Cyprus Mail

Consumer body urges shoppers to hit back at rip-off merchants

The Cyprus consumers’ union has called on the public to abstain from buying overpriced fruits and vegetables for Easter.

The union referred to recent price hikes in basic foods such as tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini, aubergines, peppers, lemons, strawberries and others.

In a statement, the union said these prices have been raised without any excuse and traders have  “agreed in cartels using their favourite method of profiteering, within a week, to double and triple the prices of a range of foods that are absolutely essential for the Easter table.”

They criticised the government for its indifference, saying public servants care only for their salaries, and wonder “what kind of European country we have when it does not take care of shaping and protecting free and genuine competition, using the weapons that EU competition rules offer.”

“At the same time, we urge traders to have second thoughts and decide to respect consumers, from tomorrow to lower prices and bring them back to the reasonable levels of previous weeks. In such a case, we call on consumers to choose them for their shopping, rewarding them,” the announcement concludes.

On Tuesday chairman of the fruit market association Polis Kattashis also said price hikes were not justified at the moment since weather conditions had been favourable and there was an excess supply of Cypriot fruit and vegetables on the market.

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