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Ethnic tensions create severe problems for Bosnia´s electrical power system

Bosnia and HerzegovinaPosted by Chambers of Commerce Sweden - Southeast Europe Wed, November 04, 2009 15:00:00

After hundreds of millions of euros spent on reconstruction after its ruinous civil war, Bosnia-Herzegovina’s postwar electrical transmission system has started to succumb to inter-ethnic political tensions.

The managing board of the Balkan country’s sole power supply company, paralysed by ethnic divisions, has failed since last year to make new infrastructure investments or keep up with routine maintenance.

Sarajevo’s power supply has faltered several times in the past two months, a problem rarely seen since huge postwar reconstruction work paid for primarily by the European Union.

In one instance, the main hospital in the Bosniak, or Bosnian Muslim-dominated, capital city last month endured a day-long power cut because of poorly maintained power lines from a Serb-run power station.

“This is after we’ve invested half a billion marks [about $365m, €250m, £225m] to create a strong grid here,” Valentin Inzko, the international peace supervisor and EU envoy in Sarajevo, told the Financial Times. “Some people want the transmission grid divided, but two smaller grids simply could not function properly." Read more of the FT-article here.

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