Protests began in the former industrial hub of Tuzla, where a thousand workers of bankrupted or weak privatised companies took to the streets demanding to be paid their salaries or production to be resumed. The refusal of the local officials to meet the protesters only fuelled their anger. As a result, violent protests spread to other cities across Bosnia and Herzegovina but to a much lesser extent, across the Republika Sprska, the Serb part of the country. Protesters demanded to create more jobs, reduce corruption and revise the privatisation process. As a result, several local officials offered their resignation. The protests have calmed down significantly since then but continue.

Impact on country risk

Civil unrests are the worst since the end of the 1992-95 war. They highlight the deep economic and social problems that countries are faced with. Growth has been lacklustre over the past five years. The complexity of the constitution set-up and the decision-making process, as well as lack of a basic consensus among the three entities regarding government organisation obstructs all political and economic progress and continues to cast doubt on the country’s ability to function effectively. More tensions and social unrest are expected in the run-up to the October 2014 elections.

Analyst: Pascaline della Faille, p.dellafaille@credendogroup.com