Supermarkets fined for circumventing profit margin laws

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These are products that are included in the household basket, explained the Minister of Development, Mr. Adonis Georgiadis

Fines for circumventing the legislation regarding the profit margin on the prices of products included in the household basket has been communicated by the Interagency Market Control Unit to some supermarkets.

This was noted by the Minister of Development and Investments, speaking at the 13th conference of IELKA “The agile retail Era: Doing business in extreme environment”, Adonis Georgiades.

He added that these are fines below the 50,000 euro threshold and, according to the law, the name of the company is not made public.

The minister said that next week the overall data of the e-Consumer platform will be presented and that inflation shows signs of abating “and this should be seen by the consumer on the shelf”. He added: “We all have a responsibility towards the consumer. If we don’t step back to protect the consumer, inflation will continue to rise. We have a common interest to find a solution. We are present as a state and we are here to satisfy reasonable industry requests. I don’t want anyone to think that my presence in supermarkets reduces the controls on speculation.

We have also started checks on the consumer’s basket with DIMEA. We have already sent audit reports for some basket products to some chains, and fines have been sent by DIMEA but they are small, below the €50,000 threshold, so they are not required to be disclosed by law. It is unacceptable that we found margin violation even inside the basket. This behavior is morally unacceptable. We can’t say that we are making an effort and some people move as they please… We will definitely catch those who violate the law… I don’t want to impose fines, I prefer good faith behavior, but we are very careful especially with the household basket”.

Mr. Georgiadis also stated the following: “I want to plead with the supermarket chains to be more careful in complying with the law on profiteering. I am not referring to products such as caviar, but to the basic items that the kosmaki should find at normal prices. It is unacceptable that DIMEA brings me fines for products in the basket and I am even considering the possibility of making the fines public despite the fact that they do not exceed 50,000 euros and therefore do not need to be made public.”

The minister also announced that he will have a meeting with the representatives of the supermarkets in the next few days about the holiday market and that next week the announcements will be made, with surprises – as he noted – about the holiday basket while he stressed that the economy is doing very well and will run with growth above the 5.6% that was originally forecast.

For his part, the general secretary of Trade and Consumer Protection Sotiris Anagnostopoulos he said that what will happen when the current crisis passes and once the situation in Ukraine normalizes some of the revaluations will recede to lower levels but added: “economic history has proven that prices that rise never return to the level from which they started , this is clear. This is called downward price rigidity in economics.”

Mr. Anagnostopoulos said that in order for prices to return as low as possible, this does not only depend on businesses, it also depends on consumer behavior. It is very important, he said, that the consumer continues to look for and emphasize the best quality-cost ratio.

In this context, the state, and in particular the general secretariat of Commerce, will try, as Mr. Anagnostopoulos mentioned, to inform consumers and give them more tools to monitor the level of prices and offers in order to allow prices to deescalate as much as this is this financially possible.

He announced that the Ministry of Development and Investments is also preparing new initiatives for transparency and consumer information, while regarding the holiday basket of the household, he said that products of increased seasonal demand will be included, especially those for children (Christmas toys or gifts). but also with additional types of meat, with sweets and options such as tsoureki and king pies, while it is planned to join other sectors that participate in the festive market, but this will happen provided that no distortions are created in the market.

RES-EMP

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