Bosnian-Croat Federation entity Prime Minister Fadil Novalic told N1 that the Government did everything it could for the migrants. He also spoke about veterans’ protests as well as the IMF’s loan tranche which the IMF announced they would not pay due to the recent Veterans Affairs Law adopted by the FBiH Government.
“The Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (FBiH) entity Government did everything it was asked to do, and it will continue to do whatever it can. We don’t take any chances with the migrant issue, especially not in the Una-Sana Canton (Northern Bosnia, at the border with Croatia),” Novalic said.
When it comes to the Draft Law in Veterans Rights, adopted by FBiH’s House of Representatives, Novalic said he cannot predict the future.
“The Government worked on this issue for a long time. We were working intensively on this issue. The Government had proposed one version of the Law which was mostly changed by the House of Representatives, but almost all of our amendments were adopted,” Novalic told N1’s Merima Semic.
When asked if the Draft was adopted under pressure, he said there was pressure, but not from the veterans’ protests, but from the issue itself.
“As far as FBiH Government is concerned, we have a BAM 315 million (around EUR 150 million) budget for veterans’ benefits right now, so we don’t need an IMF tranche. The IMF halted the loan arrangement payment which we haven’t used during our entire mandate. We only spent some BAM 103 million (around EUR 50 million) so, we don’t really need that arrangement,” Novalic concluded.
The said Law requires additional BAM 14 million (around EUR 7 million) from the FBiH budget, which is contrary to the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) condition for the continuation of the loan agreement – that the FBiH budget has no additional expenditures, in order to stabilise spending and provide for safe loan return to the IMF.
For this reason, the IMF announced earlier it would halt all payments until this issue is resolved.
He added there is a constant rise of economic parameters in the FBiH.
“The rise is mostly shown in the fields of tourism and processing industry. The largest employment increasewas recorded in the trade sector. Our biggest possibilities are trade, processing industry and tourism,” Novalic said.
Speaking about FBiH’s arms industry, Novalic said the industry is widening its offer.
“We are widening the offer of our products; everything is on the increase. We’re selling more, but our Armed Forces are not buying anything. On the contrary, they are destroying surplus arms. Our production serves for exports, exclusively. None of it remains on our market. We must be clear about this, if we don’t sell arms, someone else will sell instead of us,” Novalic told N1.