SARAJEVO, BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA—The recent discovery of corruption within the Bosnian government is being overshadowed by the even more shocking discovery that a Bosnian government actually exists in the first place, U.N. sources reported Monday.
"The misappropriation of $2.1 billion in United Nations relief funds by Bosnia's leaders has stunned me and my fellow countrymen," Sarajevo resident Emir Odobasic said. "We were completely unaware we had any leaders."
Bosnian citizens are accustomed to corruption, regarding bribery, extortion, graft and money laundering as facts of life in their chaotic, war-torn nation. However, few had any idea the corruption was governmental in nature.
"We have a government?" said Jasmin Vrsac, a Prijedor farmer who has worked his family's landmine-strewn fields for most of his 72 years. "I am surprised to hear this."
Bosnian government officials themselves were taken aback by the news of the government's existence.
"I knew I worked in some sort of large, bureaucratic office building in Sarajevo," Stolac Brcko said. "And I receive a weekly check for processing a big pile of forms. But neither I nor any of my associates had any knowledge that I was the Minister of Transport."
Newly discovered Bosnian prime minister Alija Izetbegovic, who said he is "as stunned as anyone" by the news of the corruption and the government's existence, has denied any wrongdoing.
"I have done nothing illegal," Izetbegovic said. "In fact, I have done nothing in particular whatsoever."
"This corruption scandal looks bad now, certainly," Izetbegovic told members of the Bosnian parliament, none of whom he recognized. "But I, as well as whoever the rest of Bosnia's leaders turn out to be, will be cleared of these charges very soon. With the help of U.N. investigators, we will reveal to the world just what happened here, as well as what exactly all of you strange people are doing in what I thought was my summer house."