Being chastised by your mother when you’re prime minister isn’t something you want to have happen, but that is what happened to Italy’s Prime Minister, Silvio Berlusconi. The Euro changeover, which eventually triggered some outrage across Italy by many who believe retailers have boosted their prices since January, has irked the premier’s mother, who said she would reconsider a purchase before emptying her wallet of the
So Berlusconi is promising he will do something about it. Local reports suggest that the premier is going to get tough on the price hikes to ease consumer confidence.
The consumers have said the government is taking too lightly the inflationary effect the Euro has had on key domestic goods. What the premier now has in mind to do is cap gas, electricity and postal prices for a three-month period. Consumers will be happy to know that the retailers have also pledged to curb prices. Italy’s trade group Confesercenti announced its shops and service companies would freeze prices until year’s end. Consumers plan to fight the price hikes. Take for example the September 3 shopping freeze implemented by Greek consumers. People were told they shouldn’t buy anything on that day, not even a bottle of water, to show the government and retailers that they are angry over the Euro’s inflationary affect on their goods.
Officials at Istat, the state’s statistics agency, have said where some goods were pricier others actually cost less. Tell that to the consumer who sees Euro notes and coins being spent more often than they are actually being saved. Latest figures published by Eurispes, a non-profit research agency, indicate fresh fruit and vegetable prices in Rome and Milan increased by 20 percent (up to 50 percent) in the last two months than the same period in 2001. Seems Berlusconi has a lot on his plate, otherwise he may have to answer to his mother in the long run (again). (669)