Bosnia is, by no means, a poor country, a macroeconomic expert Faruk Hadzic and economist and former diplomat Drasko Acimovic told N1 Wednesday, pointing out that last year alone the country recorded a revenue surplus reaching almost € 500 million from taxes and excises.
“This money must immediately be sent to the citizens, and this is non-negotiable. There are ways, we can complete this process within a few days to a month,” Acimovic appealed.
Faruk Hadzic agreed in the assessment that Bosnia does not lack funds noting that the country collected a total of €7 billion on various taxes.
However, he pointed out that the inflation shock Bosnia is going through has not been recorded since the end of the 1992-1995 war in the country, urging the authorities to increase minimum pensions, suspend excise taxes and send aid to the most vulnerable categories of society.
Hadzic added that he believes the authorities are blinded by the record tax revenues but “this won't last forever.”
“In 30 years there won’t be anyone to fill the pension fund, despite me having to pay money into the fund to achieve the right to retirement. We’ll need to import a million workers by that time in order to achieve any kind of economic growth,” Hadzic warned.
Drasko Acimovic, on the other hand, believes the authorities are fully aware of this problem and that they have two sinister strategies in motion.
“They [the authorities] have a program. Their strategy was to eliminate the elderly population, BiH was the second country in the world in terms of coronavirus mortality. At the same time, the volume of pensions was reduced – that was the first strategy,” he said.
The second strategy, Acimovic added, is the eviction strategy:
“It is related to the per capita income. Emigration increases their GDP per capita and they present it as their success. These are their economic strategies, they are very easy to define, and, unfortunately, very morbid, but factual.”
The protests we are witnessing around the world due to the current situation will also reach BiH, Acimovic claims.
“When citizens are in a situation to choose whether to pay for electricity and water or buy food, they will buy food. Their electricity and water will then be turned off. Of course, rebellion will follow. BiH is currently entering chaos,” Acimovic predicted.
However, Acimovic announces that things will only get worse – soon.
“Russia is stopping the supply of oil and gas for the whole of Europe, and in the fall and winter, it will create an enormous crisis, not even close to the current one. At this moment, we have to give some of the surplus money through the mentioned measures and make oil reserves from the rest. Don't be surprised if fuel prices double in the fall “, warns Acimovic.
He had another suggestion.
“We are currently exporting electricity at very low prices – this must stop, it is known why this is being done, but there is an urgent audit in order,” he appealed.