NEWS

Shoppers facing sky-high prices

Figures made public yesterday suggest that Greek consumers are paying up to almost 200 percent more for basic foodstuffs than shoppers in other parts of Europe. A survey carried out by the Consumers’ Protection Center (KEPKA) and the Piraeus Prefecture indicates that Greeks are paying between 13 and 194 percent more than residents of Brussels for a wide range of products. For example, a liter of milk costs an Athenian an average of 1.34 euros but it can be purchased in Brussels for just 71 cents. Supermarkets in Athens charge -3.82 for a 400-milliliter bottle of shampoo but a shopper can pick one up for just -2.39 in the Belgian capital. Rising prices have caused the government concern as well since the inflation rate increased to 3.9 percent last month, its highest level since September 2005. The Piraeus Prefecture found that the prices of fruit and vegetables have increased by between 16 and 58 percent this year, while the cost of other basic foodstuffs has gone up by 8 to 25 percent. Dairy products, bread and pasta have seen the biggest increases. Rises in the price of milk and flour on world markets are seen as being mainly to blame for these hikes. There does not seem to be any relief in sight for Greek consumers as food firms have already informed the Development Ministry that they intend to increase the price of more than 100 products by up to 18 percent next year.