The perks of being a politician in Bosnia and Herzegovina 

"White bread" is a term that gets people riled up in Bosnia -- and it's not about gluten, calories, or anything diet-related. 

Tijana Cvjeticanin
Tijana Cvjeticanin Istinomjer, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Source: Istinomjer
The perks of being a politician in Bosnia and Herzegovina  - NewsMavens
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Why this story matters:

In local vernacular, "being on white bread" referes to a special kind of "severance pay" that officials are entitled to for months after leaving public office.

BiH's politicians already benefit from ridiculously high salaries and benefits. Therefore, demanding more money for doing virtually nothing is seen as an additional slap in the face of impoverished citizens, whose paychecks are among the lowest in Europe. So it was no surprise that "abolishing 'white bread'" was among the loudest demands that were issued by the large protests that swept the country in 2014.

This demand has, indeed, been met, to a certain degree -- a few cantons abolished this privilege after the protests and the state-level government outlawed it in 2017. However, after the October elections, state MPs who were not re-elected decided that they want it reinstated.

This is despite the fact that after the previous elections, some of these same MPs voted for the privilege to be abolished. Now those men -- all 11 of them are men -- have filed an appeal with the Constitutional Court, asking for an evaluation of the "constitutionality" of the law they once supported in the Parliament. All in attempt to secure their no-work-all-pay status after they are forced to leave their seats in the parliament. 

How much does the "white bread" cost Bosnian citizens?

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