When Skopje Froze the Price of Bread, It was No Longer Available on Store Shelves

In Hungary, which introduced a price ceiling for the most goods, inflation is a record for the EU

Inflation, not only in our country, but in the whole of Europe is receding too slowly. This is also the reason why governments across Europe are looking for ways to make goods cheaper.

One of the good examples is the one in France. Ten days ago, the government there signed an “anti-inflation agreement” with some of the retail chains. It included French and foreign stores, although the expected losses for them are measured in hundreds of millions of euros.

The measures include a selection of essential goods that are sold at the lowest possible price. Their selection remains with the chains themselves and will vary from store to store. All discounted goods will carry a specific label in the colors of the French flag.

Croatia created a platform for the big chains to publish their prices. But despite the initiative’s expectations

only 3 out of 10 large retail chains responded

It is not clear whether this is effective, but according to the Minister of Economy, Davor Filipovic, the state was ready for any measures – from drawing up blacklists of traders to freezing prices. In fact, at the end of last year, the Croatian government already introduced a ceiling on the prices of basic foodstuffs, including oil, fresh milk, flour, sugar, minced meat.

We also already have a similar site (see text above). As another measure, the government is about to put a cap on markups on basic food items, but since that would require legislative changes, it will obviously have to wait until after the election.

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IN Slovakia however, the chains voluntarily imposed a price cap on 400 items. This measure will last 3 months. In stores next to these products there is an inscription: “Guarantee against inflation”.

IN North Macedonia also has a price ceiling, but so far it covers only three goods – bread, rice and eggs. At the beginning of the month, our neighbors first froze the price of bread. The firm price at which it was sold is 33 denars, or one Bulgarian lev. However, some of the shelves immediately remained empty. Cockroaches claim that

the costs do not allow them to sell their produce

at this price. However, last week the authorities in Skopje also froze the prices of rice and eggs. The government intends to put a ceiling on the prices of flour and sugar, but in the meantime they have started to become cheaper.

Last year Hungarian the government also imposed a price ceiling on sugar, milk, flour and some types of meat, with potatoes and eggs added later. According to Agriculture Minister Istvan Nad, this measure works because “customers buy more of the products they can get at a more affordable price.” In reality, however, Hungary has the highest inflation in the EU, reaching 26% in February, and it started to accelerate at the end of 2022, when the peak in most member states had already passed.

IN Spain also had ideas for a price cap on consumer goods, but met with pushback from traders and farmers. But the state has adopted a zero VAT rate on some basic food items.

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