Bosnia Banking – FK Leotar Thu, 06 Jan 2022 03:09:18 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Bosnia Banking – FK Leotar 32 32 Saudi Minister of Islamic Affairs meets with Grand Mufti of Bosnia and Herzegovina Wed, 05 Jan 2022 19:18:26 +0000

TAIF: Nahawand, a new music center in Taif which opened recently and offers a range of music lessons and services with the aim of discovering and developing new local talent, already intends to expand to six other Saudi cities.

The center, named after a type of Arabic melody known as a maqam that is often used in Saudi songs and odes, offers lessons on a mix of Eastern and Western instruments.

Anas bin Hussein, its founder, told Arab News that maqam is a romantic and passionate type of music popular with many Saudi singers, including Mohammed Abdu, Talal Maddah and Abadi Al-Jawhar.

Anas bin Hussein, founder of Nahawand

“It is also an ode that can be performed on Western musical instruments,” he said. “This represents the approach of the center, which seeks to combine training on eastern and western instruments.

He added that a number of Taif’s students are already taking classes at the center, which aims to serve as a scout for emerging musical talent who may one day perform on the world stage.

“We are looking forward to creating a Saudi orchestra to participate in international music events,” bin Hussein said. “The basis of the centre’s classes is to teach young people how to read and write music using a scientific approach, and to train them in the skills of musical rhythm.”

This more formal and technical approach moves away from the common local practice of “learning by ear” of listening to music and recreating it. Interns at the center learn to read music and play international tunes on instruments such as piano, violin and guitar.

They also learn to play the oud, an Arabic instrument, but again through a formal teaching process based on an accredited curriculum. The center also aims to popularize a number of other instruments in the country.

“We are currently motivating talents to learn new instruments such as clarinet, French horn and saxophone,” bin Hussein said.

The basis of the centre’s classes is to teach young people how to read and write music using a scientific approach, and to train them in musical rhythmic skills.

Anas bin Hussein, founder of Nahawand

Trainees will eventually have the chance to take certified tests established by the UK APRSM Institute, the Royal Schools of Music Examination Board, which offers a curriculum that includes Western music theories, music theory, instrumental practice and l appreciation of music.

Bin Hussein said that so many people registered at the center in its first month of operation, that he was forced to increase the number of teachers. He added that this response “demonstrated the willingness of the people of Taif to train in sound skills such as music theory, vocalization and choir, prompting us to add new services suited to the size and requirements of the market” .

Although the services provided by the center are currently limited to the Taif region, bin Hussein said there are plans to expand over the next two months and open centers in six cities in the Kingdom, including Riyadh. , Jeddah and Dammam.


  • The center, named after a type of Arabic melody known as a maqam that is often used in Saudi songs and odes, offers lessons on a mix of Eastern and Western instruments.

  • Maqam is a romantic and passionate type of music popular with many Saudi singers, including Mohammed Abdu, Talal Maddah, and Abadi Al-Jawhar. It is also an ode that can be performed on Western musical instruments.

  • Trainees will have the chance to take certified tests established by the UK APRSM Institute, the Royal Schools of Music Examination Board, which offers a curriculum comprising Western Music Theories, Music theory, Instrumental practice and music appreciation.

Majid Al-Abboud, who is learning to play the violin at the center, said Nahawand’s training is already getting remarkable results among trainees.

“This allows them to practice on various instruments to develop their skills after acquiring the basics of playing instruments, allowing them to correct their mistakes themselves and quickly promote their experience and musical knowledge,” he said. declared.

He revealed that after mastering the violin, he hopes to one day compose classical music and spread music culture in its classical form.

“In my opinion, society needs such efforts to fill the void of high-end music production, which has unfortunately become rare these days,” Al-Abboud added.

He said he didn’t encounter any unexpected difficulties during his lessons, but learning something new is a challenge, especially when the previous experience of learning music for many people often involved informal attempts. to learn by playing by ear.

“But I am convinced that these difficulties can be overcome thanks to the academic supervision provided by the academy and its trainers”, he concluded.

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Online identity document checks grow in the UK Mon, 03 Jan 2022 20:23:32 +0000

Is the UK taking a side step or one more step towards digital ID by allowing more checks with uploaded ID documents? Changes to the Identity Trust Framework promise the private sector faster and more secure checks on people’s right to hire, work and request background checks. Among the providers of biometric authentication of identity documents and selfie, Britain’s Yoti is working to bring digital ID to Open Banking, Blinking is aiming for European expansion and iDenfy has added new capability.

UK to launch certification for private sector identity verification technology

Employers and landlords in the UK will be able to use private sector certified Identity Document Verification (IDVT) technology to verify the credentials of tenants and potential workers to determine their rights, according to a policy document the Home Office, Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport; and the Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS).

