BUSINESS

Coffee, cigarettes and seaside holiday packages – more expensive

The price hikes could be followed by a wave of price rises including bread, milk, and meat, on account of a 10 per cent/1000 cubic metre gas price increase for industrial consumers.

The first day of July brought more price hikes for various items and services, including coffee and seaside holiday packages, according to Realitatea.net. As of Friday, electricity gets more expensive by 4.3 per cent per KWh, due to green certificates being included in the end-price. Lodging prices got more expensive by 30 per cent. Similar price rises apply to other services too, including deck chair rentals or other produces sold at outdoor diners. The hikes may prompt many Romanians to choose Bulgaria or other countries as a holiday destination, according to ziare.com.

The gas price rise could very well trigger further price increases in the foreseeable future. Coffee is the only item so far to become more expensive, by 17 per cent.

“Gas is used during the technological process in bakeries, for baking bread, as well as the processing phase in the milk and meat industry as well, and any product for which gas is used will see their price go up,” said Adrian Tighici, director SC Gaz-Est Vaslui. Bread mill manufacturers, meat and milk producers are doing feverish calculations.

“The cost will go up per each cubic metre which means our bills will go up 10-20 per cent, according to the gas price rise,” said Gheorghe Safir, a meat processing company official. “If the gas price increase by 10 per cent, the production cost will go up too, which means retail bread prices will rise 0.5 per cent,” Alexandru Smantana, a bread manufacturing company representative said. However, this is only stage 1 of a two-tier price rise to eventually make gas tariffs 20 per cent more expensive for economic operators by August 2012. Gas prices remaining unchanged for home consumers and the 10 per cent rise for industrial consumers will only allow gas distributors to stop piling losses, which means a further rise in prices will be called for in September, E.ON Romania says.

People complain they can no longer cope with the situation

Romanians are extremely concerned about what tomorrow could bring. “We have already been living on a shoestring budget, everybody spent all their savings, I don’t think we are still able to cope with another wave of price rises,” a woman told Realitatea.net. A man questioned on the issue summed up the situation as follows: “We will eat less and less until we drop dead.”

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