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Bosnian Man: I Will Kill Myself if Slovenia Does Not Pay Back Its Debt

Slovenia owes Bosnians a lot of money. But threatening suicide on the roof of a government building might not be what prompts it to pay up.

Ljubljana, SLOVENIA:  Andreja Bajuk, Slovenian Finance Minister, shows Euros just changed at a bank machine from Slovenian Tolars into Euros, in Ljubljana 01 January 2007. Slovenia became the 13th member of the eurozone adopting the Euro today, as a first former communist state which joined the European Union?s common currency.  AFP PHOTO/ Stringer    (Photo credit should read -/AFP/Getty Images)
Ljubljana, SLOVENIA: Andreja Bajuk, Slovenian Finance Minister, shows Euros just changed at a bank machine from Slovenian Tolars into Euros, in Ljubljana 01 January 2007. Slovenia became the 13th member of the eurozone adopting the Euro today, as a first former communist state which joined the European Union?s common currency. AFP PHOTO/ Stringer (Photo credit should read -/AFP/Getty Images)

If someone has spent the last 25 years trying to get the attention of the Slovenian government, they’re probably running out of ideas for what might actually work.

That’s why a Bosnian man found his way to the roof of the Slovenian Embassy in Sarajevo on Monday and then threatened to kill himself unless the liquidated Ljubljana Bank returned the more than $100 million it has owed to Bosnian savers since 1991.

The bank was liquidated after the former Yugoslavia dissolved, and its clients from Croatia and Bosnia were never paid back. Slovenians managed to settle their finances with the bank, but savers from other parts of the former country are still fighting to gain the savings they lost a quarter-century ago.

The European Court of Human Rights ruled in 2014 that Slovenia was required to pay back the debt within a year. But two years later, Slovenia still has not managed to come up with the money. At the time, the court said the case “was special” in part because “the branches in question were not foreign branches when the applicants had deposited their money.”

But it sounds like the last-ditch effort Monday by one desperate Bosnian, whose name has not been made public, didn’t quite do the trick. Bosnian police arrested him before he managed to take his own life, and Slovenia still hasn’t paid anyone back.

Photo credit: AFP/Getty Images

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