This will be the result of upcoming changes to proposals for new legislation to establish the UK’s digital identity and attributes trust framework as it enters the beta phase in early 2022 before taking effect. officially.

The updates follow positive feedback received by the Home Office for its remote work entitlement and rental entitlement checks processed remotely during COVID-19.

The use of private providers of IDVT is intended for checks on persons outside the scope of services managed by the Home Office, such as UK and Irish citizens. The changes to the legislation will come into force on April 6, 2022.

The policy document says the changes will make it easier to prove eligibility to work, hire, or apply for a DBS check by allowing people to upload document images instead of submitting physical documents.

The Identity Trust Scheme will also enable private sector IDVT service providers to obtain independent certification to perform verifications and ensure data protection. This process will open in January 2022.

Yoti partners with Ecospend to bring its digital identity to Open Banking

UK digital identity company Yoti to partner with ‘next-generation payments and data company’ Eco-expenditure offer Open Banking functionalities and payment capabilities to services aimed at consumers, businesses and government customers.

Ecospend is the Open Banking provided to UK tax administration, HMRC, the first Open Banking payment integration with government anywhere in the world. The integration of Ecospend’s services with Yoti’s reusable biometric-based digital ID will enable its use with various financial institutions.

“Having started working with HMRC earlier in 2021, we are really looking forward to expanding our UK presence with Yoti and by extension the UK Post Office, highlighting how far we are in the process of becoming the flat -Key open banking form in UK and Europe. Comments James Hickman, Commercial Director at Ecospend.

“We look forward to the unique opportunity that secure and verified digital identity and open banking offers businesses and governments to save money while improving the security and quality of their user experiences. We have over 50 UK banking APIs and are nearing completion of our European PSD2 model, paving the way for a positive start to 2022. “

Flashing plans European expansion of digital ID services

A windy interview in Ekonomija I Biznis Together with Milos Milovanovic, co-founder and COO of the Serbian company providing and verifying biometric and digital identities, Blinking explores the company’s expansion plans.

Milovanovic says the company is the market leader in the Western Balkans, including Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina and North Macedonia, and has customers in Canada, Switzerland and the UK. He says they plan to build on their recent increase in workload and team size to become “a significant player in the European market through a leadership position in the region” (via translation online Macedonian).

“In just a few months, any business can shorten the customer acquisition process by 80%, reduce internal costs by 60%,” says Milovanovic. “By automating the process of implementing our Blinking Identifier platform, you enable an increase in the customer base, while reducing costs and optimizing work.

In addition to the services more typical of the financial sector, Blinking offers its users a different experience of the hotel industry. “We prefer customers who check in at the hotel through our service, and the key card awaits them at reception or in a specially designed letterbox that opens via a QR code,” adds Milovanovic.

“This eliminates the wait and mandatory identification at the reception, and depending on the hotel they take advantage of various other advantages. As you can see, the opportunities for improvement for all kinds of businesses are immeasurable, you just need to initiate them using our Blinking Identifier platform.

iDenfy Launches Improved Phone Verification

Lithuanian identity verification company iDenfy is launching updated product to verify phone numbers used in KYC to further reduce fraud. The API will call the number to assess risk and recommend actions by collecting data on customer location, roaming status, current network, availability, and phone contract details.

Customers can send customers a one-time password or text-to-speech message as a double check for fraud prevention or as part of the onboarding process.

Articles topics

biometrics | Flashing | consumer adoption | digital identification | digital identity | document verification | facial biometrics | iDenfy | identity verification | integration | United Kingdom | Yoti

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In under-vaccinated Bosnia, the prison population stands out | Ap Wed, 29 Dec 2021 14:19:06 +0000

SARAJEVO, Bosnia and Herzegovina (AP) – Bosnia’s coronavirus vaccination rate is one of the lowest in Europe, but a population in the Balkan country has thwarted the national trend: its inmates.

More than 80% of the 2,000 men and women serving sentences in Bosnia’s 13 prisons have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. This compares to just over 27% nationwide, a rate that results from a lack of takers, not an absence of shots.

Bosnia and most of the rest of the Balkans struggled early in the year to get vaccines, but had a steady supply of vaccines in late spring. While public demand for vaccines has rapidly slowed, interest has remained high in prisons, where authorities say vaccination remains voluntary.

The country’s largest penal institution, the maximum security prison in the city of Zenica, is one example. Over 90% of the 600 inmates at the prison and over 60% of staff received two injections after an initial campaign to encourage vaccination.

“We’re almost done,” said manager Redzo Kahric.

While the overall vaccination rate among all prison workers in Bosnia has so far been lower than that of inmates, it is still more than twice the rate in the general population.

