Of the Visegrad Four (V4) countries, prices of basic food stuffs are the highest in Slovakia, according to a survey released on April 8. The survey was carried out by a civil association named New Generation (NG) affiliated with the SDKÚ political party, the TASR newswire reported.
The survey was conducted in Austria, Poland, Hungary,the Czech Republic and Slovakia and showed that the average cost for the purchase of milk, bread, eggs and chicken comes to €11.52 in Slovakia.
People in Austria pay only €0.70 more for the same purchase. It is the cheapest to shop in Poland, where one pays only €7.70 to get this basic package of food. NG was inspired to do this survey by Prime Minister Robert Fico who, when he was an opposition leader, initiated a similar survey to point at high prices of food, TASR wrote.
“Even after three years of the present coalition's rule the Slovaks pay the most for basic food when compared with the neighbouring countries,” NG deputy chair Barbora Luáčová told TASR.
Economy Minister Ľubomír Jahnátek reacted to the survey by saying that high food prices are caused by an abuse of the business environment in Slovakia. He blamed the government of former PM Mikuláš Dzurinda (SDKU leader) for the situation as, according to him, it didn't set clear rules.
Finance Minister Ján Počiatek said that lower food prices in the neighbouring countries are mainly caused by falling exchange rates of currencies in respective countries and price creation process of store chains.
“Creation of prices for agricultural products, for example, isn't adequate, because the main profit margin remains in store chains and it's much higher (in Slovakia) than in the neighbouring countries. As if the stores used the possibility to get the most where it's possible,” underscored Počiatek, adding that these issues will be very actively handled by the Government in the near future. TASR
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.
10. Apr 2009 at 10:00