Monday , June 24 2024
Home / News / Economy / Greek PM asks EU intervention against high prices in supermarkets

Greek PM asks EU intervention against high prices in supermarkets

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis will send a letter to the European Commission on Friday requesting Brussel’s intervention to tackle high prices in supermarkets.

Mitsotakis’ request will focus on multinational companies that sell their products in different countries at different prices.

Greeks have been struggling with ongoing price increases for food and other essentials sold at the supermarkets of the country, with inflation in the sector to have increased by 5.4% from April 2023 to April 2024, despite some government interventions to keep prices at an affordable level.

With his letter to European Commission President, Ursula von der Leyen, Mitsotakis aims to force multinationals to explain to EU member states in which they operate why they price the same products differently in different markets, government sources told cnngreece.gr.

The government argues that Europe has the ability to intervene by regulation, because it is very difficult for a country individually to put a framework on multinationals selling to all European countries.

“A single market must also mean similar, if not uniform, prices for the products sold by the multinationals,” the government sources commented.

Touring northern Greece on Thursday and speaking to citizens ahead of the EU elections, PM Mitsotakis noted that he will request European interventions so that there is a harmonization of prices vis-à-vis the multinationals that may possibly take advantage of their presence in some countries.

“If we have a single market, why do we tolerate price differences in Greek supermarkets compared to supermarkets in other countries?” Mitsotakis asked.

It is certainly no coincidence that the Greek PM initiative is to take place almost 12 days before the EU Summit in Brussels and 3 weeks before the European elections.

Latest public opinion polls clearly show that citizens will rather vote with their minds in their pockets, something that the government is aware of.

  • 78% of responding citizens have said to an ALCO poll on behalf of Alpha TV  that high prices will influence their vote.

For months, there have been hundreds of reports showing price discrepancies on the shelves for the same products in different European countries, discrepancies that often seem unjustified.

PS What is highly interested is that the government has been insisting that ongoing price increases in the last couple of years were “imported” and not a Greek problem. It first blamed the War in Ukraine, then the instability in the Middle East, the Houthis in Yemen and whatever else it came to its mind.

Unable to take the issue under control , now the government discovered the wheel and seeks a European “communism-inspired” solution to a Greek-made problem.

Check Also

Fires are sweeping in SW Greece; one dead

A 55-year-old man has died while he was assisting firefighters to extinguish a wildfire in …

2 comments

  1. Absolutely incredible , why doesn’t he concentrate on making Greece an attractive place for multinational retailers so all Greeks can benefit from the best prices healthy competition creates , and stop the xenophobic protective business practices that are layed bare for all to see, And then maybe he wouldn’t have to concern himself with interfering with the free market economy of the rest of the world, Which functions perfectly well.
    Why do we not have Amazon Greece ?
    Why is there no multinational home improvement retailers ?
    Why is there not 10 mobile phone providers to choose from ?
    Why is the not at least 4 multinational supermarkets to choose from ?
    Because doing business in Greece is too painful, an atmosphere created by the owners of the Greek equivalent of the above list, all run my mates of the aforementioned.

  2. The multinational companies just adjust their prices to the local market where prices are fixed by the local chains. Perhaps they will go a little bit under it but they don’t want to risk to anger the national politicians that could hinder them. Greece is part of the common EU market and also a WTO member so they need to allow multinational companies to set up shop in Greece.

    You see this everywhere by the way. In Serbia the same thing. Supermarket chains have tremendous power over producers. They decide what and how much they will buy and place on the shelves according to their conditions. This is also the fault of producers themselves because they failed to set up their own ‘Coop’ supermarket chains.

    Want to lower the prices? Break the national cartels that fix the prices. But these are in bed with the politicians so there you have it. Mitsotakis making this plea to the EU is just window dressing in the run up to the EU elections.

    By the way, what ever happened to the ‘cut the middlemen’ movement in Greece?