Kahric said getting the vaccine is voluntary for inmates in Zenica and other Bosnian prisons. He believes that so many inmates have been shot for convenience; unlike the general public, inmates cannot bend or ignore anti-infective rules and must remain in quarantine if they come into contact with an infected person.

Prisoners who are entitled to weekend leave are also tested before and after their trips abroad. The spread of the virus appears to have been generally better controlled inside than outside Bosnian prisons. Since the start of the pandemic, no major outbreaks in prison have been reported.

“Many of my family have been infected, including my mother, so I think masking and getting the vaccine is the way to go,” said Fahro Kahriman, an inmate at Zanica.

At the start of the pandemic, when most countries around the world faced a shortage of personal protective equipment, inmates at Zenica were put to work sewing face masks as part of the prison labor program. .

The prison has produced more than 10,000 masks, mostly for internal use, but also for the Justice Department to distribute to other penal institutions, Kahric said. The program continued with the pandemic.

In the past, Zenica prison was known for its poor human rights record, but substantial reforms were made over the decade when it was regularly monitored by European and Bosnian political bodies and officials. human rights.

Inside the prison’s tailoring shop earlier this month, inmates appeared to enjoy light jokes while sewing protective masks. Most said they freely agree to be vaccinated against COVID-19, as well as to make and wear face masks as additional protection.

Sewing masks is “a way to spend quality time in prison and at the same time contribute to society,” Kahriman said.

Bosnia, with a population of 3.3 million, has reported nearly 290,000 cases of the virus and more than 13,300 deaths from COVID-19 during the pandemic, one of the worst infection and death rates in Europe.

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Minimum corporate taxation – Explanation – Modern diplomacy Fri, 24 Dec 2021 10:04:04 +0000

What has the European Commission proposed?

The European Commission has proposed a directive to guarantee a minimum effective global tax rate of 15% for large groups operating in the European Union. agreement reached by the OECD / G20 Inclusive Framework on Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS). The proposal sets out how the effective tax rate will be calculated by jurisdiction and includes clear, legally binding rules that will ensure that large EU groups pay a minimum rate of 15% for each jurisdiction in which they operate.

Where does this proposal come from?

Minimum corporate taxation is one of two lines of work agreed upon by members of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) / Inclusive Framework of the G20, a task force of 141 countries and jurisdictions that have come together focused on the two-pillar approach to address the tax challenges of the digital economy. They worked on a consensual global solution to reform the international corporate tax framework, which resulted in a global agreement between 137 jurisdictions in October 2021. Discussions focused on two main themes: Pillar 1, Reallocation partial tax rights; and pillar 2, the minimum level of taxation of the profits of multinational enterprises.

As promised, the European Commission is now implementing pillar 2 of the global deal, making effective minimum global corporate taxation a reality for large group companies located in the EU.

Who do the rules apply to?

The proposed rules will apply to any large group, both national and international, including the financial sector, with combined financial income of more than 750 million euros per year, and with a parent company or a subsidiary located in a EU member state.

Which entities do not fall within the scope of the rules?

In accordance with the inclusive OECD / G20 framework agreement, government entities, international or non-profit organizations, pension funds or investment funds which are the parent entities of a multinational group will not fall under the scope. application of the OECD Pillar 2 Directive. is because these entities are generally exempt from corporate income tax in order to preserve a specific policy outcome. This may be because the entity is performing governmental / quasi-governmental functions, or to ensure that funds or pensions do not risk double taxation.

How will the effective tax rate be calculated?

The effective tax rate is established by jurisdiction by dividing the taxes paid by entities in the jurisdiction by their income. If the effective tax rate of entities in a given jurisdiction is below the minimum of 15%, then Pillar 2 rules are triggered and the group must pay additional tax to raise its rate to 15%. This additional tax is known as the “income inclusion rule”. This supplement applies whether or not the subsidiary is located in a country that is a signatory to the OECD / G20 international agreement.

Who will do the calculations?

In the inclusive OECD / G20 framework agreement, a transparent method of calculating the effective tax rate has been agreed by the 137 countries concerned. This is reflected in the proposal for a directive. Calculations will be made by the ultimate parent entity of the group unless the group affects another entity.

What happens if a group is based in a non-EU country where the minimum tax rate is not applied?

If the overall minimum rate is not imposed by a non-EU country in which a group entity is based, Member States will apply what is known as the “under-taxed payments rule”. This is a backstop rule to the primary income inclusion rule. This means that a Member State will effectively collect part of the additional tax due at the level of the whole group if certain jurisdictions where the entities of the group are based impose a level below the minimum level and do not impose any additional tax. The amount of additional tax that a Member State will collect from group entities in its territory is determined via a formula based on employees and assets.

Are there any exceptions?

