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By Euronews with AFP, EBU • Updated: 24/11/2021 - 13:12
Coal miners hold flares as they gather during protest near government building in Sarajevo, on November 23, 2021. - Copyright ELVIS BARUKCIC / AFP
Thousands of miners protested in front of a government building in Sarajevo over plans for job and wage cuts.
The demonstration follows government plans to restructure indebted coal mines as part of a programme to switch to renewable energy sources.
The plans involve job and wage cuts.
Employees from seven of the 11 coal mines in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina stopped working and took part in the demonstration on Tuesday (November 23).
The CEOs of six of the coal mines warned that the current financial situation is alarming and may lead to possible bankruptcy.
Bosnia's minister of energy, mining and industry, Nermin Dzindic, came out and made an unsuccessful attempt to speak to the protesters and then returned inside under a strong police escort.
The transition from coal to renewable energy sources is a great challenge for Bosnia and Herzegovina, and a condition that needs to be met for membership in the European Union.
Three-quarters of electricity in Bosnia is generated by coal-fired power stations and the 2050 commitment to shut the industry down sets the stage for a dramatic economic and cultural shift.