“We warned there would be a negligible price increase; it was like that elsewhere. But what we are witnessing is something else. This is unjustified, pure profiteering, dirty play, and we will strongly oppose it with the Government’s measures in the coming period,” the PM said, as reported by 24Sata.
He called on all competent institutions to expose unfair practices from the State Inspectorate and Tax and Customs Administration.
“We will do that, and when I say measures so that there are no dilemmas, I also mean subsidies and other taxes. The government will not sit back and watch this without a reaction, and everyone who thinks that in this situation they can cast a shadow from an extremely positive and useful thing with their irresponsible business policy or harm the strategic success of the state, the government, society and all of us, they will not succeed”, he said.
The Prime Minister called on all business entities to distance themselves from those who unjustifiably raised prices.
“With the conclusion of the Government, everyone is invited to immediately revise the prices to those before January 1, 2023, at the end of December. All departments are tasked to strengthen supervision, the Ministry of Economy to take all measures to collect complete and accurate information on price monitoring, the Ministry of Agriculture to collect food and product prices”, said Plenković.
He stated that the purpose of the euro is not for someone in a crisis to get rich unjustifiably at the expense of citizens.
“We will not welcome any phenomena that lead to an increase in inflation, but we will sanction and fight against it with all mechanisms to protect consumers and ensure fair business practices,” he stressed.
“In this period, all authorities will contribute to uncovering unfair practices. The state inspectorate, and the tax and customs administration, will be given a specific task to act as soon as they see irregularities – said the prime minister and called on everyone to revise the prices and return them to what they were at the end of December – he added.
Minister Davor Filipović presented the Government’s measures against price increases.
“All business entities, including credit institutions and other financial service providers, and all those who have raised prices against the law are obliged to revise the retail prices of their goods and services and that they be determined by the price level as of 31 December”, said Filipović.
“The inspectorate, tax, customs, ministries, CNB… are tasked to implement increased supervision of entities within their jurisdiction without delay”, he said, adding that the Ministry of Economy will monitor prices and offer price comparisons at various entities.
He called on the Ministry of Agriculture to immediately collect the prices of agricultural products.
Chief State Inspector Andrija Mikulić was also present at the Government session and reported that they had intensified monitoring of received consumer complaints. In terms of dual pricing, before introducing the euro, inspectors found 1,744 violations of the law from September to the end of 2022. From January 2 to 4, the inspection was carried out by more than 200 inspections in trade and service industries.
“Bearing that business entities freely set the price, inspections have begun based on the applications received. From January 2 to 4, the inspection carried out over 200 inspections in the area of retail trade, including bakeries and service industries. These were mainly hairdressing services, body care, and maintenance services. According to the first results, an increase in prices was determined. In the shops, a price increase of 3 to 19 percent was recorded for chocolate, baked products, beer, coffee, and chocolate… We will determine if this is unjustified. If this is established, misdemeanor measures will be taken”, said Mikulić.
“Most submissions concerned bakeries, hairdressers, and body care services, where price increases have been confirmed. In the shops, some subjects raised prices from 3 to 19 percent for chocolate, bakery products, beer, butter, sour cream, toilet paper, coffee, and other items. If they determine that it was unjustified, in accordance with the law on consumer protection, they will be prohibited from engaging in unfair practices and will be subject to misdemeanor measures. In service activities, the price increase there, unfortunately, ranges from 10 to even 80 percent”, said Mikulić.
In the last two days, out of 306 inspections, 96 violations were found, which is 31 percent, and the inspections continue.
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