The rules provide for the exclusion of minimum income amounts to reduce the burden of compliance. This means that when the income and profits in a jurisdiction are less than a certain minimum amount, no additional tax will be charged on the group profits made in that jurisdiction, even when the effective tax rate is less than 15%. . This is known as the de minimis exclusion.

In addition, companies will be able to exclude from additional tax an amount of income which represents at least 5% of the value of tangible fixed assets and 5% of the wage bill. This is called a “carve-out substance”.

The political rationale for a substantive exclusion is to exclude a fixed amount of income related to substantive activities such as buildings and people. This is a common aspect of corporate tax policies around the world, which seeks to encourage investment in economic substance by multinational companies in a particular jurisdiction. This exclusion also focuses rules on excess income, such as that related to intangible assets, which are more sensitive to tax planning.

The agreement excludes from the scope of application income earned in international shipping, as this particular industry is subject to special tax rules. Special characteristics such as the capital-intensive nature, the level of profitability and the long economic life cycle of international maritime transport have led a number of jurisdictions to introduce alternative tax regimes for this sector. The widespread availability of these alternative tax regimes means that international shipping often operates outside the scope of corporate tax.

These exclusions will not distort the calculations of the effective tax rate.

Is there a transition period for the exclusion of substances?

For the first 10 years, there is a transitional rule that the exclusion of substance starts at 8% of the book value of the tangible fixed assets and at 10% of the labor costs. For tangible fixed assets, the rate decreases annually by 0.2% for the first five years and by 0.4% for the remaining period. In the case of the wage bill, the rate decreases annually by 0.2% for the first five years and by 0.8% for the remaining period.

Is the EU proposal different from the OECD Model Rules?

The Commission proposal follows closely the international agreement with the necessary adjustments to ensure compliance with EU law and without gold plating.

The Directive will therefore adjust the scope to also include purely national groups, while the scope of OECD Pillar 2 is limited to multinational groups (MNEs) and a parent entity only subjects its foreign subsidiaries to the income inclusion rule. This derogation from the OECD model rules is necessary to comply with the fundamental freedoms of the EU, in particular the freedom of establishment.

The OECD Model Rules allow jurisdictions to apply a qualifying national minimum tax. The Commission proposal will also allow EU Member States to exercise the possibility of applying a national additional tax to weakly taxed national subsidiaries. This option will allow the additional tax due by the subsidiaries of the multinational group to be invoiced at the local level, within the respective Member State, and not at the level of the parent entity.

What happens if some non-EU countries do not apply the OECD rules?

Within the OECD / inclusive framework, the rules have been agreed in what is known as a “common approach”. This would mean that members of the Inclusive Framework are not required to adopt the rules, but if they choose to do so, they will need to implement and administer the rules in a manner consistent with the outcome agreed under Pillar 2. It also means that Members of the Inclusive Framework will have to accept that other members apply the rules. In practice, multinational groups with subsidiaries in countries that apply a rate lower than the agreed minimum rate will ultimately also have to deal with the consequences of Pillar 2. Indeed, the rules test the effective tax rate by jurisdiction. and apply a top-up tax to businesses in low-tax jurisdictions. Due to the income inclusion rule or the under-taxed payments rule, a member state will collect additional tax due at the level of the whole group if certain jurisdictions in which entities are based impose a lower tax. at the minimum level and not impose any additional national tax.

In other words, failure to apply the Pillar 2 rules will not protect jurisdictions from being effectively subject to tax at least at the agreed minimum rate.

How does this fit into the broader agenda of the Commission?

The Commission has a broad program to ensure fairness and transparency in corporate taxation. The Commission Communication on Business Taxation for the 21st Century, adopted on 18 May 2021, outlines a comprehensive vision for business taxation in the EU, taking the EU forward to establish a European framework for taxation companies capable of meeting the challenges of the 21st century and geared towards a well-functioning single market. The measures announced in this Communication as well as the measures announced in the Tax Action Plan for Fair and Simple Taxation adopted in July 2020 will complement the directives proposed today and contribute to greater tax transparency in the EU. In addition, by 2023 the Commission will propose a New Framework for Business Taxation in the EU (BEFIT) to create a stronger but also more business-friendly environment in the Single Market.

What are the next legislative steps?

Member States will have to agree unanimously in the Council. The European Parliament and the European Economic and Social Committee will also have to be consulted and give their opinion.

Importantly, EU members of the OECD Inclusive Framework already support the global deal that the Commission proposal implements. The only EU member state that is not a member of the inclusive framework and, as such, has not formally committed to the agreement, is Cyprus. However, we expect Cyprus to support the directive.

