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The Social Democrats and the Party of Democratic Action, SDA, are at loggerheads over the 2012 budget, posing a threat to the survival of their coalition in the state government and the Federation entity.
A senior Social Democrat, Sasa Magazinovic, said in the Bosnian State Parliament on April 19 that the SDA should consider withdrawing from the state government after opposing adoption of the 2012 state budget.
He was referring to the adoption of the long-awaited state budget passed on Wednesday at a government session in Sarajevo, after two SDA ministers voted against it.
Bosnia's state government comprises two Bosniak parties, the SDA and SDP, two Serbian parties and two Croat parties.
The SDP will discuss on Friday whether to continue its partnership in the state government with the SDA since that party, Magazinovic said, is already campaigning for the local elections expected in autumn.
“Relations between the SDP and SDA are in their most critical and most vulnerable phase,” Magazinovic added on Thursday.
Meanwhile, the SDA has attacked the SDP, its partners in the state government and the Federation entity, saying their support for the 2012 budget was a direct attack on the institutions of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The SDA disagreed over the budget because it included lower salaries for civil servants – including the State Investigative and Protection Agency, SIPA, which is tasked with fighting organized crime and corruption.
Sulejman Tihic, the leader of SDA, said on Wednesday that they had great hopes when they first formed a coalition with the Social Democrats.
“We had great expectations of what we could do for the country and its citizens and now we are disappointed,” Tihic said.
“How can we even think of fighting corruption if we lower salaries in that sector?” Tihic continued, referring to the planned wage cuts for staff in SIPA.
Magazinovic said his party had supported the budget because they did not want to Bosnia to continue running its state institutions on the basis of temporary financing.
“This budget is a matter of compromise and is a possible solution for the moment,” Magazinovic said. “Of course we would like the budget to be bigger.”
The state budget is worth some 485 million euro and contains calls for civil service salaries to be lowered by 4.5 per cent.
The budget, which has still to be approved by the State Parliament, includes money for the 2013 census, the 2012 local elections and for building and equipping new EU-standard border crossings with Croatia, which joins the EU next year.
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