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Bosnia renews efforts to find lyrics for its national anthem

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Bosnia renews efforts to find lyrics for its national anthem

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The Balkan country Is one of three in the world that has a wordless national anthem, including Spain and San Marino.

Why? Because its politicians have failed to agree on lyrics that would appease all of its ethnic groups since the song was adopted 19 years ago.

But efforts to end the deadlock have been renewed. On Monday, a parliament committee passed a new initiative to find official lyrics to accompany its anthem.

“There is really no text at this moment about which representatives of the three peoples in Bosnia could agree,” said Momcilo Novakovic, an MP from the People’s Democratic Movement, told Balkan Insight on Tuesday.

“Consequently, there is no text that parliament could support. I think this initiative is condemned to failure.”

Bosnian composer Dusan Sestic’s melody "Intermeco [Interlude]" was taken on as the nation’s national anthem in 1999. At the time, it did not come with lyrics.

A parliamentary group approved lyrics written by Sestic and Benjamin Isovic in 2009, but the decision was reversed by the state parliament as the words did not mention the country’s two entities or three main ethnic groups: Bosniaks, Serbs and Croats.

A second lyric-hunting initiative launched by MP Semsudin Mehmedovic in 2016 also failed miserably.

On the off-chance political efforts could find success this time, Mehmedovic told Balkan Insight: “I’m not very optimistic, but it’s worth trying."

Bosnia and Herzegovina has not always had a word-less national anthem since the country’s inception in 1992.

For six years until 1998, the former Slavic country acknowledged “Jedna si jedina” or "You Are the One and Only" as its national anthem, complete with official lyrics. But the track was later dropped in favour of Intermeco because it excluded the country’s Serb and Croat communities.