The great euro rip-ff

by Democrat reporter

THE INTRODUCTION of the euro has been used to “fleece” the Irish public and is expected to lead to a one percent inflation increase by the end of the year, according to Ireland’s most prominent consumer-rights organisation.

Details of a Consumers’ Association of Ireland (CAI) survey of trends since the Republic adopted the euro in late February, which followed a public outcry over rising prices for food and other goods and services, became known in late February.

Michael Kilcoyne, chairman of the CAI, said that prices had gone up by as much as 15 percent, in some cases, since the launch of the new currency. Price rises were particularly high for medical costs such as private hospital care and GP visits.

But huge increases were also evident in alcohol and soft drinks prices, as well as the cost of clothing and footwear, admission to cinemas and discos — even for Irish-dancing classes.

Mr Kilcoyne said: “It would appear that many took the opportunity of the changeover to the euro not only to round up their prices, but increase them substantially.” The cost of living is set to soar as a result of the introduction of the euro, the CAI predicts, adding as much as 1 percent to Irish inflation by December of this year, bringing it to 5.2 per cent.

* EU external affairs commissioner Chris Patten came in for criticism recently for attempting to influence the debate over the Irish people’s rejection of the Nice Treaty last year. During a visit to Ireland in February, the former Tory minister was accused of attempting to bully Irish voters into voting Yes next time by insisting that a second No vote would halt EU enlargement and damage the Republic politically.

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This document was last modified by David Granville on 2002-03-29 15:37:56.
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