Wenn es sich um subventionierte Lebensmittel handelt aus der EU oder von anderen Ländern, kann man dies auch als Vernichtung von Arbeitsplätzen nennen!

Bosnian Farmers Protest Against Flood of Imports

Striking farmers have built a tent village outside Sarajevo in protest against the regional free trade deals that they say are ruining them.

By Nidzara Ahmetasevic in Sarajevo (BCR No 575, 16-Sep-05)

Recent visitors to Sarajevo have been greeted by a curious sight - a small village of tents, huddled beneath the skeletal remains of the pre-war government building and just metres away from the authorities’ current offices.

These are the temporary homes of some 30 striking farmers from all over Bosnia, demanding government action to protect domestic farm produce and curb the tide of cheap imports.

Hajrudin Babajic, a cattle and fruit farmer, has been in the tent village since day one, more than two months ago.

“All sorts of things are being imported,” he complained, “and about 4.7 billion convertible marks’ worth of agricultural produce (about 2.3 billion euro) in the last seven months alone.”

The farmers’ anger has been rising for some time. Over the past two years, the sight of farmers blocking roads, bringing cattle to protest rallies and threatening to burn trucks carrying foreign agricultural products has become common.

Their dissatisfaction dates back to the signing in 2001 of free trade agreements with neighbouring Croatia and Serbia and Montenegro.

It has also has united farmers on both sides of this divided country, bringing together farmers and agricultural workers from both the Federation and Bosnia’s second entity, the Republika Srpska.

They all want more protection for domestic production through the creation of a state ministry for agriculture and through changes in the terms of the free trade agreements.

“We support the demands of the farmers,” said a farmers’ union leader, Mehmed Avdagic. “Our goal now is to unite them and work together to achieve them.”