March 5. 2024. 2:01

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Bulgarian government doubles down on unfair retail trade practices


Retail chains in Bulgaria have caught the eye of the authorities as the Commission for Consumer Protection has revealed the high rate of violations and suspected unfair trade practices in the retail sector.

In the last two weeks, the Commission for Consumer Protection has carried out 471 checks in large grocery stores, where 252 violations have been found. There are nearly 200 cases where unfair trade practices are suspected.

There are unfair trade practices in the large trade chains in Bulgaria, which lead to suspicions of generating unreasonably high profits, Deputy Prime Minister Hristo Alexiev told the media on Thursday.

The government is not starting a war on retail chains but is obliged to protect the interests of consumers, he added.

“I have always declared my support for the protection of business, but unfair practices and unethical behaviour lead to unfair prices for Bulgarian society”, Economy Minister Nikola Stoyanov commented.

The government will indeed continue its inspections and constantly monitor the prices of foods, said Stoyanov, adding that it will work to publicise all the hidden fees that traders charge – logistics, marketing, bonuses, positioning of goods and others – fees that amount to 20% of food prices and can be declared unfair trade practices, the government claims.

The Bulgarian commercial attachés at the EU embassies already monitor the prices of over 20 basic food products in seven EU countries – Germany, Austria, France, Romania, Greece, the Czech Republic, and Croatia.

“It makes no sense for Bulgarian citizens to pay more for products in our country, given that both energy and fuel are more expensive in other countries,” said Stoyanov.

The government does not understand that inflation has many complex causes and is not an isolated phenomenon in Bulgaria, he added at the time.

(Krassen Nikolov | EURACTIV.bg)