Court decision fizzles set soft drink prices

Greek drinks firms will no longer have to display suggested retail prices on bottled water and soft drinks after a court decision, made public yesterday, ruled illegal a 2003 government directive that obliged them to. The Council of State overturned the Development Ministry’s decision obliging firms to have prices printed on their products and banning canteens from selling the drinks for more than the recommended price. The court said the decision discriminated against Greek companies since imported drinks did not have to comply with the directive. It also said it was unfair that other products were not required to have recommended prices. Earlier this month, the ministry allowed canteens and snack bars in niche markets, such as on ferries, to charge freely for goods, apart from nine products, including coffee and bottled water, whose prices will be set by the ministry.