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What we need to prevent a climate catastrophe Thu, 23 Dec 2021 14:32:29 +0000

COP26 was not a fist in the air, nor the victory against climate change that humanity was counting on. Unfortunately, politics and commerce put a hard thumb on procedures, limiting possible action. Commitments to “phase out” coal, rather than a firm commitment to phase it out altogether, show how far we still have to go. But the event also served to highlight the extent of what needs to be done for humanity to survive beyond the next century.

One of the “victories” of the event was the belief that it was still possible to maintain global warming at 1.5 degrees. It is worth saying, however, that 1.5 degrees is not so much a goal to be achieved as an acceptance of impending catastrophe. In October, the IPCC explained that such an increase in temperature will lead to significant increases in the frequency of extreme heat waves, monsoon-like precipitation and widespread droughts. Extreme weather events that could have occurred once every 50 years a few centuries ago could become a regular and fatal event.

All the while, the facts remain unchanged: Humanity must avoid adding new carbon emissions while tackling the ones we have already emitted. This means an aggressive reduction in every man-made carbon emission process anywhere on Earth, total reform of agriculture, and an unprecedented deployment of carbon capture and storage technology. And, ideally, this process should have started almost two decades ago.

There are many disheartening facts about the world, but the one that always hurts is the fact that coal-fired power plants are always be lit green. Global Energy Monitor data has factories currently licensed or under construction in China, India, Indonesia, Turkey, Mongolia, Vietnam, Singapore, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Greece, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Poland , Kazakhstan, Colombia, Brazil and Mexico. Like Reuters said, every factory would have to operate for at least 40 years, severely damaging efforts to go carbon negative. Not only is it in everyone’s best interests that these factories not go online, but richer countries have a moral obligation to help provide the funding to help at least some of these names make their way to clean energy.

Tunvarat Pruksachat via Getty Images

The problem is, electricity is going to be the most important resource of the 21st century, especially if we are to tackle climate change. Many key technologies, such as transportation, will shift away from fossil fuels in favor of electricity as the primary fuel source. The global demand for energy will increase, and we will have to produce this energy properly. The US Center for Climate and Energy Solutions estimates that by 2050, global energy needs will increase by 24%. So where are we going to get all this clean energy from?

Fusion has always been seen as a silver bullet that will completely eliminate our worries about energy production. Unlike nuclear fission, it produces little waste, requires little raw fuel and cannot produce a runaway reaction. Sadly, Fusion remains as elusive as the arms of La Venus de Milo or some good news. Duke Nukem Thu. ITER, the internationally funded French-built experimental reactor will not be completed before 2025 at the earliest and is still only a test bed. If successful – and this is a big if – we are still a decade away from any serious progress, by which time mass decarbonization will have to be well underway.

This means that any decarbonization of energy will have to come from the renewable technology we have today. Nuclear, wind, solar, geothermal, and tidal power all need to be scaled up to fill the void, but the scale of the task in the United States alone is staggering. According to EIA, the United States generated just under 2.5 trillion kWh using fossil fuels in 2020. If you wanted, for example, to replace all of that with nuclear power, you would need to build something in the region. of 300 reactors, or to increase the number of solar panels installed in the United States by about one hundred percent – and that’s before we talk about intermittency.

Urtopia electric bicycle.

James Trew / Engadget

One thing we can do, however, is reduce our demand for energy to lessen the need for such a dramatic change. This can be, for example, as simple as insulating your home better (in cold climates) or improving the efficiency of air conditioning systems (in hot climates). Another smart move is to ditch the car in favor of public transport, walking, or getting on your bike. There is evidence that e-bike adoption is becoming big business, with Forbes saying sales are expected to drop from just under 4 million per year in 2020 to nearly 17 million by 2030.

However, none of this will matter much unless we also find a way to pay off the debts that humanity has accumulated over the past century. the IPCC estimates that we need to extract up to a trillion tonnes of atmospheric CO2 in the near future. This can be done with massive tree planting work, which needs to be done more, but this process may also require a little help.

This is why many startups have worked on industrial processes to extract CO2 from the atmosphere. At present, such a process is very expensive, but it is hoped that as the technology improves, the cost will start to drop. There are also concerns, of course, that the implementation of programs like this will give polluting companies and nations a free license to avoid reforms.

As much as we can hope that this technology matures quickly, the rate of progress has to become much faster has, uh, parcel faster. For example, Climeworks’ Orca, its new flagship carbon capture plant in Iceland, will extract 4,000 tonnes of CO2 per year. If we are to get to the point where we can avoid a climate catastrophe using only extraction, we will need this capacity to increase by about a hundred million times.

The purpose of this is, in general, to highlight how much our attitudes towards the climate need to change. If we are to be successful in defeating climate change, then we will have to put ourselves on a war footing – where resources are spent only to resolve the crisis – which few can imagine undertaking. But, as most of the resources point out, the only way to avoid damage after dragging your feet for so long is to do everything in your power to find a solution.

