The Hungarian government will instruct major grocery chains to offer price discounts with a view to lowering prices.
Government spokeswoman Alexandra Szentkirályi told a press briefing that the improvement in the inflation data was already visible thanks to the government’s measures, but the cabinet decided to introduce a new tool based on Greek and French examples — classifying basic foodstuffs into 20 categories such as poultry, cheese, bread, baked goods, vegetables, fruit and cold cuts — from July 1 at the latest. The retail outlets in question will have to offer a product of their choice in all categories at least 10% cheaper than the price in effect in the 30 days preceding the special offer, she added. Products must be selected for the special offers every week in order to ensure that the possibility of purchasing at a discount covers a wide range of products, Szentkirályi said. The discounts cannot apply to price-capped products, she added. Meanwhile, she said the Competition Office (GVH) and the government’s online price-monitoring platform is set to start running on July 1, noting that it aimed to boost competition and prevent overpricing. The authorities have inspected more than 6,000 shops since the price caps were introduced, Szentkirályi said, adding that inspections would continue as long as the price caps are in effect. “High inflation will be with us as long as the war in Ukraine is ongoing and as long as the sanctions are in effect,” she said, noting that the government aims to push inflation into the single digits by year-end. The government is not considering any proposal to cap fuel prices, the head of the PM’s office added.