The lower house of the Bosnian parliament passed a crucial set of legislation early Friday morning, after an all-nighter in Sarajevo. In a tight 22-20 vote, the lawmakers in the House of Representatives passed the new excise duty law, which unlocks a loan from the International Monetary Fund and the European Union financing for infrastructure projects in Bosnia.
The law, passed earlier in the House of Peoples, will increase the tax on biofuels and the road toll prices. The extra revenue is meant for road construction.
European Union’s neighborhood and enlargement commissioner hailed the development.
“Good news from #Bosnia. Welcome adoption of #excise law as critical step to secure #infrastructure investment and intl #aid. I applaud those who voted in favour. They have shown courage and commitment to move their country forward on the #EU path,” Johanned Hahn tweeted.
Bosnians on Twitter, however, are not that happy about the higher tax.
“When it comes to the excise and appeals of the international organizations to pass (the law) – a majority vote (in the parliament) is mustered eventually. I guarantee there will be no majority that will move a finger to reform the education, although the EU, the American embassy, OSCE… asked for that as well.”
“A photo finish will decide who couldn’t care less in the tight race of citizens and politicians in Bosnia.”
“When an erection woke me up this morning, I immediately knew the excise law was passed.”
“It would have been fairer if the OHR simply imposed the excise law to avoid this transparent gutting of the entire mechanism of democratic decision-making in the country.”
Head of the European Union Delegation in Bosnia commented early on Friday about the claims that he lobbied for the law in the parliament.
“The behavior of some lawmakers was a new low, especially towards the speaker, Borjana Krišto, as a woman,” said Lars-Gunnar Wigemark.
“I will not comment on what was said about me, because it has nothing to do with the decision and the benefits that it will produce. I will only say that when all other arguments are exhausted, such personal attacks are used. That is not something we do in the EU.”