The President of the Consumers and Quality of Life Association, Loukas Aristodemou, spoke about the benefits of the digital tool as well as the objections to its implementation on the Dispersion of News show
< img class="aligncenter" src="/media-library/2023/09/7a484b77f6bca16aa16fc8fd2ce2b54a.jpg" alt="Σε «αχαρτογρφ&eta ;τα» νερà το e-kalathi" />
The President of the All Cyprus Consumers and Quality of Life Association, Loukas Aristodemou, spoke on the SPOR FM show, Diaspora News, about the flexibility that the digital tool e-kalathi gives to the consumer.
< p>In particular, he emphasized that the tool in question is not needed for the consumer to understand which supermarkets are more expensive or not, but for the fact that it gives every household the opportunity to know where they can shop through the list that prepares specific products cheaper.
Regarding the fact that the Pancypriot Association of Supermarkets speaks of “crude and violent interference in the free market”, Mr. Aristodemou emphasized that “in Cyprus there is a free market only for those who can manipulate it” , explaining that hypermarkets are the market shapers, while now with e-kalathi the consumer will be 'forced' to follow the app.
At the same time, he added that the consumer has the right to know the price of any type of product in every supermarket, while regarding the investigation by the Consumer Protection Service on the prices of products by province and the exclusions up to 27 euros, he emphasized that the Paphos District due to of being considered isolated, they have the freedom to raise prices. He also noted that in Nicosia certain areas, such as Acropolis, Dasoupoli and Engomi, due to the fact that people from the Public Service are employed in the areas, the result is that prices are increased in supermarkets.
What was said in the Parliament
The article-by-article debate on the e-basket bill began on Tuesday in the Parliamentary Committee on Energy, Trade, Industry and Tourism, with opposition parties express concerns about the effectiveness of this tool.
The Chairman of the Committee, Member of Parliament of DISY, Kyriakos Hatzigiannis, in his statements after the session, said that the Government “wants to blindly” that if an e-basket is passed, it will tell the people and low-income people that it will solve their their problem.
He noted that the Government “continues to dismiss everything as a problem of profiteering and not as a problem of price increases or anti-inflation policy”, adding that the world can't take it anymore, and that ” we need policies” and not “a Government watching and remotely exercising its obligations”.
The Member of Parliament of AKEL, Kostas Kostas, in his statements, said that, as a party, they support any effort that promotes the interests of consumers and transparency. “We want to help the consumer to have a choice, but in such a way that the very small businesses are not affected,” he said, noting that, “with satisfaction” they heard in the debate the representative of the EPA (Committee for the Protection of Competition) that they have prepared relevant memorandum which they have submitted to the Commission.
“Today, when the world is facing serious problems with the accuracy of electricity, fuel, pollutants, basic necessities, the State should find a way to cooperation of all of us to help in order to beat accuracy and profiteering”, he said.
Diko MP, Chrysis Pantelidis, on the other hand, said that they support the e-basket, and that they insist on the original goal which is, as he mentioned, healthy competition, and beating accuracy for the benefit of consumers.