We don’t buy meat, we eat cabbage – Sarajevo Times

Although they have spent their entire working lives working for nearly 40 years and many of them found themselves on the front lines of defense in the last war, today pensioners in Bosnia- Herzegovina are barely making ends meet.

“I don’t buy meat. I’m not a fan of it. In the morning, bread, dairy products and tea. I cook cabbage for lunch. I don’t cook with meat. That is, I cook a piece, sometimes with chicken. It is difficult for pensioners who only have one pension, especially when someone is sick,” pensioner Sevleta Ahmedinovic tells BHRT.

According to Sevleta, pensioners are increasingly unable to exercise their health care rights. Her husband fell seriously ill and therefore found himself on a long waiting list.

“I take my husband to do the exams privately, and one is 50 BAM. I had been waiting for a year and a half and they had never called me from the public hospital. And the disease does not ask. The disease progresses and progresses, ”says Sevleta Ahmedinovic.

In a conversation with pensioners in Tuzla, they say that life has become the art of survival, writes Avaz.

The most endangered category

They follow the media every day, but through the media, the information deteriorates. They say they are too tired of analysts and their estimates. Retired Muhamed Ahmic thinks everyone in BiH is a great economist, but only on paper.

“Let every doctor of science in Bosnia and Herzegovina, economist or whoever, prove that a pensioner can live in normal conditions. It’s impossible. Especially when he pays for the drugs. Because health gives medicines to those who have a mark and a half, and to those who have ten, fifteen or twenty marks, it must be paid for, this Bosnian policy is not for nothing, ”adds Muhamed Ahmic.

And when the pensions increased recently after a few years, they increased in percentage. Thus, pensioners with a minimum pension had an increase of 32 BAM. Retirees who already have pensions of 1,900 BAM now have more than 2,000 BAM. The people who have given everything for the construction of Bosnia and Herzegovina constitute today the most threatened category of the population in this same country.

At the end of last year, we were hit by a wave of rising staple food prices. First, flour, coffee, oil and petroleum products have become more expensive. Prices of goods and services in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), which are used for personal consumption, as measured by the Consumer Price Index in April alone, increased by 2.4% on average compared to the previous month . The consumption basket for a family of four was nearly BAM 2,500, while the average wage was almost twice as low. How to survive?

We often say that the citizens of BiH are true survival magicians. First the pandemic and now the crisis caused by the war in Ukraine has affected all aspects of life. The union consumption basket calculated by the Confederation of Independent Trade Unions of BiH for April 2022 amounts to BAM 2,493.84 and is BAM 73.88 more expensive than the union consumption basket last month. The average salary paid in the Federation of BiH (FBiH) for February 2022 was BAM 1,046.00, which is also the latest data released by the Federal Bureau of Statistics. The coverage of the trade union consumption basket with the average wage is 41.94%.

When drawing up the Union consumption basket, the average salary paid in the FBiH was taken into account, as well as the minimum cost of living for a family of four consisting of two adults and two children , one of whom is in high school and the other in elementary school.

In just three years, we have found ourselves in two global crises. They have had a negative effect on the global chains of production, supply and trade, which is reflected in the lives of ordinary citizens through the rising prices of basic foodstuffs, medicines, building materials, but also of almost all other services. Unlike at the beginning of the pandemic, when a large number of workers lost their jobs, the situation has partially improved. But there is still a big gap between the employed and the unemployed. In March this year, the number of unemployed in BiH was 371,000. Compared to March last year, this is about 8.5% less. The highest number of unemployed is at high education and qualified worker (KV) qualifications – over 118,000, followed by people with secondary education and people unqualified with over 100,000. The others are semi-skilled and graduates of higher education. It is also worrying that almost 60% of the unemployed are women.

In the same month this year, the number of employees was just over 841,000. Compared to February this year, the number of employed persons increased by 0.2% and the number of employed women by 0.5%. Most employees were in manufacturing, a total of 170,058, and in wholesale and retail trade; repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles. The lowest number of employees in March this year was in the real estate sector – only 3,266, according to the Statistics Agency of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

In recent months, consumers have been exposed not only to rising prices for almost all products, but also to a number of other factors such as quality, missed margins and, notice of many, too few penalties. And the media have largely contributed to the panic of the citizens. Panic buying of fuel and flour led to shortages in stores. Given everything the data presented, we recommend that citizens continue to be magicians. Of course, politicians are also citizens of BiH, but they only need a magic wand for their personal interests, writes Federalna.

E.Dz.

About Eleanor Blackburn

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