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UK approves Covid jab for under 12s as new daily cases surpass 100,000 Wed, 22 Dec 2021 16:33:08 +0000

LONDON: For the past two years, the global refugee crisis has been eclipsed by the battle against COVID-19. But in 2021, there was a worrying increase in the number of people fleeing poverty and conflict, and everything points to the situation going to get even worse in 2022.

Anyone who followed the November media coverage of the unseemly bickering between Britain and the EU after the tragic deaths of 27 migrants in the Channel could be forgiven for thinking that the economic and social burden of the global refugee crisis in 2021 is falling. mainly in northern Europe.

Nothing could be further from the truth. As the United Nations refugee agency UNHCR frequently points out, 85 percent of the world’s 20 million or more refugees are hosted either in neighboring countries or elsewhere in developing regions.

Turkey, for example, has more refugees within its borders than any other country – over 3.5 million (or 43 per 1,000 of its own citizens). Jordan has nearly 3 million, while tiny Lebanon hosts 1.5 million, or more than 13 refugees for every 100 Lebanese.

Germany, home to a million former refugees, has been the most generous of European states. In the UK, which receives far fewer applications than Germany or France, but where politicians stoke animosity towards migrants by mistakenly suggesting that the country is invaded, there is only one tenth of that number.

Iranians made up the largest proportion of asylum seekers in the UK in the year ending September 2021.

At the end of November, 23,500 migrants had succeeded in crossing the Channel during the year 2021, i.e. double the number of migrants in 2020, while France had prevented 18,000 others from attempting to cross.

But it is clear that the treacherous Mediterranean Sea remains the center of the great exodus of the peoples of Africa and the Middle East in search of a better life. UNHCR figures show that between January and October 2021, a total of 81,647 people risked everything to try to set foot in Spain, Italy, Malta, Greece or Cyprus.

It goes without saying that the death of the 27 people, including three children, when their fragile rubber boat sank off the French coast on November 25, is a tragedy that has touched the hearts of many.

Libyan health workers recover the bodies of drowned migrants, who hoped to reach Europe by sea, after a shipwreck off Sabratha beach, some 120 kilometers west of the Libyan capital Tripoli, on November 25. 2021. (AFP)

But what media coverage has largely forgotten is that in the year to date, no less than 2,543 people had already drowned in the Mediterranean or the Eastern Atlantic while they sought refuge in Europe.

The majority, some 1,422 individuals, perished on the infamous central Mediterranean route to Italy or Malta. Overall, reports the Missing Migrants Project, deaths in the Mediterranean “have increased dramatically in the first nine months of 2021, compared to the same period in 2020”, a phenomenon it attributed in part to the relaxation of mobility restrictions imposed in 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Another 959 people lost their lives in 2021 attempting the increasingly popular, but deceptively dangerous, crossing from West Africa to the Spanish Canary Islands, 100 kilometers off their nearest point in Morocco or of Western Sahara.

One of the last lives lost on this route is that of a baby, found dead in one of five rubber dinghies, carrying nearly 300 people from sub-Saharan Africa, who were intercepted off the islands in early December.

Yet despite such tragedies, compassion fatigue seems to have set in.

A baby is rescued by members of the Spanish NGO Maydayterraneo aboard the rescue boat Aita Mari during the rescue of around 90 migrants in the open Mediterranean Sea off the Libyan coast on February 9, 2020 (AFP)

Such disasters would once have made headlines around the world, as in 2015 when the body of three-year-old Syrian refugee Alan Kurdi washed up near Bodrum in Turkey.

For a moment, the uproar created by the poignant photographs of the child’s body face down in the waves a few hundred yards from a popular tourist spot seemed to be able to tip attitudes in favor of the world’s refugees.

Since then, however, drownings have continued and a world now concerned with the COVID-19 pandemic has largely lost interest.

In the five years since Kurdi’s death in 2015, as many as 17,000 people lost their lives attempting the sea crossing to Europe. It is not known exactly how many of them were children. But given that one in five migrants is a child, it’s plausible that Kurdi was followed to his untimely death by around 3,400 of his young peers.

In the flood of statistics generated since the explosion of the refugee crisis in 2015, it is easy to lose sight of the reality of the myriad human tragedies that lie behind the numbers – the countless families and communities devastated by the loss of life. mothers, fathers and children. And it seems there is no end in sight.

With a total of 109,726 refugee arrivals in Europe at the end of November, 2021 has not been a particularly bad year – certainly compared to 2015, when more than a million people sought refuge on the northern shores of the Mediterranean.

