’s application to join the 28-member bloc and the International Monetary Fund approved a 553 million euro deal to support economic reforms in the Balkan country.

However, according to the report, Bosnia so far has failed to meet terms of the IMF program, which is part of a wider reform package devised by the EU to guide Bosnia's integration with the bloc.

Reportedly, political disputing in Bosnia has prevented the passage of a law raising taxes on fuel, required to unlock funding for transport infrastructure that would boost growth and create jobs.

In this regard, Lars-Gunnar Wigemark, the head of the EU delegation in Bosnia said "This represents a significant package of support but it cannot be left blowing in the wind forever.”

He went on to say that “Too much of this year has already been lost and needs to be caught up. It is now time to decide on whether this offer will be accepted.”

The opposition is opposed to raising taxes on fuel, saying it would bring additional burden on impoverished citizens.

"Reform process has become stuck in the mud," said British Ambassador Edward Ferguson, adding that key challenges for Bosnia were to shift its public sector-oriented economy towards private sector, improve inefficient rule of law and tackle patronage in public sector and endemic corruption.

"We are not just putting money to this country but we are demanding something back, modernization and dealing with these serious challenges," Ferguson said.