26.10.2005

BH PRESS COUNCIL, ASSOCIATION "BH JOURNALISTS" AND
BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA JOURNALIST UNION

send

LETTER OF PROTEST

to

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE PARLIAMENTARY ASSEMBLY OF BIH
COUNCIL OF MINISTERS OF BIH
COMMISSION FOR BUDGET AND FINANCES OF THE BIH PARLIAMENT


Shameful Decision of the House of Representatives of the BiH Parliament


The Press Council of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Association "BH Journalists" and Society of Journalists of Bosnia and Herzegovina believe that you have shown little care about welfare of BiH citizens, by refusing to adopt proposed changes of the Law on VAT, that would exclude 17 % VAT on basic groceries, medicines, orthopaedic devices, publishers and press.

The Press Council of BiH, Association "BH Journalists" and Society of Journalists of BiH find your rejection of the zero VAT on publishing and press, as the direct attempt of control of print media, attempt of suppression of the speech freedom and limitation of transparency of information.

It is tax on information, tax on freedom of speech!

Dear Gentlemen of the Parliament and Council of Minister, perhaps it would be useful for you to know that in major part of European counties exist zero VAT on press and publishers, while in countries whose print media and publishers have VAT, there is a possibility for reducing the percentage. Have you ever thought that your willingness to apply standards of the European Union, in present BiH political moment, might help this country to finally become recognised and accepted as respectable country that develops democracy, thus, helping it to finally overstep shameful status of being "the black hole" in Europe?

The Press Council of BiH, Association "BH Journalists" and Society of Journalists of BiH remind you: by adopting unique VAT of 17% you will sign closure of some publishing houses and print media outlets. Obviously, you have not thought how will then your decisions from the Parliament reach the public. Is it, maybe, your common interest to hide it and make it non-transparent?

Due to the fact that you have been chosen to represent BiH citizens at the Parliament, it is necessary for you to listen to needs of those citizens from time to time, and do something useful for them. Baring in mind your latest vote in favour of unlimited compensation for your mobile phone bills, it is clear that you are willing to protect your own interests. For change, dear Gentlemen, we call you - try to protect interests of citizens of the county you lead, as well!

The Press Council of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Association "BH Journalists" and Society of Journalists of BiH will call media and relevant institutions in the country, to use all means in fight for right on information and existence of publishers and free print media.

The BH Press Council
Steering Board of the Association "BH Journalists"
Bosnia-Herzegovina Journalist Union

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