Friday, 16 December 2016

Bosnia's Walk Of Shame

They say that the smaller the country, the smaller the event that the President will attend. So for the US President, it may be the launching of an aircraft carrier, while for the President of Bosnia-Herzegovina it would be .... a pavement opening. Yes, A press release from the Bosnia-Herzegovina Presidency told journalists to arrive at 11:45am for security checks in time for their midday tour of the pavement.

Presidential Pavement Good for Dancers ...... And Journalists.

Not just any old pavement mind, oh no, this was the pavement right outside the the Presidency building, a section of which had been newly repaved.

The press, dumbfounded, took the matter less than seriously and Radio Sarajevo dubbed the pavement tour "the event of the year" and promised to broadcast it live on Facebook "for all of you who are unable to attend".

So come the big day, where was the President? Well nowhere to be seen actually. It seems the ridicule unnerved him and instead they sent one lone official (presumably someone who couldn't duck out when ordered). So the local municipality head Nedzad Ajnadzic was there, and he told reporters that the grand opening was actually meant to highlight improved access for disabled people across the city. When asked why that wasn't mentioned in the press release, he simply said he had not issued the invitations .... nice hand back!

Mind you its an ill wind that blows no good, and some protesters capitalised on the publicity to wave placards denouncing the expense, which Bosnian media say was more than 360,000 convertible marks ($194,000; £156,000). One sign read: "Long live the presidential pavement! Theft of hospitals, schools, buildings and water!"

In the end, a local dance troupe took advantage of one of the few flat paved areas in town and gave an impromptu dance exhibition in the evening light.

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