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Sunday, December 22, 2013

New price deal sparks its first criticism

Supermarket associations and opposition leaders consider it ‘not enough’

One day after the federal government announced a new price agreement, Cabinet Chief Jorge Capitanich expressed the need to have “a transparent mechanism to establish market prices”, while the head of the Frente Renovador Sergio Massa and supermarkets associations considered the agreement “not enough” to solve inflation problems.

“If we don’t have such mechanisms, major production chains appropriate everybody’s effort and surplus,” Capitanich said yesterday in an event with Agriculture Minister Carlos Casamiquela and Buenos Aires province Governor Daniel Scioli.

The government announced on Friday a “non-binding” price agreement with the main supermarkets and suppliers in the country, with a view to curbing the effect of steep inflation. It will be implemented starting January and it will include between 175 and 200 products.

The head of the Frente Renovador Sergio Massa warned yesterday that inflation “is out of control” and said people “see their wages slip between their fingers like water,” while he criticized the new price agreement.

“It’s going to be a new failure because prices have grown a lot due to inflation,” he said. “There’s no need to stop the economy or reduce wages to stop the inflation. The government has to start a common-sense programme and tell Argentines the path they have chosen.”

Fernando Aguirre, spokesman of the Chamber of Supermarkets (CAS), said the prices of the products included in the agreement “are reasonable and realistic” but considered it “not enough” due to the high levels of inflation.

“No one can think that implementing a price agreement is enough but we have to support it as far as we can,” Aguirre said. “It’s an interesting first step to start working on price increments. The list of products is almost finished and it will be presented on January.

Herald with DyN,Télam

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