There are numerous examples of the extravagance of domestic officials with budget money. With salaries that are several times higher than the average in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), they do not hesitate to use all the benefits that the function provides. One of them is the use of VIP lounges at airports, BHRT writes.
1.512 euros for the use of the VIP lounge in Brussels. User – Dragan Covic. And this is just one in a series of invoices paid from the budgets of the institutions of BiH. More precisely, with citizens’ money.
In November last year, about 4 and a half thousand BAM were paid for the use of the VIP lounge at the airport in Vienna for the needs of the Deputy Chairman of the House of Peoples of the Parliamentary Assembly of BiH (PABiH), Bakir Izetbegovic, and his delegation. Last year, the same lounge was used by Denis Zvizdic, then chairman of the House of Representatives, for which more than 9.000 BAM were paid.
From 2010 to 2020, parliamentarians spent more than 50.000 BAM on the use of VIP lounges at airports. Besidesparliamentarians, other officials, such as those from the Council of Ministers and the Presidency, have the option of using the VIP lounge. In fact, everyone who has anticipated representation costs within the institution can do that. Deputy Damir Arnaut asked the institutions for official data on the use of VIP lounges. Most did not respond to him, nor to journalists’ inquiries.
“Those who gave response are mostly ministries or agencies that do not have a great need for travel. It is indicative that I never received an answer from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which by the nature of its work performs most of these trips. I believethat shows that the costs are very high since they didn’t answer me. In any case, it is one of the most unjustified costs,” Arnaut stressed.
Most VIP lounges at European airports are pure luxury. Special welcome, treatment, food, drink. All these benefits for a period of half an hour to an hour, as is usually the case with this service. Practice with BiH politicians is to stay in such places for ten minutes. The picture at the Sarajevo airport is a bit more modest. And this one, like the European ones, offers a special treatment for users. Those who decide to rent a VIP lounge for an hour should set aside two thousand BAM plus VAT.
In just three months, three parliamentarians spent 32 average pensions in BiH on the use of VIP lounges.
And whether the citizens deserved better, the interlocutor wonders. Their passivity towards politicians is, by all accounts, just an additional motive for arrogance. There are countless examples, but the key message is that such behavior is unacceptable to them.
These things, like retiring, taking severance pay, and returning to work, like buying apartments at some privileged prices, because it’s ‘legal’, all the way to these last cases where it is clearthat politicians are overpaid, and have all the privileges, this kind of behavior seems to send me exactly the message that this nation really needs to receive, and that is – We are absolutely not interested in what you think or whether you love us or not. We are here and we will take advantage of this situation to the extreme, as long as we can, “ emphasized political analyst Adnan Huskic.
And they will continue to do so this year as well. According to the Public Procurement Plan for 2022, the PABiH envisages allocating 25 thousand BAM for the use of VIP lounges. We should not ignore the fact that as much as 378 thousand BAMare intended for the use of official vehicles. And it’s just parliament. What about other institutions?