Bosnian parliament cuts invalid pensions

The parliament of the Muslim-Croat half of Bosnia decided Tuesday to drastically reduce the number of people eligible for invalid pensions by 130,000.
The parliament adopted a new law making only those with "a disability rate of at least 90 percent" eligible to receive the monthly payments, compared with the previous 60 percent.

The measure was taken in order to cut expenses as the Muslim-Croat Federation's 2009 budget of 820 million euros (one million dollars) is 118 million euros lower than last year due to reduced revenues.
A group of invalid pensioners angrily protested the move, briefly entering the parliament after the vote and demanding the decision be revoked.
The implementation of the new law would require 106 million convertible marks (54.5 million euros) for 2009, FENA news agency quoted Perica Jelecevic, the minister for labour and social issues, as saying.
If the criteria was left unchanged, "it would require almost one third of the budget," Jelecevic explained.
Following its 1992-1995 war, Bosnia was split into two semi-independent entities -- Muslim-Croat Federation and the Serbs' Republika Srpska -- each with its own government, parliament and police.

Tuesday, February 24th 2009

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