EURO WINDOW

Trade inspection readies for euro switch

THE SLOVAK Trade Inspection (SOI) confirmed that it is prepared to conduct price checks during the dual price display in the months preceding euro adoption.

THE SLOVAK Trade Inspection (SOI) confirmed that it is prepared to conduct price checks during the dual price display in the months preceding euro adoption.

Nadežda Machútová, SOI's central director, told the SITA newswire that one of the goals of the dual pricing is to ease consumers into a realistic perception of prices in euros. She advised the public not to overpay by rounding up prices in favour of shops, but to take and use change, because each euro cent has value.

Machútová reminded businesses to implement the dual price display in both currencies because the SOI will use all resources at its disposal to check that this requirement is respected from the very beginning.

Every instance of price gouging will be considered a violation. Machútová said that everything depends on how disciplined the market is.

The SOI currently has 150 inspectors, but can increase that number if necessary. In the past, 70-80 inspectors were able to conduct about 100,000 price checks over two weeks.

The official conversion rate between the Slovak crown and the euro will be annouced in July. Dual price display will become compulsory within a month of that, at the latest.

After the euro becomes Slovakia's main currency on January 1, 2009, the prices in Slovak crowns will be just informative. The requirement to list in Slovak crowns will expire at the end of 2009.

Igor Barát, the government's appointee for euro adoption, said that the dual price display is one of the most important instruments for protecting consumers during the switch.

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