A databse on the properties and assets of 160 politicians in Bosnia, produced by the Center for Investigative Reporting, CIN, in Sarajevo has drawn reactions from politicians and member of the public following its publication this week.
The database showed that the real estate holdings of many politicians have kept growing throughout their careers, this past year included.
Journalists from CIN worked on the database for nine months, gathering documentation about property ownership, vehicles, loans and incomes.
Of the 160 politicians in the database, around a hundred are standing as candidates in the upcoming elections in Bosnia and Herzgovina.
CIN assistant editor Kenan Efendic told Balkan Insight that reactions to the information were bound to be negative when people saw that lawmakers were earning 3,500 euro a month, which is eight times higher than the average salary.
“These high incomes of politicians are legal - but it is hard to say that they were earned,” Efendic remarked.
“The revenues and properties of politicians are mostly growing while the number of unemployed in Bosnia is either the same, or growing," he added.
"The salaries of most citizens are not growing in proportion with the salaries of politicians,” he continued.
The database contains much revealing information about the incomes of politicians who routinely emphasize their roles in the fight against unemployment and poverty, while personally getting wealtheir all the time, he noted.
However, some politicians had been helpful, Efendic observed.
“One minister commented on the internet on the info-graphics we used to show the growth of his property - but more neutrally than negatively,” Efendic said.
“Another politician called us to thank us because we had presented certain data... precisely, while one state lawmaker called to precisely describe his total monthly income,” he added.
Efendic said CIN accepted that the database probably did not tell the whole story, as it contains no information on money stashed away abroad or hidden from view.
“Secret bank accounts are the job of the police. It is impossible for journalists to discover all those secret accounts,” he said.
“It was not easy even finding the data that in theory are legally available to everyone,” he concluded.