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Slovakia ready for price checks during euro changeover

The Slovak Trade Inspectorate (SOI) is preparing to conduct thousands of checks during the obligatory dual-pricing period which will precede the introduction of the euro in Slovakia. This is intended to prevent unjustified price hikes, the SITA newswire writes. According to the SOI’s central director, Nadežda Machutová, another goal is to improve the realistic perception of prices by consumers. She is recommending that people don’t overpay for products and services by rounding up the totals in euros (in favour of the shops) but take the change, because each cent will have its value. Machutová reminded businesses to implement the necessary steps to allow for display of pricing in both currencies, because the SOI will use all its powers to check that this obligation is observed from the start. Every unjustified increase in the prices of goods and services will be classed as a violation of the General Law regulating the euro changeover.

The Slovak Trade Inspectorate (SOI) is preparing to conduct thousands of checks during the obligatory dual-pricing period which will precede the introduction of the euro in Slovakia. This is intended to prevent unjustified price hikes, the SITA newswire writes. According to the SOI’s central director, Nadežda Machutová, another goal is to improve the realistic perception of prices by consumers. She is recommending that people don’t overpay for products and services by rounding up the totals in euros (in favour of the shops) but take the change, because each cent will have its value. Machutová reminded businesses to implement the necessary steps to allow for display of pricing in both currencies, because the SOI will use all its powers to check that this obligation is observed from the start. Every unjustified increase in the prices of goods and services will be classed as a violation of the General Law regulating the euro changeover.

The government’s spokesman on euro adoption, Igor Barát, said that the dual price display was one of the most important instruments for protecting consumers during the switch-over to the single European currency. It is intended to allow people to compare prices in crowns and euros easily, and monitor their development during preparations for the euro. The regulation does not define the exact form of the dual price display but it must clearly show which currency is the main price, and which is just for information. The Economy Ministry's regulation, outlining details about the dual display of prices, payments and other matters related to consumer protection, will take effect on March 27.

Dual price displays will become obligatory one month at the latest following the announcement of the conversion rate. The conversion rate is due to be made public in July 2008. All prices of products and services will then have to be displayed in crowns and euros from August at the latest. It is planned that the euro will become the main currency in January 2009; prices thereafter would appear in Slovak crowns for information purposes. This dual pricing would expire at the end of 2009. SITA

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports

The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.

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