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Bosnia 'Greedy' Pension Plan Slammed

Balkan Insight


April 2, 2008 

A plan by Bosnian legislators to increase their pensions has been condemned by non-governmental organisations as “greedy.”
“The government, which regularly ignores the needs of its citizens while shamelessly robbing them off, almost openly calls for unrest, social disturbances and forceful conclusion of this untenable situation,” a group of non-governmental organisations said in a letter sent to the Bosnia’s governments and parliaments on Tuesday.

The letter, obtained by Balkan Insight, was signed by the Centre of Civil Initiatives, CCI, Bosnia’s Open Society Fund and the ICVA association which represents dozens of other local NGOs.

The letter was in response to a proposal, signed on March 27 by 21 deputies of the Bosnian Parliament, which suggests lowering the retirement age of legislators and increasing their pensions.

According to this proposal, after only 20 years of employment, parliamentarians’ pensions would range between 2,500 and 3,400 Konvertible Marks (€ 1,250-1,700), at the time when average salary in Bosnia hardly exceeds 500 Konvertible Marks (€ 250).

NGOs said the initiative was “even more shocking” as it came at a time when the CCI has completed an analysis of the state and entity governments’ work, which shows hardly any of Bosnia’s institutions has fulfilled more than 50% of their respective action plans for 2007. 

According to this report, presented across the country in recent weeks, if Bosnia’s Council of Ministers would continue work at the current pace, it would need 50 years to implement its own 2007 work plan.

“Instead of immediately changing attitudes towards their work, introducing restrictive measures towards lazy members, a series of resignations and replacements, the government laughs in the face of its citizens and reaches for their money,” Bosnia’s NGOs said in their letter.

In protest over this pension proposal, Sadik Ahmetovic, a deputy in the Bosnian House of Representatives, on Tuesday announced his resignation from the Parliament Commission for Administrative Issues.

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