Soaring prices for basic foodstuffs

The war in Ukraine is having a major impact on the world economy. Shortages of grain and other essential foodstuffs are causing prices for basic foodstuffs to rise rapidly, according to the WTO. A look at Europe's commentaries shows which approaches are not at all helpful.

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Cyprus Mail (CY) /

Don't frighten the consumers

The hysterical headlines in the media are giving the issue more attention than it deserves, criticises columnist Christos Panayiotides in the Cyprus Mail:

“It is very natural for the public to be concerned with price increases and their impact on their day-to-day lives. When they find themselves bombarded with blaring messages, such as 'prices are rocketing sky high', the prices of basic products are burning' or 'the price of petrol is soaring', it is very natural to see a climate created that is conducive to price increases, in the sense that the consumers are pre-programmed to accept them as inevitable.”

Krónika (RO) /

Price caps must not be a taboo

Measures to counter rising prices won't automatically lead to food shortages, says Krónika:

“The trade chains of the multinational companies are beyond the reach of the Bucharest government. When the idea of freezing the prices of certain basic foodstuffs came up - there are already examples of this in the EU - the government asked the organisation of multinational food producers for advice. ... [They of course replied] that the idea is unworkable because it will lead to food shortages in the country. Interestingly, there are no shortages of oil, flour or sugar in Hungary, the prices of which have been capped.”

Cumhuriyet (TR) /

Erdoğan is exploiting the crisis

The Turkish president wants to make political hay out of the widespread shortages, Cumhuriyet suspects:

“All economists who are not loyal to the government stress that the country will end this year with heavy losses ... Even the calls to increase the minimum wage for a second time in July are not being met by the president with assurances that 'We will without doubt increase it'. Instead he is putting off this move until the end of the year. It looks like the palace wants to stock up on 'ammunition reserves' until the end of the year so it can shower the people with money in the last five months before the election, putting smiles on people's faces and garnering votes in the process.”