The cabinet approved the creation of a digital platform that will allow consumers to compare the prices of goods across the market, Energy and Commerce Minister George Papanastasiou said on Friday.
The bill, proposed by the commerce ministry, ensures the possibility of using a corresponding platform put in place by the Greek government.
Speaking after the session, Papanastasiou said that the bills will allow the ministry to collect and monitor the retail prices of a total of 300 consumer products and the creation of the “e-kalathi” (e-basket) digital platform, for the presentation of prices.
“Our priority is food, baby items and household items,” he said, adding that the platform will be developed with the possibility of more products being added in the future.
The goal of the digital platform is to provide consumers with the best possible information on prices in the market, ensuring transparency, the ability to compare prices on a daily basis and access to information, both on prices and the availability of products that are important to households.
“The consumer will be able to choose the products and find the supermarkets where they are offered for cheaper,” the minister said, noting that there will also be the possibility to combine products and compare prices for a basket of goods.
Papanastasiou said the products included in the platform will be both name brands and supermarket-own brands, and that the bill will require supermarkets with a turnover above a certain amount to participate in this process.
After posting the price for any of the products included in the platform, supermarkets will commit to not changing the price for the following seven days, to avoid the phenomenon of sudden price drops with the purpose of just attracting customers.
Asked when the platform will be ready, Papanastasiou said that he has been in meetings in Greece to ensure it can be up and running as soon as possible.
“If the bill passes at the House plenum in a month, we expect to have the platform ready to operate before the end of the summer,” he said.
He also clarified that this bill proposal is not related to the finance ministry’s proposal to dropping VAT for some products to zero.
Finally, he said that ministry inspectors will carry out regular checks, in order to confirm that the prices presented on the platform reflect the prices on the shelves.
He also warned that there will be serious penalties for such actions if alerted through consumer complaints.