Economic Bosnia/Croatia History / Past, Present, & Possible Future
By Michael K. Jones

The apparition village of Medjugorje is located in a region known as Bosnia Herzegovina. This area was once a part of Croatia and Croatia in return was a province of Yugoslavia. Civil War destroyed Yugoslavia. The “Balkan Wars,” ended in 1995 with the signing of the Dayton Peace Accord. Not long after the signing, Yugoslavia voted itself out of existence.

The Yugoslav Wars were a series of violent conflicts beginning in 1991. The wars were characterized as “ethnice cleansing,” mostly between Serbs on one side and Croats, Bosniaks and Albanians on the other side. Other conflicts followed. When all was said and done Yugoslavia was a shambles and the face of maps would be forever changed as each region gained independents from the Socialistic Republic of Yugoslavia. This left Bosnia and Croatia split into two independent countries. Prior to the wars Bosnia and Croatia were one providence. Ask anyone from Medjugorje even today and they will tell you they are Croatian, even though they now live in a country called Bosnia that is not a part of Croatia.

This split caused difficulties as has the overall war itself. The economic hardships of the war has left a number of the Balkan States in South East Europe free from Socialist rule but in financial ruins. As a result of finances, these now sovereign countries are in process of entering the EU (European Union). The likelihood is if these countries do not gain entrance into the EU, there will be no other recourse but dissolution. The Republic of Slovenia has already become a full member so there can be no dissociation rather a new unification on principles of free market (European Common Market) and economy.

The European Common Market and Free Trade Area Press release dated was January 15, 1957. Belgium, France, the German Federal Republic, Italy, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands engaged in negotiations of establishing a common market amongst themselves. The market would eliminate trade barriers among these six countries establishing a common external tariff toward outside countries. Organization of the EU began in 1967. Today the EU has 27 members but there are other countries who hope to become states of the EU. With an estimated 500 million citizens, the EU generates an estimated 30% share of the gross world product. These are significant numbers which today makes their currency “Euro” very strong against the now weak U.S. dollar.

The Bosnian economy has suffered for some time now, even more so in these worldwide economic times.  It is said the Bosnian government has refused to embrace privatization, modernization and economic reforms. Many critics claim that Bosnia is light years behind the times. Critics ask, “Where are the industrial parks, tax incentives for foreign investment, support structure for small and medium-size businesses and or stimulus packages for start-ups?” In its endeavor toward EU membership, Bosnia will have to take note of these and many other issues that could prevent membership. Crunching numbers seems to indicate Bosnia will not survive as a state if its economy is not revitalized by new productivity and modernization. However, borrowing from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) or the World Bank brings its own set of drawbacks as loans are difficult when there is such a deficit in the inflating Bosnia state budget.

As a province of  Bosnia, Medjugorje has seen great decline in pilgrims as well. U.S. pilgrims are not as abundant these days as the weak dollar and economy takes its toll. Most pilgrims now visiting Medjugorje are from Europe. Even Medjugorje is feeling the pinch of the poor economy. The general public does not realize that Medjugorje is not only self supporting in the service of pilgrims and religious gift shop trade but this trade also supports a number of surrounding villages outside Medjugorje who also benefit by services and manufacturing of religious good such as rosary making. Even so Medjugorje is holding its own economically, overall Bosnia and Herzegovina is not.

Bosnia governing officials have concluded they can not survive without outside help, left Bosnia and Herzegovina signing a trade-and-aid agreement with the EU in 08. This agreement made Bosnia and Herzegovina the final country in the region to establish a contractual relationship with the 27-nation European Union. The Stabilization and Association Agreement is seen as a stepping stone toward eventual EU membership. Even so, the road ahead for Bosnia is a difficult one. Economy annalists’ debate over what will come first, membership into the European Union or the dissolution of Bosnia as it struggles in a difficult economy while trying to improve the country to the standards of the EU.

Unrelated to the general information intent of this article, are opinions of a number of “Conspiracy Theorists” who believe the EU and Common Market are all part of a plan related to what they call “The New World Order.”

The New World Order is a subject far to long to discuss in this article. The long and short is, Theorists believe there is a secret plan to create a new order controlled by one ruling government for the entire world. President George Bush Sr. and Jr. were promoters for the New World Order, (type in “New Word Order” in a search engine for more info or to watch George Bush Sr. video clips on youtube.)

It is believed by theorists the overall concept of the new order is to bring about the fulfillment of a prophecy located in Revelations 13: 16-18. “He also forced everyone, small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on his right hand or on his forehead, so that no one could buy or sell unless he had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of his name. This calls for wisdom. If anyone has insight, let him calculate the number of the beast, for it is man's number. His number is 666.”

Theories aside, with certainly the state of the economy worldwide, continues to take a turn for the worse. Recently Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke publicly stated the U.S. recession is over but it will take time for the economy to turn around and jobs to return.  Regardless of this public announcement, worldwide economies continue to decline. A worldwide recession could give rise to possibility of a worldwide controlled system. The continued growth of European Union and Common Market shows how easily the world could become a part of a one worldwide ruling government.

Regardless of if there is room for theorists consideration or not, the economy in South East Europe could fail. The continuation of such a failure could create a Domino effect throughout the world. 

I hope this article has provided a little historical background both past, present and possible future for Bosnia in which our beloved Medjugorje is located. Remember hope is never lost for those who pray. In all things we must always pray for through prayer comes a greatest good.

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