An EU flag flies behind barbed wire in the new closed center for migrants on the Greek island of Kos on November 27, 2021 (AFP)

Indeed, the numbers have declined year over year since 2015 – dramatically in 2016, to 380,300, and then again in 2017, when “only” 178,700 came to Europe. Over the next three years, the numbers steadily declined, from 141,400 in 2018 to 95,700 in 2020.

But in 2021, for the first time in five years, the downward trend began to reverse. In the 11 months to November, some 14,000 people had already visited Europe, more than for the whole of 2020.

Experts are divided over the cause of the recent burst. Of course, people’s movements serve as a barometer of world affairs. The fact that the largest proportion of refugees in 2021 – around 25% of the total – come from Tunisia reflects the current socio-economic problems of that country.

But behind Tunisia, and accounting for over 11% of all refugees in 2021, was Bangladesh, which last year made a surprise appearance in the top 10 source countries, a list previously dominated by African countries. and the Middle East. .

Between January and the end of October this year, 6,455 refugees who began their journey in Bangladesh arrived in Europe. An unknown number died trying. In May 2021, 50 would-be immigrants drowned when their boat sank off the coast of Tunisia. Rescuers were surprised to discover that the 33 survivors, found hanging from an oil rig, were from Bangladesh.

Migrants rescued by the Tunisian National Guard during an attempt to cross the Mediterranean by boat, rest at the port of El-Ketef in Ben Guerdane, in southern Tunisia, near the border with Libya, the June 27, 2021 (AFP)

However, it is not clear whether they were in fact Bangladeshis. A disturbing explanation for the sudden appearance of Bangladesh in statistics could be the plight of the Rohingya, the persecuted Muslim minority in predominantly Buddhist Myanmar Rakhine State, of whom around one million were forced to seek refuge from the other side of the border in Bangladesh.

Life in the overcrowded and underfunded Bangladeshi refugee camps is becoming intolerable, and there are fears for the well-being of large numbers of Rohingya who have recently been resettled on a remote island some 50 kilometers offshore. Bay of Bengal.

As UNHCR reported in August, between January 2020 and June 2021, some 3,046 Rohingya, two-thirds of whom were women and children, attempted to cross the Andaman Sea and the Bay of Bengal to seek refuge. in Indonesia or Malaysia, departing from Rakhine State. or Bangladesh. More than 200 perished in the attempt.

It remains to be seen exactly how the makeup of the global refugee population will change in 2022. Events in Eritrea and Ethiopia will undoubtedly contribute to the mix over the coming year, as there are indications that countries like Egypt, Iran and Syria, whose citizens together accounted for more than 20% of Mediterranean crossings in 2021, will continue to contribute more than their fair share to the global refugee crisis.

“Despite the pandemic, wars and conflicts continue to rage across the world, displacing millions of people and preventing many from returning home,” said Gillian Triggs, UNHCR’s chief international protection officer, at the launch of the Projected Global Resettlement Needs 2022 report.

“As growing humanitarian needs far outweigh solutions, we call on countries to make more resettlement places available to refugees whose lives are in danger or otherwise in danger,” Triggs continued.

UNHCR is handling the resettlement, persuading countries to join the growing army of refugees. It is a task apparently as desperate as it is noble.

Last year, of the 20.7 million known refugees worldwide, only 35,000 were resettled. The United Nations refugee agency predicts that an additional 1.47 million refugees will need resettlement in 2022.

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Bosnian Federation banks increase 9-month net profit Wed, 22 Dec 2021 09:58:00 +0000

SARAJEVO (Bosnia and Herzegovina), December 22 (SeeNews) – Net profit of the Bosnian Federation banking sector reached 264 million mark ($ 152.2 million / € 135 million) in the first nine months 2021, compared to 151.2 million mark in the same period a year earlier, the entity’s bank agency said.

The total revenues of banks operating in the Federation increased by 5.4% year-on-year in the nine months to September, reaching 917.7 million marka, while total expenditure stood at 650.8 million marka, down 9.5% on the year, the bank agency said in a report on Tuesday.

Net interest income fell to Mk 521 million in the January-September period, from M Mark 523.7 million in the first nine months of 2020.

Total loans stood at 16.1 billion marks at the end of September, up 5.7% from the end of December. Nonperforming Loans (NPLs) fell to DM 953.4 million in the first nine months of the year, about 3% lower than at the end of 2020.

The total assets of the 15 banks of the Federation amounted to 25.5 billion marks at the end of September, up 4.5% compared to the end of 2020.

The Federation is one of the two autonomous entities that make up Bosnia and Herzegovina. The other entity is the Serbian Republic.

(1 euro = 1.95583 marka)

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Serbia’s online bank completes IPA-funded European banking project Mon, 20 Dec 2021 15:41:00 +0000

BELGRADE (Serbia), Dec.20 (SeeNews) – Serbia’s central bank, NBS, announced on Monday that it has successfully completed another project funded by the European Union’s Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA) mechanism .

