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Politics

Mitsotakis Blames Multinationals for High Food Prices, Wants EU Intervention

ATHENS – Facing criticism his government hasn’t done enough to hold down high food prices at supermarkets, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said multinationals were taking advantage and repeated he wants European Union help.

He said there were unfair practices by those international companies that restrict the sale of goods in the single market, resulting in higher prices for consumers, who so far have shown they’re mostly willing to pay as wages have risen.

“We’re engaging in a battle against multinational companies, but I’m compelled to take this stance because I cannot tolerate the fact that within a single market, through the exploitation of various tactics and accounting maneuvers, they ultimately price the same product higher in markets like Greece, which are smaller compared to larger markets such as France or Germany,” he told public radio.

In a May 18 letter to European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen – a fellow Conservative ally – he said inflation exposed flaws in the functioning of markets, leading to disparities in essential goods prices in the 27 member states.

He lambasted the practice of multinational corporations imposing territorial supply constraints (TSCs) on the markets of EU member states to exploit their dominant market position.

The prices have remained high, including for favorite products like olive oil and feta, despite his New Democracy government imposing fines on multinationals and domestic companies for profiteering.

He didn’t say whether he would consider tougher measures such as a cap on profits to prevent gouging but also said that higher wages – which the government said have contributed to the problem – are also an answer.

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