Prices of products and services in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) have increased by up to 14 percent in one year, according to the latest official statistics released in April. At the same time, wages remain the same, and the authorities are resorting to selective and populist measures, delaying systemic interventions that could be felt by all citizens.
Five BAM a day. That is the salary due to which the old lady Djurdja risks a communal fine in the amount of her pension of 300 BAM in order for her and her husband, who fell ill, to survive. She is in front of the main Banja Luka post office every day. Any increase in her income can mean a smaller meal.
”What am I going to do, I’m fighting as best I can. What am I going to do here as a single person, I can’t do anything. I wanted us to protest, but no one wants to,” Djurdja Andzic says.
Official data confirm the growth of the cost of living. Average wages in the entities do not cover or barely cover the costs of the average union consumer basket. Officially, prices from April rose by an average of between 11 and 14 percent in a year. Many appeals to limit taxes on energy and basic products, such as a large number of countries, make it easier for domestic decision-makers to find excuses or solutions that are more in their interest.
”You have seen that the Government of Serbia has changed the excise policy and wants to intervene socially,” states Nenad Stevandic, delegate in the Parliamentary Assembly of BiH (PABiH).
”Inflation, which we did not produce, but the big economies, by printing huge amounts of money, do not intend to stop printing,”says Snjezana Novakovic Bursac, delegate in the PABiH.
”I was most surprised by the lack of any action by the authorities to take any credible measures in this regard to protect the standard of citizens,” Mirko Sarovic, delegate in the PABiH, points out.
Elected and appointed officials do not give their own standards even at the cost of symbolic solidarity with the citizens. Benefits, high salaries, severance pay, so-called white bread.
”Most of these initiatives did not have positive support, a positive response in the parliament,” states Jasmin Duvnjak, delegate in the House of Peoples of the Federation of BiH (FBiH) Parliament.
In Djurdja’s world today, it is important to sell some vegetables in order to make ends meet by tomorrow.
”When you’re on the battlefield, a rifle hits you and you’re done, but here, this is a tough war. Here it is mentally blackmailing. You have homemade goods, you can’t sell them. And there is no life,” old lady Djurdja concludes, BHRT writes.