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Retail chains are hurting the state: Fico

Prime Minister Robert Fico has pointed to retail chains as a new enemy, the Sme daily reported on October 15.

Fico said he is dissatisfied with the growing prices of basic foodstuffs and blamed the situation on retail chains, which he said are abusing their economic power.

He also accused them of artificial price increases that endanger Slovakia’s plan to introduce the euro in January 2009. The growth of prices can increase inflation above the set limit, he explained.

For that reason, Fico said he wants tougher control over supermarkets, and he wants to achieve this by changing the law on retail chains.

An analyst with the INEKO economic think-tank, Eugen Jurzyca, said that Fico does not have the power to decrease prices of basic foodstuffs and he knows it. Jurzyca says higher prices have nothing to do with retail chains, which instead have been working to decrease the prices.

The analyst said Fico's latest statements are typical populism, as most people still think that prices are created in outlets.

-SITA

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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