Dubbed the ‘Program for strengthening the capacities of central banks in the Western Balkans for integration into the European System of Central Banks’, the program was carried out by the Deutsche Bundesbank, 17 national central banks of the European System of Central Banks (ESCB ) and the European Central Bank (ECB), according to a separate statement from the Bundesbank.

The project included activities related to banking supervision, financial stability, consumer protection and financial inclusion, and monetary policy, among others, NBS said.

“Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, all the objectives of the project have been achieved. By participating in the project, NBS has once again demonstrated its strong commitment to European values ​​and central bank standards applied in the EU”, the central bank said in a statement. declaration.

Besides the SNB, the project also included the Bank of Albania, the Central Bank of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Banking Agency of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Banking Agency of the Republika Srpska, the Central Bank of the Republic of Kosovo, the Central Bank of Montenegro, the National Bank of the Republic of North Macedonia, said the Bundesbank.

The project started in March 2019, with a budget of 2 million euros ($ 2.26 million), according to data released by the Bundesbank.

($ = 0.8857 euro)

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Ongoing OIC MF Council Extraordinary Session – Pakistan Sat, 18 Dec 2021 18:16:00 +0000

Published on December 18, 2021 23:46

The meeting is convened against the backdrop of the worsening humanitarian situation in Afghanistan

ISLAMABAD (Dunya News) – The 17th extraordinary session of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) is underway to focus on the current worsening humanitarian situation in Afghanistan.

The proceedings of the conference began with a statement by Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, who will chair the session.

The OIC Summit Chairman, Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal Bin Farhan Al-Saud, will then address the delegates.

This was followed by a statement from Hissein Brahim Taha, OIC Secretary General.

In addition to the Foreign Ministers of the Member States and OIC Observers, the participants also include special guests from the United Nations, International Financial Institutions and some non-member States including the United States, United Kingdom, France, China, Russia, Germany, Italy, Japan. and the EU.

The meeting is convened against the backdrop of the worsening humanitarian situation in Afghanistan.

The session would provide an opportunity to consider practical and concrete steps to help meet the humanitarian needs of the Afghan people.

Pakistan and Afghanistan are founding members of the OIC. Over the years, Pakistan and the OIC have provided constant support to the Afghan people.

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UniCredit S p A: wins the 2022 CEE Awards for Global Finance Trade Finance and Supply Chain Finance Fri, 17 Dec 2021 11:49:13 +0000

UniCredit was named Best Trade Finance Bank in Central and Eastern Europe, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia, and Best Supply Chain Finance Bank in Central and Eastern Europe in the Global Ranking of Best Finance Providers Global Finance 2022 Trade and Supply Chain Strategy.

UniCredit was named Best Trade Finance Bank and Best Supply Chain Finance Bank in Central and Eastern Europe (EEC) in The world’s top trade and supply chain finance providers from Global Finance 2022.

With the best trade finance bank in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia, this is the 15th time UniCredit has won the top prize for trade finance in Central and Eastern Europe, and the 5th time it has been nominated the region’s best supplier for supply chain finance – ending the gap year with a further affirmation of the bank’s strength in one of its key geographies.

To decide between the winners, Global Finances Editorial review board, with input from industry analysts, business executives and technology experts, compared inputs from banks and other vendors on transaction volume, breadth of global coverage, customer service, competitive pricing and innovative technologies for the Trade Finance price and market share and global coverage, product innovation, customer service, technology, execution skills and customer-specific implementations for the Supply price Chain Finance.

Commenting on the success, Riccardo Madinelli, Director of GTB CE&EE, said: “We are proud to have reconfirmed our leadership for Trade and Supply Chain Finance in Central and Eastern Europe thanks to the daily commitment of our colleagues. Customers are at the heart of everything we do here at UniCredit, so we always strive to provide them with the best solutions and meet their trade finance and supply chain finance needs and expectations. Whether it’s helping businesses optimize working capital needs during the pandemic or covering the costs and risks of ramping up business as the economy opens up, UniCredit is here to provide expertise and access to its strong trade and supply chain finance platforms.. ”

These awards close a year of outstanding awards for UniCredit’s Global Transaction Banking services. The bank was also recognized as that of the banker Best Transaction Bank in Western Europe for 2021, Best Euromoney Bank for Transaction Services in Western Europe and Best Advisory Services Bank in Central and Eastern Europe, and Best Global Bank for Trade Finance Services in Survey on Euromoney trade finance, where the bank was also named the market leader for CEE.


UniCredit SpA published this content on December 17, 2021 and is solely responsible for the information it contains. Distributed by Public, unedited and unmodified, on December 17, 2021 11:48:04 AM UTC.

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