Shopkeepers in Croatia have been accused of cashing in on the currency confusion, driving up prices unfairly as the country switched to the euro.
Croatia became the 20th country to join the Eurozone on January 1.
Some experts say stores are rounding up euro-denominated prices or unexpectedly raising prices by up to 50 percent, rather than simply converting their prices using the designated exchange rate of 7.53 kuna to 1 euro.
While retailers say prices have largely been unaffected by the change and blame inflation, the government has publicly sided with the public and announced measures to combat price gouging, including sending inspectors to stores and service providers and requiring major retail chains to report on each item. the prices. one product on a bi-weekly basis.
On Friday, January 20, the state inspectorate announced that after inspecting nearly 1,000 stores in the previous two weeks, they found unjustified price increases in about a quarter of the businesses, imposing more than 240 fines.
Croatia joined the Eurozone
Meanwhile, the latest data showed Croatia’s inflation rate stood at 13.1 percent in December, slowing slightly from the previous month’s all-time high of 13.5 percent.
The price of almost everything has risen for most of 2022, with inflation attributed to rising energy prices and supply chain disruptions caused by the war in Ukraine.
“When I look only at basic necessities: butter, bread, milk, the prices are now unbearable. It’s not the price increase that we were warned about, it’s 10 or 20 percent,” says retired Damar Arbanas.
‘Everything escalated. Despite what they told us earlier, it’s incredible. I’ve seen some comparisons with Slovenia and how it’s fared in other eurozone countries, but that was obviously nonsense.”