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Bosnia sinks into economic crisis with food prices soaring

As concern grows amongst the people of Bosnia- Herzegovina’s about the latest political crisis in the country, prices of basic food items have soared, Bosnian media reported Friday, citing the Statistical Bureau of the country’s Muslim-Croat Federation.

Prices have increased by 11-65% for most basic food items throughout the country, and now exceed average food prices in the countries of the European Union. Average monthly incomes, at the same time, stayed far behind those in the EU. While average monthly expenses for a four-member-family, according to statistics, were up €610 ($894) in October, which included €302 for basic food only. The average salary in the same period was €333 and pensioners received €146.

The price of butter and oil, according to the report, increased most. Butter, which cost some €4 per kilogram, is now nearly €10, while the price of oil moved from 90 cents to nearly €2 for one liter. Prices of flour, sugar, milk, cheese, bread, chicken meat, even most fruit and vegetables, also suddenly increased, while the purchasing power of Bosnia’s population remains among the lowest in Europe.

Some recent polls showed that Bosnia-Herzegovina is 36th on the list comparing purchasing power in 40 European countries, with Albania, Ukraine and Moldavia filling the bottom positions. With the focus on solving the political crisis in the country, Bosnia’s authorities have not offered any solution for a possible economic crisis yet. At the same time further price increases were announced for electricity, gas and heating. Association for protection of customers warned that social unrest is possible in the case of increasing costs of living and decreasing salaries and pensions. Commenting on the latest growth of prices in the country, Sarajevo daily Dnevni avaz said “Bosnian politicians should know that their games leave a painful mark in the pockets of those who helped them take their seats.” (m&